Anxiety. Sometimes, it can creep up on us when we least expect it. Yet, for some, it’s a daily battle that takes incredible mental strength to overcome each day. Whether you relate to occasional anxiety a la Sunday Scaries or everyday anxiety, we’re sharing a list of things we find helpful to avoid when the overthinking and uneasiness hit.Disclaimer: these are just suggestions and tips to hopefully ease your mind during anxious moments. If you’re dealing with constant anxiety, of course, talk to your doctor.
Skip rest time
What to do instead: Devote at least an hour every day for your own personal self-care. Including it in your schedule will ensure that you have the time to unwind and reset. Why: You’ll feel better about yourself knowing that you put your mental health first.
What to do instead: Meal prep. Plan your meals in advance to ensure they are healthy and fulfilling. Why: By having your meals ready, it will keep you from relying on quick, unhealthy meals and snacks.
What to do instead: Replace your habit of grabbing your cigarette or vape with something else such as lollipops, candy, drinking water or liquids, or chewing gum. Why: Having other oral sensations helps replace the urge.
Lean on toxic relationships
What to do instead: Call or hang out with friends and family who bring out the best in you and lift your spirits. Misery loves company so as easy and nice as it might sound to vent and rant to a person who will tell you what you want to hear (aka toxic behavior), fill your time with positive energy and your close circle. Why: They only add on to your anxiety. Trust us.
Go on social media
What to do instead: Spend time with people in person. Try to avoid mindless scrolling on social media platforms. Why: Although it may seem harmless, you actually are subjecting yourself to social comparison. In moments of anxiety, the last thing you need is the added stress of seeing what other people are doing. Focus on yourself and how you feel during these times. If you spend time with people in person and are engaged with them face-to-face, you will forget what people are doing online. In-person connection is important.
What to do instead: Drink decaffeinated coffee or light herbal teas. Why: The jitters, enough said.
What to do instead: Create schedules and deadlines for yourself. And don’t forget to reward yourself after you’ve accomplished a task (big or small). Why: You’re going to have to do it anyway so just get it done.
Overcommit to plans
What to do instead: Make short-term loose plans. Also, don’t be afraid to embrace a no-commitment weekend. Why: Too many upcoming plans can become overwhelming.
What to do instead: Go for walks and try to plan group workouts to stay motivated. Why: Avoiding exercise when you have anxiety is common, but by working out it’ll refocus your mind and actually get you out of the rut you’re in.
What to do instead: Easier said than done, but focus on problem-solving and try to have an optimistic outlook. Why: Live in the moment. If you focus on the exact problem at hand, you will worry less about all the possible outcomes. Having an optimistic outlook will help you think of all the positive possibilities and results instead of the negative ones.
Not practice self-care
What to do instead: Prioritize yourself and your needs. Implement activities that will increase your mood and overall well-being. Why: Self-care will slow you down and allow you to relax and take the time you need for yourself.
What to do instead: Do not jump to conclusions. Instead of jumping to conclusions, focus on the facts at hand. Why: By doing this, you can avoid making false assumptions. You know what they say: when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.