It is so important that we continue to look after ourselves and I have sat down to compile my top 10 effective ways to help manage anxiety. I recently have suffered from anxiety which you can read all about here. It really threw me for six and I experienced feelings and physical changes in ways that I hadn’t experienced before.
Anxiety, feeling overwhelmed and stress are things we shouldn’t ignore and our body and mind react in certain ways to cope with how and why we are feeling a certain way.
Some days suffering anxiety and being overwhelmed can completely take over. In these times it’s important to have some methods that help you before you reach that point or if you do find yourself drowning.
Here are some methods that I find really helpful when I become overwhelmed
- Take a Few Moments and Breathe. Simple but it can be effective. I have the Breathe App on my Apple watch and I can nominate the time I want to just focus on my breathing, I usually choose 1 minute. Centre yourself, try and put everything out of your mind for just one minute and focus on breathing in and out. Sometimes in those first few moments when you feel yourself getting anxious or overwhelmed it can just recentre you.
- Use Your Senses To Soothe. Simple but it can be effective. I have the Breathe App on my Apple watch and I can nominate the time I want to just focus on my breathing, I usually choose 1 minute. Centre yourself, try and put everything out of your mind for just one minute and focus on breathing in and out. Sometimes in those first few moments when you feel yourself getting anxious or overwhelmed it can just recentre you.
- Phone A Friend. If you can make a phone call to a friend, your mum or your husband, do it. Talking through how you are feeling and having someone empathetic as well as putting you back in a positive mindset can really help. Talk through the things that are overwhelming you and they may be able to help you work through it, give you a different perspective and help put you back at ease with the situation. They can be a fantastic sounding board.
- List Making Or Journal Writing. Often breaking things down into bullet points or writing about how you are feeling, can help a lot. If you have a list of things on your mind, break them down into manageable chunks so you can work through the list and cross things off. Crossing things off your to do list can feel very empowering and you can track your progress. Sometimes writing down how we feel and what is causing it can help us understand better and can make you feel better about getting it out. Record notes on your phone if it helps just to talk about it.
- Exercise. You don’t have to go out and do a hardcore training session, just some fresh air and a light walk can help you feel better. Getting the oxygen around your body, some distraction, and the blood pumping a little may be just the thing to helping keep some of the anxiousness at bay. Even just a short walk around the block may be enough to get those feel-good chemicals working.
- Distraction Through Focus. This isn’t always easy when it is a busy morning but if school lunches have to be made, ironing to be done or other parts of your morning routine try and put what’s overwhelming you out of your mind and focus on the tasks you are doing. Focus on the ironing, or cutting the sandwiches. Try not to think too far ahead. Breathe and focus on the moment.
- Ask For Help. We all need help from time to time and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it. Friends and family are always willing to help out a little if needed so if you need help with something, ASK for it! Just someone else taking the kids to sport, school pick up, running an errand. If you are feeling overwhelmed then allow someone to do something that eases your day but you know it is still getting done. You might surprise yourself with how great your friends can be.
- Take a Step Back and Learn to Say No. If you have too much on your plate between you, the kids, husband, friends, family take a step back. If you have taken on too much this week, then step back and say no. If one week the kids don’t get to sport or the house isn’t clean or something you need to attend. Learn to know your limits and apologise and decline. Taking on too much will only make it worse and you need to look after yourself. Take some time for yourself or cancel an event so you can spend time as a family.
- Bedtime Gratitude Moment. Even when things are feeling too much it is important to find something in our day that was good. Unwind by taking a moment to remember a sunrise, a joke someone told you, a cute baby you saw, a gesture from someone. Even the smallest things are things to be grateful for and finding these positives before sleep ends the day on a positive note with focus on a better day tomorrow.
- Don’t Think All Or Nothing. If something falls off the wagon, it doesn’t make us a failure. Quite the opposite! We a
- re all human and we all make mistakes. You need to ditch the all or nothing attitude and if something doesn’t happen or doesn’t get done, you can work through it and it will be okay. Thinking like this will only make you feel more anxious or overwhelmed so acknowledge your mistake and then think of something else you did that was awesome!
And remember, you have GOT THIS! We all hit stumbling blocks, some larger than others and some harder than others. Focus on all the amazing things you are doing and all the amazing things you are.
Now Go and Kick Some Ass Today!