The last 2 years hasn’t done my anxiety any good. Normally, I’d avoid doing a big post about it because I keep getting told to not make it public. Yet, I think I should do something to help others in the same position. After all, the last few years have been brutal on all of us.
First, I want to state that these are things that work for me. That doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. Each person has their own flavor of anxiety. So, take this list as possible methods to help you through anxiety. Let’s get right to it:
- Oils– This always sounded hokey to me, but I tried it out long ago. Mostly to help me sleep soundly. I have a small oil diffuser and a sleepy time mix that is primarily lavender. Not a fan of lavender, but I realized that it helps. I wasn’t using it for a while and then my nightly panic attacks started coming back. Decided I had nothing to lose, so I dug out the diffuser and it worked. I’ve noticed that I don’t sleep as well if I don’t have it on now. Keep it right on the headboard too. Is it really the oil or a psychosomatic thing? No idea, but it helps.
- Meditation– I’ll admit that I don’t do this as well as I should. There are various apps that help. I had one on my old phone, but it’s long gone. Just taking a moment of silence and letting your mind wander. This does have its risk because your mind can go in a sour direction. So, having music or the television on could help. Just has to be something with noise that you don’t have to give full attention too. Ceiling fans can help here as well. Strange addition, but I’ve found the spinning blades can have a mesmerizing effect when I’m really stressed.
- Therapy– Probably the hardest one to do because you need medical coverage to pay for it. Even then, it might not be on the list of approved services. So, an alternative is just having a friend who you can talk to when you’re stressed. That one person who understands you have anxiety and is willing to listen can go a long way. It helps get your thoughts and emotions out because keeping them pent up is one way we set off panic attacks and anxiety spirals.
- Ignore/Call Out/Talk To the ‘Calm Down Crew’– We all know these people. They mean well, but their advice has the opposite effect. If you’re in the midst of a panic attack, the words ‘calm down’ or any similar suggestion can be triggering. Anxiety can come with a level of paranoia and depression, which makes these words appear condescending. They’re not perceived as being said to help the sufferer, but to make the speaker more comfortable with the situation. So, you start to think the other person simply wants you to go away or be quiet, which is upsetting. The ways to handle it are ignore (difficult), call out (easiest due to emotions), or talk to (middle because it requires controlling emotions).
- Yoga (Low Stress Activity)– I don’t actually do yoga, but I know it’s suggested all the time alongside meditation. I’ve tried it, but it doesn’t really do it for me. I think the point is to have a quiet, low stress activity to help keep you relaxed. In place of this, I do jigsaw puzzles and, if possible, read manga.
- Hydration– This is an odd one and I might be stretching. One of the issues I have with my anxiety is that it can set off gastrointestinal issues. I’ve recently noticed that those are minimized or avoided if I keep myself hydrated. Even in the midst of physical suffering, drinking from my 64 ounce jug to get a full day’s worth goes a long way to resetting my system. It’s important because anxiety can set off the physical issue, which creates more anxiety. It creates a nasty cycle that can last around a week if I’m not careful.
- Writing– Keeping a journal where you write your thoughts can help purge them and give you clarity. Mentally, anxiety can make you spiral into dark regions of your mind or just run in circles. Maybe it’s the thoughts not having an outlet, so writing them in a stream of consciousness can get them out. It doesn’t even have to be a journal, but a piece of paper that you toss, burn, or shred once you’re better. Since it’s just for you, it can be in any way that you want with no care for organization, spelling, and grammar.