5 Small Things To Do To Help Your Anxiety

5 Small Things To Do To Help Your Anxiety

Another list of ways to help keep your anxiety at bay.
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One thing I focus on in my writing is a sense of comfort. I know anxiety is something many people struggle with even if they don't realize it, and I know how it feels to sit on Pinterest for hours upon hours searching for things to help. And nothing actually helping. I know all the breathing techniques and things you are supposed to do, but I also know that my attention span doesn't last long enough for me to meditate or sit there and breathe. Or, sit there and count five things I hear, see, and smell. So here are five things I do for myself every single day to make sure that my anxiety and I are on the same page. This might work for you or this might be another list of things that don't help you at all:

1. Plan my day the day before

I have noticed that this seems the strangest to others but honestly helps so much. If something wasn't in my original plan, it's not going to be a part of the plan at all. This keeps me from stressing about anything new that needs to get done, or anyone I need to entertain.

2. Stay away from any spontaneity

This goes a lot with #1. I don't do spontaneous things for a reason. Do not hit me up last minute, do not ask me to hang out last minute, just honestly leave me alone if you didn't try to plan ahead of time. The only time I do anything last minute is if I know for a fact it will either not affect my anxiety or will benefit me in some, healthy way. Not to sound stingy with my time, but time gives me the most anxiety. Sometimes I find myself freaking out about not being married with a child because I think I am supposed to have and be both of those things by now.

I know I have all the time in the world, but I don't.

3. Write down all I need to do then and there

So as an anxious individual, I have tried owning a planner for three different years, all three years never keeping the planner past two months. I have found it to be more useful to just tear a piece of paper and write everything I have to do for the day and everything I have to do for the week out. Sometimes, I even write everything big I have due over the semester out and keep it in my binder. I usually do this in the midst of me freaking out though. So as soon as a teacher starts discussing something that is coming up and that is big, I freak out, and just start writing. Probably the most helpful thing I do to instantly calm myself down. It puts everything into perspective for me.

And I am not sure why but keeping a planner makes me even more anxious. I am not sure how people keep up with everything in there and find the time to write everything down. I have really tried but it just isn't my thing.

4. Routine, Routine, Routine

From when I wake up to when I go to bed I make sure there are specific things I do. For instance, I always wake up two hours before whatever class I have to make sure I have time to prepare myself for the day. Yes, I would get up at 6 am for my 8 am classes. I have been this way since High School and honestly, I notice a big difference in my mood if I choose to sleep in.

I see routine as "there's a place for everything and everything in its place." Routine gives a sense of stability in your life and helps you feel less stressed. This could go with #1 and #2, but also leaves room for spontaneity and for you to not have to plan ahead, for a routine is already "planned".

5. Saying "no"

Honestly, I understand this is a problem for many people but once you have this mastered, you are really gonna say "no" to everything. Oh, and boy, does it feel good. "No, I don't wanna go out to eat with you because you didn't plan this ahead of time (#1) and I don't do random, last minute invites (#2)." But I understand how hard it is to say "no", I have been there. I was saying "yes" to everything and everyone. If someone was stuck in California, I would somehow find myself driving to go pick them up. I couldn't say no, and honestly, I think I might overuse it just for the fun of it out.

Also, not only saying "no" but backing out of original plans. Some of my friends hate this one but I am not hating myself for it and that is all that matters to me. If saying "no" or backing out of plans keeps me from having an anxiety attack or takes some weight off, then I will do both.

Cover Image Credit: Tanja Heffner

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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I'm The Person Who Always Says 'Yes' And I'm Tired Of It

I'm sorry for being blunt, but being a people pleaser is a tiring job.

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Being a people pleaser runs in my family. My mom and I talk about this weakness of ours all the time, especially when we are both worn out from saying "yes" too much.

When it comes to academics, I always go above and beyond to ensure I did everything correctly in order to please the professor or teacher. If there's ever an instance where I feel as if I can't meet or complete a task, my anxiety takes over and out comes a handy-dandy panic attack. Typically, this ends with tears rolling down my cheeks, a headache, and someone telling me to worry about myself and to not stress if it's hurting me too much (if they see me panicking, that is).

Me going to check off "handy-dandy panic attack" in my handy-dandy notebook after a long day.

As a high schooler, the game of saying "yes" was easy and somewhat manageable. In college, however, that game has changed, and it has changed drastically. There was something about non-stop work that was added in… not a fan.

I don't know why saying "yes" has always been instilled in me, but I cannot think of a time when I was not constantly saying "yes" to others. The moments you will always catch me saying "yes" are moments when it comes to helping someone. Sometimes I interject myself because I feel guilty if I don't offer the help.

Of course, there are instances when I truly mean the offer I give, but then there are other moments when I highly regret asking. There have been plenty of times where I have gotten myself into too many outings at once and my extroverted-introverted self becomes beyond angry with myself.

If I say "no" to someone, there's this sense of guilt that hangs over my head for at least a week and it doesn't go away.

While I enjoy making others happy in (almost) any way possible, I believe it is time for me to start saying "no." This does not mean I will be saying "no" to every single thing someone asks me to do, but rather, I'll take a second to think about how much time and energy will have to go into the whole situation before diving in headfirst.

My new slogan will be "Just say no… sometimes."

Instead of stressing over every detail of an assignment for class, I'll stress over the major details rather than the microscopic ones. Before I interject myself into a situation, I will take a moment and think about whether my help is even necessary or wanted. This will be no easy task, especially for this anxiety-ridden people pleaser, but I am going to do the best I can. The over-achiever in me needs to sit down, take a chill pill, and over-achieve in the category of saying "no."

For those who also say "yes" way too much: breathe. The world will be okay without our help, even if it feels like it won't.

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