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.