Whether you are (decidedly) in the best stage of your life or cannot seem to catch a break, we all deal with anxieties. These steps may make your days a little easier. No, you do not have to do them every day — do the ones that suit you best instead as you please. I have found that these are simple habits to get into when I feel stressed about the days coming up or am excitedly waiting for them to come and whisk me away.
1. Make your bed as soon as you wake up
This is one that I am sure many are familiar with but not in a way that would necessarily be beneficial to your mental health. I have personally found that whatever my mood is at the time in my life, it is represented by the cleanness of my room. For example, when I am stressed or busy with my day-to-day, my room is typically in shambles. My bed is never made, my clothes are on the floor, and I am keeping that bag of chips on the side of my bed "just in case I get hungry" (sure, we'll go with that). However, when I am ahead on school work and have exciting days to come, my room is clean, my windows are open, and everything has a place. A way in which I have found myself controlling this process is that I try to make my bed every day as soon as I wake up. Not only does it start my day off with a clear mind, but it also does not allow me to fall back into bed as easily and even wakes me up more.
2. Gradually wake up earlier on days off
Trust me, I get it. Waking up is hard especially when you are a college kid and putting everything off until the last minute all-nighters. But, I have found that I eat better, pay attention more, and am grateful to have a full day to explore new experiences if I wake up earlier than I usually do. Not to mention, my anxieties drastically decrease with a more controlled sleep schedule. One of the lessons that I learned in this, however, is that this must be done gradually. It may backfire on you if you typically wake up at noon every day and decide to set your alarm for eight in the morning. When I did that, I either fell back asleep for even longer or I would just turn my alarm off because my body was not used to waking up that early without having to go to a mandatory event like class. Instead, I set my alarm back thirty minutes every day that I had an off day from class or work, which was more efficient. The earlier you wake up, the better you will feel later—I promise.
3. Journal any anxieties you may have
I know that for me, my anxieties begin to kick in right before bed. You know, right when I am finally alone for the day when it is quiet and when I need to sleep the most. We all have a way of expressing ourselves; mine just happens to be in writing. After a late night chock-full of anxieties and "what-if's," I went to the local CVS on campus and bought a $3 spiral notebook to keep in my room. I use this notebook to jot down anything that's making me worried, so I do not necessarily spend time mulling over during the day. I have also found that writing the exact words that you are thinking is the best way to expel the thoughts that run through your mind. Use your journal to "word vomit" on (for lack of a better term). By doing this, you will finally get that night sleep that you deserve and will wake up in a better mood.
4. Pin inspiring quotes on Pinterest
Sure, you pin your favorite room decor, styles, and nail designs on your Pinterest boards. Get this: I have found that pinning inspiring quotes, especially in times of stress, have helped me more than I thought they would. It is kind of like that idea of surrounding yourself with the reflection of who you want to be. By filling your mind with positive, sometimes powerful or encouraging quotes, it enables you to go to sleep in a happier peace of mind as well as begin your day on the right foot. The benefit to Pinterest boards is that they can be reflected on later. If you ever find yourself falling for the same worries, look back and remind yourself of what inspired you. Not to mention, some of them make the perfect background for phone or laptop screens!
It is completely human to have anxieties, however, no one should feel like they have to struggle with them. These simple actions may allow you to breathe a little more easily, get a little more sleep, and make your daily activities a little bit more enjoyable. While you do not have to try all of these activities, I would encourage you to give one or two of them a shot--you may be surprised!