If you're anything like me, it's impossible to relax when anxiety hits. Whenever I start to panic, people always tell me, "take a bath, light some candles, just relax!" but those things don't work for everyone. If my mind is running wild about everything that could possibly go wrong in my life, doing something relaxing only frees up more energy for me to be anxious. For me, the best thing to do when I'm freaking out is distracting myself. I like to pull all my energy away from the anxiety and put it towards something that requires focus. If you've never tried it, here are six things to do that require a little more focus than a hot shower, to help draw your mind away from your worst and wildest thoughts.
1. Pluck your eyebrows
This one is always my go-to stress reducer because I have to be very still and precise to get the perfect shape. It might sound really silly, but if I feel a panic attack coming on, sometimes plucking my eyebrows is the only thing that can keep me grounded.
2. Color a picture
Coloring or drawing can be perfect, especially if you're bad at art because that takes even more focus. To some, coloring can be just as unhelpful as laying down or listening to music, but I find anything that requires at least a little bit of controlled movement is a great way to ease your anxiety. Also, I've always wanted to try those swear word coloring books, they look very therapeutic.
3. Organize something
When I was at my worst points in life, I always found myself waking up at 3 a.m. to organize my room. It is such a good distraction because it's hard to think about anything else when you're wondering why you kept your math test from fourth grade. It also turns all of that negative energy into something useful because a clean room can often make you feel like your life is a little more together.
Write about literally anything! Write a recap of your day; write a short story; write down every word you can think of. If you can handle it, write down what's causing all of your worries. It can be very useful in determining how to combat your issues with a long-term solution. Maybe even write an article about what helps you get past your anxiety (it's working for me so far).
If you can manage to pull yourself out if your room during this trying time, go straight to the kitchen! I know that it can be hard to eat when you're feeling anxious, but you don't even have to eat it. Find a recipe for cookies, brownies, pie, or make up your own recipe. Who cares if it's a disaster, you're just distracting yourself.
A lot of people say that exercising helps when they need to really think something through, but when you're as out of shape as I am, the only thing you can think is, "oh my god make this stop!" I've gone on runs before to think about important decisions and come back to realize I thought about absolutely nothing the whole time. It was a great discovery because although I lost a way of coping with one thing, I gained a way to cope with another thing.