How I Manage My Anxiety


Solutions To Common Things That Give Me Anxiety

Suffering from anxiety is no joke. It can affect you at any time of the day and turn a productive day into a day when you get nothing done. Some of my biggest triggers for an anxiety attack are feeling out of control, hectic environments, lack of sunshine, and too much on my plate. This is what I do to keep my anxiety at bay when things start to feel out of place.

Being overwhelmed or overstimulated

Sometimes there’s too much going on around me. Maybe the house is too loud and I can’t focus on my thoughts or even tons of traffic on the way to work can be overwhelming. Or maybe I have multiple tasks to accomplish and it’s pulling me in all different directions causing my thoughts to be all over the place. Whatever it is that is causing me to be overwhelmed, leading to anxiety, I need to take a few steps to calm down.

What to do

Breathe. Taking deep breaths can relax you tremendously. Inhale slowly and exhale. After you have taken a few deep breaths you can clearly think about what’s really causing the anxiety and what you should do about it.

Plan of action. Mentally or physically make a plan to tackle whatever is causing your anxiety. I love to make a physical list of everything I have to do and then I will organize it based on priority. Seeing what I have to do and when I need to do it, relieves a ton of stress and anxiety when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

Meditate. I personally don’t partake in too much meditation but when I do, it definitely helps. And I always hear positive stories about meditation, I would give it a try if you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

Not going outdoors for long periods of time

If you’re new here, you may not know but nature is my therapy; it’s my number one stress and anxiety reliever. Whenever I’ve had a bad day, I can always rely on going outside for some fresh air to calm me down. I love feeling the wind and hearing the birds chirp. But say it’s raining or you can’t go outside because of social distancing and quarantine restrictions – what happens then?

What to do

If you can’t take a walk or get outdoors for some nature therapy, open a window and light a candle. Getting fresh air in your home can turn a chaotic environment into a peaceful setting. I also love lighting a candle with eucalyptus or lavender scent for their relaxing properties. I even have some essential oils that I massage into my skin when I need to relax. You can also get a diffuser and air purifier and place some drops of essential oils in there to create the ultimate relaxing environment. The diffuser will dispense the essential oils in the air and the air purifier will ensure that the air in your home is nice and crisp.

To really go the extra mile in creating a naturalistic ambiance in your home, you can put on some nature sounds on a sound machine or put nature videos from YouTube on your computer or television.

When my house is a mess

When my house is in disarray, so is my life and emotions. I especially feel this way after I come home from a long day at work and everything is out of place in my home. When I can’t find things in my room, there are dirty dishes, and the dirty laundry is piled up; I’m freaking out. I especially freak out when I’m not the one that made the mess, my son and husband did. There’s nothing worse than leaving your home clean and coming home to a mess.

What to do

If you’re the one making the mess and can’t keep up with cleaning because you are too busy during the week, make a cleaning schedule. If you have a larger home, you can break up certain sections of the house into different days. For example, the kitchen on Sundays, the bathrooms on Mondays and the bedrooms on Fridays. If you’re not the one making the mess, and it’s your family, then it’s time to delegate tasks.

My son is only two, but he is responsible for putting his toys away in his room and putting his dirty dishes in the sink. When my husband is home, he takes charge of cleaning the master bathroom and bedroom and living room. I usually keep the guest bathroom, kitchen and, dining room clean. Now obviously this doesn’t always work because let’s be honest, we get lazy sometimes. So if I see certain people *clears throat* my son and hubby, slacking off, I turn into Commander Monique and tell my soldiers to fall in line. It comes off a little naggy, and they do get irritated sometimes but I didn’t make the mess by myself, so I will not clean it up by myself. It’s also crucial for my sanity.

When things happen out of my control

I strongly dislike not being in control of what happens in my present or future life. It gives me extreme anxiety knowing that there are other people or other factors that have a say in my life. Even if it’s just something as simple as driving in traffic, which is most of the time unavoidable.

What to do

You cannot control everything and everyone, all you can do is control is yourself and how you react. 

I repeat this phrase almost daily to myself. When I’m sitting in traffic on the way to work and I feel the anxiety starts to build up, I take some deep breaths, turn up my music, and carry on. If I don’t agree with what someone is saying or their actions and I notice that my heart starts to beat a little faster, again, I’ll take some deep breaths, determine the real problem and convince myself to move on.

It definitely takes time to fully accept that you can’t control everything but the more you practice, the easier it will become.

By using the above methods for different scenarios, I am able to manage my anxiety without medication. I feel empowered that I have all the tools I need to maintain my sanity. By all means, do what you need to do to ensure your mental health is in check.

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