I trust we can all agree over the last few months; society has abruptly changed, leaving us overwhelmed with anxiety. From losing my full-time job due to the pandemic to feeling powerless over the recent riots, I have struggled with my mental health, nearly defeated by stress. Whenever I faced anxiety and depression in the past, I wouldn’t eat nor sleep, and rarely took care of myself. What I have come to realize is my anxiety only has power over me if I surrender to it. Over the years, I have learned ways to help me cope and even master my fears. It started by being more compassionate to myself. I stopped judging myself for how I felt and accepted; it is perfectly normal to feel anxious. And I know I am not alone. Here are five things I do to help alleviate stress.
1. Remove Judgement
Judging yourself is a waste of time. The longer you sit in those feelings, the longer it takes for you to move through them and get to the other side, which is peace.
2. Practice Self-Care
Identify what it is you need to show up for yourself. Whether that be developing a meditation habit, creating daily morning rituals, practicing yoga, or getting support from friends via weekly video chats.
3. Move Your Body
As soon as you start to feel uneasy, get up, and move. Go outside for a run, dance, exercise, shake your arms. We hold tension, stress, and trauma in our bodies, so it’s important to shake it off. [Read more]
4. Get Off Your Phone
Social media can often be one of the biggest triggers of anxiety for me. Once I started limiting time on Instagram and Facebook, I found I was less stressed over my feed. Start by putting your phone down for a few hours a day.
5. Talk to a Professional
Having a therapist to talk to every week has helped a great deal. I have been able to develop coping skills such as breathing techniques to establish internal order. Talking to friends is nice, but being able to speak with a professional is essential for anyone dealing with persistent anxiety.
If you are looking for a therapist, Christine Gutierrez, one of my best friends, is a counselor with BetterHelp. Click here to sign up and take 10% off your first session, or apply for a scholarship.
Go easy on yourself. Whatever you do today, let it be enough.