It is no secret I’ve been working through flares of anxiety lately. While my support team has been quick to swoop in and I’ve taken time for self-care, I relied heavily on tips from others who’ve also shared my experience including dear friends and my wonderful doc.
Since the holidays can often shake up a bittersweet cocktail of emotions, I decided to share some coping tips I’ve learned over time with you all. Managing anxiety is possible. It just requires you to step back a bit and take time for yourself and your process. Let’s dig in, shall we?
Here we go, part one of my 10 ways to ease anxiety, naturally:
Sweat It Out
It’s no secret a good workout can help beat anxiety. While I’ve been gravitating more toward BodyRok sculpting classes as my daily go-to, during times of higher stress I book up those spin classes.
Blasts of cardio burn through the shakes, jitters, and other restless feelings anxiety can bring. Hit up a favorite SoulCycle instructor (or Wheelhouse or Flywheel!) class for a boost of inspiration with your sweat as well.
Seeking gentler movement? Opt for yoga to stretch out tension and find peace through breath.
I first learned of Bach’s Rescue Remedy because our vet recommended it for our rather nervous dog during thunderstorms. My dear pal Dom then told me this magical elixir is perfect for humans as well. The blend of natural floral essences instantly calm your mind and body in times of high stress, irritation or anxiety.
I like the potent spray version–two quick blasts on your tongue and you’re good to go. I carry this everywhere! Find it online or at Whole Foods stores. (You can even get it Instacart-ed to work in SF when you’re desperate. Yes, I did that–Rescue Remedy and La Croix delivered to my office on cue.)
One of the best ways I’ve found to sort through the jumble of thoughts and emotions is to write it all down. You don’t need to be a writer to do this. Grab your journal and a pen and let the words flow, free of judgment or editing or purpose.
Write out your prayers, write out what you are grateful for, write out what you are worried about or how your body feels. Write until the anxiety starts to slowly, gently release you from its grasp.
Take a Break
If you get to the point where you just can’t focus on anything else, take a break. Go for a walk, grab some tea (avoid caffeine– this means coffee too, sorry), phone a friend or listen to some soothing music or a good podcast. Give yourself some fresh air and head space to find more clarity before you return to work.
Sometimes it gets to be all a bit too much. Don’t be afraid to take a personal day to care for yourself–your health is important, and we have sick days for a reason. Do not mistake this for a “work from home” day! Turn off your computer. Sleep, rest, read a good book, journal, and relax so you can return refreshed.
Don’t question it. Where lately have you not seen studies saying sleep is the key to a healthy life? Learn what your body requires, as some need more or less than the recommended 8 hours per night.
Form a nighttime routine to prepare your body for slumber. After my goodnights and FaceTime dates, I typically set my phone to “Do Not Disturb” mode (automatically at 10pm), climb into bed and read while sipping Yogi Bedtime tea until I begin to drift off.
Sleep not only gives you the extra energy you need to tackle your day and all the ups and downs it brings, but dreaming allows your brain to process and sort through the jumble of thoughts that can bog us down. Rest up and rest well, my friends.
Come back tomorrow for Part 2.
A big thanks to my sweet pal Dom for her insights and remedies she so swiftly shared with me when I needed it most.