Living Everyday With Anxiety & Coping With a Checklist
As the school years start, weather changes, and holidays begin, our day-to-day stress is coming to a gradual increase. With stress, often anxiety follows shortly behind. The American Psychological Association defines anxiety as, “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” Additionally, the affected individual may avoid situations and have intrusive thoughts due to anxiety. Anxiety is actually the most common mental illness in the country! This being said, it is important to seek out professional help if the problem becomes a serious disorder. However, for those that are looking to manage less severe symptoms, here are some ways to relax and unwind this fall.
First, it is important to find out what is causing you stress. The cause of your stress could be from a lot of things, such as your environment, family life, work deadlines, schooling, genetics, side effects of medications, hormones, or substance abuse. Over-filling your schedule and stressing yourself out with deadlines will not help! Instead, try focusing on:
● Quality sleep – Getting about 9 hours of good sleep per night is recommended and has been proven to help manage stress and brain health. Better yet, try and go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day in order to create a routine for yourself.
● Time management – Buy a planner! Make sure to prioritize activities you are worried about and give yourself plenty of time to complete them. Make sure to also add in some fun stuff 🙂
● Relaxation techniques or meditation – Meditation and breathing exercises are great for days you just feel like you can’t keep up. Try some websites such as Mindful or Headspace for some easy guided meditations.
● Strengthening your support system of friends and family – Reaching out to loved ones or having people around you that can recognize your concerns and worries will help you be able to manage every day. When things get bad, it’s important to have people you feel you can trust and rely on.
● Staying away from alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs – The use of substances in relation to your anxiety can be very harmful and result in increased worries or anxious emotions.
● Maintaining an active lifestyle – A great outlet for stress is physical activity. Go for a jog or even meet up with friends to play basketball. Getting your heart rate up will help to release some of that built up stress.
● Eat a balanced diet – I know you have heard it before, but you are what you eat! Make sure to get balanced portions of veggies, protein, and grains each day.
● Journaling – Sometimes you may need away to get all those jumbled thoughts out of your head. A great fix for this is journaling. It will help you organize your feelings and put your brain onto paper. One great technique is to write down a list of things you are anxious about. Then, follow that list up with another with more positive thoughts about those topics.
This being said, always remember that your emotions and hardships are valid. If you are concerned about your anxiety being too much to handle at any point, make sure to talk to someone you trust and figure out a way to get help from a medical professional.
This blog post was written for Healthy Young NV by Allison, a High Sierra AHEC Student Ambassador.
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