Hey, I know you. I know you because I’m just like you. You spend most of your time working on homework or studying, dealing with tight deadlines or aggravating coworkers at your 9 to 5 and you rarely seem to find time for yourself. You’re the working student, the working mom, and too-tired-for-much-else kind of person who longs for a pricey massage at a marble-floored spa, or maybe an hour by yourself as you window shop, am I right? Maybe so, maybe not, but one thing is for sure; you deal with anxiety, and sometimes its just too much.
Your heart races even though you’re sitting still, you go back for a third cup of coffee and somehow miss your lunch (or, if you’re like me, you’ll eat whatever is near you), and you want to slap the next person who asks you for something. Sound familiar? It’s how anxiety latches on and it can hold on unless you learn how to calm it.
Did you know that when you’re stressed and trying to calm your anxiety, your body produces the hormone cortisol in preparation to fight or flee the situation at hand? Basically, when we try to out run the T-rex looking for his next snack or trying to leap off the falling cliff because we’re the adventure-seeking individual (what, you don’t do this?), our body prepares us with the stress and anxiety to either fight off the predator or flee the dangers that would otherwise kill us. But, we don’t typically deal with these sort of life-threatening situations and rather deal with tight deadlines, long lists of to-dos before, during, and after work, and worrying about due bills. Interested more about the fight or flight response? You can read about the effects it has on the body here.
I’ve learned a lot in dealing with anxiety from my early days in high school all through college and now as I slowly approach my late twenties. For me, these 5 tips have helped tremendously in calming my anxiety and I hope they help you too!
- Listen to some pumped up, fast pasted music. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and you just need to escape the harsh reality of, well, living in reality, some fun music that you can dance to really should liven your spirits! Personally I really like some dirty hip hop, some salsa, or anything that makes me feel gloriously sexy…regardless if I’ve been wearing nothing but sweat pants with my hair in a bun and no makeup on. Give me some good dirty club music and I’m instantly Kate Upton 😉
- Sweat, Sweat, Sweat! I know you’ve heard this before and you are about to skip ahead to tip # 3 but hear me out. Working up a good sweat does so many good things for your body, mind, and soul. My desire to sweat usually happens naturally once I put on some of the good booty-shaking music I mentioned above. Yea, we all want to lose those pesky 10 pounds but you can also clear the worries out of your mind. And, you can really get in tune with your inner self if you’re into yoga or pilates. I even do this when I simply walk at a faced pace for 45 minutes, but even 10 minutes is perfect if this is all you have! It really helps let you hear yourself instead of your kids, your needy coworkers, or the impatient guy behind you in the Starbucks line. Plus, pounding the pavement with your feet is much more acceptable than pounding your boss’s face when he’s asked you to stay over…
- Take a long, steamy, luxurious shower or bubble bath. What’s better than getting all sudsy with your favorite creamy body wash that smells like sex on the beach after a good kick-ass workout? That’s right, nothing. So get your cute butt in the tub or shower and let your anxiousness melt away along with the salty sweat going down the drain. This is my favorite body wash. It’s instantly relaxing and makes me feel better knowing its vegan and cruelty free!
- Eat a warm, nourishing, and balanced meal. I cannot stress this enough. When your meal is balanced, your body falls into balance. It’s simple. Eliminate the greasy, processed foods for whole natural foods and your body will thank you. I know it’s tempting to grab whatever is available but taking 10 minutes to plan out a meal the night before so you’ll have the ingredients all ready will make things easier and quicker than the delivery guy. What’s better than soup? Throwing some ingredients in your slow cooker will provide you with a tasty and balanced meal right when you walk in the door. Just a bowl and spoon is needed If you need more inspiration, check out the many recipes I’ve saved on my Pinterest board here.
- Completely calm your anxiety and relax with a good cup of tea. Not just any tea, like the old, generic, black tea you find in the back of your cabinet. Choose a calming and caffeine-free tea that will soothe your body as it soothes your soul. Make it an event! It’s all about the relaxing process…Slowly heat the water on the stove and listen the sound of it hissing when it’s ready. Choose your sweetener of choice (my favorite is coconut sugar but you can use any) and pick out your favorite cup-it makes a difference!! Unwrap the tea bag and add the sweetener. Slowly pour the hot water into the cup and enjoy the scent as it livens up the tea leaves. Make sure to steep it for about 10 minutes for maximum flavor, benefits, and so you don’t burn your tongue-that’s not so relaxing. Feel the warmth of it as you breathe it in with your eyes closed, make note of its fragrance. Watch the swirls of the tea when you lift and lower the tea bag. Try to pick out all the flavors when you take your first sip. Once again, it isn’t just about drinking a cup of tea, but to really get into it and making it a process. My current favorite is the Yogi Kava Stress Relief tea. You can buy it here.
Feel free to try one or a combination of these tips in any order depending on how you’re feeling and how much time you can indulge in yourself. Each step can be done for as little or as long as you have or need it to last. Don’t feel defeated if you don’t have three hours to try these, 10 minutes of walking or a quick (but luxurious) hot shower can do wonders. Do what you can but always make time for yourself. You are important and you deserve to unwind and enjoy life a little.
Let me know if you try any of these! I’d love to hear how you may calm your anxiety. There may be tricks I have yet to learn and could benefit from. Thanks for reading 🙂
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