I know that I’m not alone when I say trying to endure anxiety daily can be challenging. If you’re anything like me, you sometimes sit around watching your responsibilities pile up, recognizing that you don’t have it in you to start. This past week, in particular, has been incredibly difficult for me, but like many other times before, I’m learning to bounce back.
When your body feels entirely out of control, your sleep patterns are wavering, and you can’t seem to focus on anything-you have to find a way to reset. I’ve spoken a lot about taking reset days and how to make the most of them, but sometimes we don’t have an entire day to set aside. Occasionally, we’ll have to reset hours or minutes before we have to get back to our responsibilities, and I wanted to share a few things that have helped me along the way.
How I Cope With Anxiety
Over the years, anxiety has become a part of my daily life, and as much as I’d like to change that, I know it may never honestly go away. So, instead, I’ve had to practice restoring my mental clarity so I could get back to doing what I love without feeling overwhelmed.
My anxiety takes on different forms. Sometimes, I find it hard to breathe when I’m on the verge of a panic attack. Other times, I can’t get out of bed or stop thinking about all the things that could go wrong. I had to learn to get out in front of it, stop it from festering, so I could find my routine again.
Here are a few of the motions I go through when I need to calm myself down when anxious.
Remember to Breathe
It may sound relatively simple, but when your anxiety is at an all-time high, it can be challenging to remember. Sometimes, when I feel lightheaded, withdrawn, and uneasy, I have to remind myself to breathe. I’ll usually pull out a guided meditation to follow, to give myself a few moments of calm even if they don’t end up lasting. With enough practice, I’ve been able to restore my sense of peacefulness when anxiety may get the best of me.
Guide Yourself Down From the Adrenaline Rush
When your room is spinning, your head feels heavy, and you can’t seem to get the weight off of your chest, it can be hard to bring yourself back down from all of that. I’ve learned to take it slow, go through the motions that I need to calm me down, and if I have to ride out the worst of it, so be it.
It is by no means easy and learning to take control of how your anxiety affects you will take time. Over time, it has gotten easier for me, but I still fall back into old patterns every once in a while. What matters is that there is always a way to calm down, to reset, you have to find what works for you.
Have a Key Activity You Associate With Calm
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you picture yourself relaxing? For me, it’s usually curling up reading a book that’s piqued my interest, helping me escape for a little while. Associating that time with relaxation has helped me whenever I need a moment to get myself together and get back to work. If I feel particularly anxious, I’ll read until it has started to dissipate, focusing on the words in front of me, until I can concentrate again.
The Productivity Complex
Trying to remain productive when your body and mind seem to be working against you may feel like a losing game. You may even ask yourself if you’re really cut out to be a productive person, coming down hard on yourself for not abiding by the rules you think productive people follow.
Productivity means different things to different people, and you have to figure out what it means for you. For me, I want to go to sleep at the end of the day feeling like I accomplished something like I’m a step closer to achieving the goals I’ve set for myself.
Don’t feel guilty for not being able to be 100% productive all of the time because that just isn’t realistic. Instead, focus your attention on what helps you get back to a place of calm. Find what helps you to restore that productivity without sacrificing your mental health in the process.
I hope these tips help you cope a bit better and stay productive in a way that’s beneficial to you.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.