All of us get anxiety from time to time, whether it's because of a job interview, a first date or even if we have an anxiety disorder, we all know what it feels like. Of course, an anxiety disorder is so much more than the odd bout of nerves, but when we're feeling jittery and restless, the techniques we use to calm down are pretty much the same. Recently I've been having pretty bad anxiety, the kind that stops me from sleeping and means I have trouble concentrating, so I thought I'd share some of the things I do that help to relieve it.
- Watch the sky - there's something so soothing about watching the clouds float by.
- Light a scented candle - this makes me breathe in deeper as I'm trying to experience the scents.
- Do some art therapy - I've used adult colouring books for years now, and they really help.
- Listen to some calming music - for me that means Bon Iver or José Gonzàlez.
- Play a game - download some free games on your phone.
- Meditate - sitting still and switching off (once you're practiced) is a huge help.
- Paint your nails - having to remain calm and taking things slow often makes me relax.
- Play with your pet - if I'm feeling really bad the only thing that calms me down is my dog.
- Find a hobby - for me I love taking/editing photos, I'm able to turn off everything around me when doing that.
- Talk to a friend - I have a couple of friends that I know will always make me laugh, they're invaluable at times when I'm stressed.
- Write - a diary, a blog, a poem, a short story, a letter that you may never send.
- Dim the lights - if it's night-time turn off the main light, if it's daytime close the curtains.
- Clean - use up some of that nervous energy.
- Have a hot drink - chamomile tea is my drink of choice when I'm not feeling 100%.
- Change your clothes - fresh, clean clothes always make me feel more human, and clean pj's are the best.
- Sit in front of a fan - I don't know why this works for me, but it does.
- Touch something fluffy - a teddy bear, rug or cushion will all help. Often anxiety will cause us to fidget with our hands, try stroking something that feels good instead.
- Practice breathing techniques - breathe in slowly, gently, deeply.
- Clear your inboxes - replying to emails, texts and social media messages always makes me feel better, seeing a cluttered inbox really stresses me out.
- Stop - whatever you're doing just stop, allow yourself time to relax, focus on your shoulders and neck not being tense, if only for a few minutes.
These are all things that work for me when I'm stressed or anxious and are things that I can do with no preparation. After all, anxiety can hit at the most inopportune times. I hope, if you try any of these tips, they work for you, and if all else fails just give me a shout on social media, I'm always happy to help if I can.
If you have any tips please share them in the comments so that they may help other people.