I’ve been a little plagued with anxiety this last couple of weeks. I owe this to the fact that I have now reached the less-than-six-months-to-departure date and I have so much still to do. VISAs, vaccinations, route-planning, fundraisers to arrange (five different ones!! Posts about each to follow shortly!). On top of this, I’ve had hen do’s, weddings, birthdays and orders AND been working 50+ hours a week….. my stress bucket is full.
I decided it was time to consciously re-visit my steps to tackling anxiety and thought I would share them with you:
1. Breathe deeply. I find the 5/7 method (breathe in for 5 seconds and out for 7 seconds) works well. When we are anxious we are often taking short panicked breaths but this helps to regulate our breathing and also gives us something else to concentrate on rather than being so caught up in our thoughts.
2. Exercise. When we are anxious there is a lot of adrenaline flying around our bodies and this needs to be expelled somehow. In nature, animals stamp their feet to get rid of their adrenaline. Go for a run, hit the gym, do some star-jumps, walk through the countryside, whatever works best for you.
3. Be grateful for the little things. No matter what else is going on in your head, try to focus on the positive rather than the negative, even if that is just the sun shining or being outside with nature. Negative thinking will feed more negative thinking and before you know it, your stress bucket will be full up too! Positive thinking creates the same cycle, it’s hard but it works! Write your positives down to refer back to if it helps 🙂
4. Speak to someone. Don’t try to take on your battles alone. Speak to a friend or loved one. A problem shared is a problem halved as they say and it’s true. Just speaking to someone you love and trust can make a problem seem more manageable and help to put things into perspective.
5. Speak to yourself as you would a friend. This is possibly the most important of all and also sometimes the hardest. Thought processes become habits and habits are hard to break. I used to be terrible for my self-deprecating thoughts; “you’re stupid”, “you’re not good enough”, “you can’t do this”… pretty soon those thoughts take hold and you believe it. Ever hear the quote “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”? It’s so true and so relevant here. You wouldn’t let anyone else speak to you like that, so don’t put up with it from yourself. Positive affirmations are the way forwards.
Drinking plenty of water, eating well and exercising does wonders. My state of mind notably improved once I started regularly running and if you are looking after your insides, you will feel good on the outside and vice versa.
Social media can also be the devil. It can be a source of great anxiety and negativity at times and lead you to reflect negatively on others’ lives compared to your own but try to remember, it is not an accurate representation of life and only a filter. I recommend keeping the use of it to a minimum, especially before bedtime, and read a good book instead.