What I do when I am feeling anxious + stressed

So, full disclosure, since I was about 16 I’ve suffered from panic attacks and anxiety. For a long time, I didn’t talk about it because I didn’t think it was worth talking about. I felt like if I talked about my panic attacks I was overreacting or attention-seeking. As a result, I struggled to deal with my anxiety for a while, and I didn’t know how to cope when I had panic attacks. Most days I would feel fine, but when panic attacks hit I would spiral and it would affect me for days afterwards. Finally, I agreed to go to therapy and it transformed the way I thought about my anxiety.

I went to therapy for a year and while I don’t go anymore, I carry what I learnt with me every day, and highly recommend it to anyone. For me, half of the benefit of therapy was simply talking and digesting my experiences through my own words. It allowed me to identify habits and triggers that would encourage panic attacks and find solutions for dealing with them. My panic attacks haven’t gone away, but now I feel more in control and can often stop them before they start, or at least cope with them more effectively.

One of the ways I’ve helped myself is by making a list of things to do when I am stressed, anxious or generally down. I’ve pinned it up on my wall and it’s great to have as a go-to whenever I need to lift myself up. I thought I’d share this list because, whether you have anxiety or not, everyone has moments when they are really stressed or upset and it is so important to have positive outlets to turn to! So here it is, from my heart to yours:

  • Take a bath or a long shower
  • Take a walk
  • Light candles
  • Read
  • Take a nap
  • Cuddle up in your favourite blanket
  • Make a hot drink
  • Write

  • Sing/Listen/Dance to happy music
  • Watch a good movie (Lilo + Stitch is my go-to or something funny to make you laugh)
  • Meditate
  • Watch a Ted-talk
  • Take some deep breaths
  • Open a window
  • Eat ice cream or fruit
  • Call family
  • Go to the beach
  • Tidy your room

  • Put on cosy clothes
  • Plan a vacation
  • Stretch
  • Go to a bookstore
  • Watch a Youtube video of cute puppies
  • Exercise (yoga, running, gym, swimming, whatever works for you)
  • Turn off your phone
  • Talk to a friend

 

This list has helped me a lot and I hope it can help other people as well! I’d love to hear what you do when you’re feeling down or anxious? Do you have lists as well? Let me know in the comments ♡

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