So many struggle from anxiety these days – truth be told I am sure we all do. I thought I would share my top 10 tips to help manage anxiety.
Sleep – Getting enough good quality sleep is key to managing anxiety. When we aren’t getting enough good sleep we can’t show up as our best selves, and the anxiety becomes harder to manage when exhausted. Keeping yourself on a schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday, including weekends. You also want to turn off devices at least an hour before bed as the blue light will interfere with your sleep. Many people get insomnia with their anxiety, if that’s the case this component of sleep routine and sleeping in a dark, quiet room is essential.
Regular Exercise – Exercise has been shown time and time again to help with anxiety and stress. It has proven to be an amazing outlet for me personally. I feel so much better when I move my body. Daily movement is key – jogging, weight lifting, classes. Whatever you like best. Choose something you enjoy so that you will keep at it, walking is a great form of exercise and doesn’t require any gym membership or equipment. Keep in mind that certain more intense types of exercise ie) marathon training or strenuous exercise like cross-fit actually raises your cortisol levels. Cortisol is your stress hormone, so if you are suffering from high levels of stress you may want to avoid these type of exercises for the time being.
Get outside – Being in nature is so good for our souls. If you are feeling anxious and can get outside for a walk you will notice that you will often start to feel better. Focus on what you see, hear, smell and touch – it is very grounding and brings you out of your head and into the present moment. This exercise of being aware of your 4 senses can be done anywhere and anytime you are feeling anxious.
Breathing techniques – If you feel yourself getting anxious try a breathing exercise. One I love is slowly breathing in for a count of 4, holding that breathe for a count of 4, and then slowly letting it go for a count of 4. Repeat. You should find that your system starts to slow down almost immediately as you reset your nervous system.
Avoid dietary triggers – Caffeine and alcohol are common triggers that should be avoided or at least minimized. It is also worth exploring whether there are other foods/beverages that affect you individually. I highly recommend doing an elimination diet with people I work with and then we work through reintroduction to see if certain foods are exasperating symptoms. For me personally, food has a huge impact on my anxiety.
Journalling – Sitting down with a journal whether it be a journal that prompts you or just free writing can be very therapeutic. Doing this for 5 minutes a day can have a great impact on your life. If you are free writing jot down whatever comes to mind with no editing or judgment – it really helps get your emotions out and perhaps help you uncover what might be causing the anxiety at that time.
Meditation – This has always been hard for me, but I keep trying to find what works for me. When I do it regularly I do find there to be a great impact on my overall stress levels. I need support when I meditate and am currently using the Headspace app and finding it very easy to do consistently and like the format of it. I am now scheduling time in my day to meditate for 10 minutes – the reality is if we don’t schedule things they often don’t happen.
Essential Oils – I started using DoTerra essential oils and the impact they have had on many areas of my life have been profound. I now have oils that I reach to if I feel anxiety creeping in. One of my favourites is Copaiba, a drop on the roof of my mouth a few times a day has really helped. I will also diffuse Copaiba and a Peace blend together which is very calming.
Supplements – There are many great supplements out there specifically formulated to help anxiety and recommendations are made based on the individual. Some general recommendations that help anxiety are B-complex vitamins, probiotics, omega-3s, and magnesium biglysinate. Adaptogenic herbs are also extremely helpful such as – ashwagandha, rhodiola, and ginseng. Adaptogens help balance, restore and protect the body – essentially they will help you respond to stress by normalizing physiological functions. It is always best to have a customized supplement protocol based on your individual needs and situation. Clear Medicine Wellness program will help anyone with anxiety.
Daily joy – Finding activities that make you happy and that take you out of your head are going to help so much. Make a list of 10 things that bring you joy, they can be very simple like having a cup of coffee, walk with your spouse, reading a book, talking to a friend, cooking, or doing a yoga class. Commit to 2-3 things off your list each day. Increasing joy in your daily life will help reduce anxiety.
I hope that you find some of these to be useful. There is no quick fix to anxiety, but hopefully, you can start implementing some of these tools in your daily life to help when it all becomes too much. If you want support as you try to help manage your anxiety along with diet and supplement recommendations customized for you reach out and book an appointment with me.