I had this post all planned out, ready to share what I do when my anxiety is high. Then, every time I sat down to write it, nothing came out.
This morning I had a PTSD episode and woke up feeling extremely anxious. I’m lying in bed, typing this on my phone, and wishing I could be sleeping. Because at least if I’m sleeping, I won’t feel as anxious, right?
But I’m awake and anxious and finally the words are coming. This morning I’m going to share the 5 things I do when I’m anxious (all of which I’ll be doing today).
5 Things to do when your anxiety is high
I decided to write this post after Thanksgiving last year. I normally make a plan for the holidays but I forgot. Which wasn’t great, since Thanksgiving is a huge trigger for me with anniversary dates of abuse + other trauma. Over the week I did not cope with my anxiety in healthy ways.
These 5 things I’m sharing with you today are things that help me. I am not a doctor or a professional. These are coping skills that help my anxiety, and I wanted to share them with you.
Journal it out
Writing is sooo helpful, even on days when you aren’t feeling anxious. It’s a great way to get feelings and thoughts out of your head in a healthy way. Sometimes I just need to journal so I can get the thoughts out and continue on my day.
Dance it out (move your body)
I originally got the idea to dance it out from Grey’s Anatomy. I started dancing it out shortly after Von was born and I was struggling with my usual PTSD + some postpartum emotions (I was never officially diagnosed with PPD, but it’s likely I had it.) Dancing has always been one of my favorite ways to move my body and it helps so much. Some of my go-to dance playlists right now are these: my dance it out playlist, the Lover album by Taylor Swift, and my 2020 playlist.
If dancing isn’t your thing (though I promise it will boost your mood). Go for a walk, do some jumping jacks, just get your body moving.
I know you might be groaning here, because I used to feel the same way about meditating. Like, my anxiety is high and my brain won’t stop and you want me to meditate??? But even if you pause for 30 seconds, it helps. Sometimes all i can do is focus on my breath for 10 seconds, but it still helps ground me!
Read a book
Sometimes, when I’m feeling anxious I feel so untethered. My skin feels too tight and I just want to get out of my brain. When I feel this way, it’s often the unhealthy coping mechanisms that I turn to (binge-watching TV, day-dreaming about a different life, one that’s anxiety-free and then I never want to leave the daydream that’s in my head). But sometimes my brain does need a distraction before I can come back to reality. So I pick up a book and read for a few minutes.
I suggest picking up a fiction novel. Just so you can take your mind to a different place for a while. (If you need some suggestions I recommend these books or these.)
Call a friend
Or your mom. Or your grandma. Or your sister. You don’t even have to tell them you’re anxious or that today isn’t such a great day. Talking to another adult (as opposed to my toddler who I spend 99% of my time with) helps a TON. It gets you out of your own head and into another conversation.
These are all things I do (or at least try to do) on days my anxiety is through the roof. I don’t have to be immobilized. I can get up and keep going, but sometimes I need a reminder of the simple things that do help me so that I can cope in healthy ways.
Have you done any of these when you’re anxious? Do you do anything else that you’d add to the list? Let’s chat in the comments!
Again, I am not a professional. If you are struggling with anxiety, please reach out to your general health care provider or a counselor to get help ❤️