5 Things to Do When Your Anxiety is High

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).


Anxiety1.png

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.

Meditate

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.


Anxiety4.png

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 ❤️

  1. I have found prayer and meditation to be one of the best recovery forms for me when I feel anxious! You offer great tips here!

    1. Prayer helps me so much too! Thank you!

  2. Such great tips! Hoping your anxiety eases up :/

    1. Thanks Natalie!

  3. These are great ideas! When my anxiety is high, I like to take a walk, hug my puppies, and focus on something routine. I love the idea of dancing it out. That sounds like a fun way to start feeling better again.

    1. Puppies are great for anxiety! Dancing it out really is so much fun 🙂

  4. If you have not tried a weighted blanket, do it! I love mine and it helps with my anxiety!!

    1. Ooo yes! I have a heavy blanket (not actually weighted but so helpful!

  5. Music is definitely my personal go to. It’s great to know there are a few ways to help manage it.

    1. Music can be so helpful to me too!

  6. These are the EXACT five things I would recommend to anyone experiencing high-functioning anxiety. They’re the things I practice as often as I can, and they’ve really helped me. Especially meditation and journaling! I hope that today you’re feeling much more centered and calm inside.

    1. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who uses these! I’m trying to get back in the habit of regular journaling and it has been so good! I’m definitely feeling a lot better today, thank you!

  7. calling a friend always works for me. Get things off my mind and talk it through

    1. Exactly! Sometimes I need to talk about it, and other times I just need to talk to someone else 🙂

  8. Yes to all of these things! I for sure struggle with anxiety, too. I like mixing a lot of these tips into one ritual when I have the change- a warm bath with lavender, chamomile tea, journaling, and my bible. It does wonders! However, when that’s not in the cards, usually making a cup of calming tea and practicing my breathing is my go-to.

    1. I love that ritual of a nice bath! And it’s good to have things we can do if we don’t have time for the longer thing that help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *