If you’re anything like me, you’ll understand what it feels like to be constantly worried about something, whether it be big or small. I struggle with anxiety on a daily basis, and it’s often difficult to prevent it from taking over my life because I’m always just so stressed about everything! Something that someone else could easily brush off, I could make a huge scene out of in my head and get delusional. I try my best to hide and suppress my anxiety, but at the end of the day, it all comes crawling back to me… especially late at night when all the deep thinking happens! I have my days where I feel small, slow, and insignificant… or I’ll lay in bed wondering what my purpose in life or destiny is.
It’s hard (if not impossible) to completely get rid of anxiety 100% if it’s part of who you are, but there are definitely ways to look on the bright side and try to relax a little. Here are just some of the things that have helped me overcome anxiety. Hope it helps others in a similar boat! 🙂
1. REACH OUT TO A RELIABLE FRIEND
I may not have many friends, but the ones I do have are surely quality. For that, I’m extremely blessed. I have a good friend who I’ve now known for 10 or so years, and it’s crazy because we both didn’t realize how much time has passed! He has seen me go through my boyfriends, my school years, career aspirations, and other changes within me over the course of time. I trust and enjoy talking to him about basically anything going on in my life, and it’s nice because he is older than me and can provide some “life insight” when I need it. The best part is, he’s a friend I don’t compare myself to, and I can trust that he won’t judge me. Recently, I reached out to him about my heavy looming worries and life doubts, and he surprisingly opened up to me some too, and shared with me some of his personal experiences when he was at my age. Had I not started this “deep conversation” with him, our usual sillies would have kept going, and I would continue to feel alone and think to myself that something was severely wrong with me. The truth is, most people (including myself!) only flaunt their positives on social media, so it’s easy to feel like you’re not enough or not progressing quickly enough in life. It’s always nice to have someone put things into perspective and remind you that you’re normal, on the right track, and that things will work out in the end. Spilling the beans doesn’t completely get rid of the worries, but you can count on a hand to hold or an ear to listen when things get tough. There is nothing better than solid reassurance from a good friend when you feel like you’re falling apart. Thank you, long-time friend who has stayed by my side… you know who you are 😉
2. TREAT YOURSELF
Retail therapy is a real thing, and it works! Not saying you should spend your entire paycheck or savings, but a little treat here and there couldn’t hurt. Go ahead and get that manicure you’ve been wanting for a while, or buy a dozen roses for yourself. Because why not? Personally, I’ve been thrifting on Craigslist a lot lately for cool finds and steals (mostly furniture, and I just added my first microfiber high-back office chair to my workspace late last week… like new for $25 originally $140+! 😀 I feel like a big working girl now!). Getting new things and watching the savings add up have been very (oddly) therapeutic…
3. TAKE A HOT BATH
I recently took my first bath in our new apartment and it felt great! There’s nothing better than having some alone time to think, but in a relaxing, comfortable setting. Something about the heat and humidity in the bathroom is calmingly soothing. For a little something extra, light up your favourite candle!
4. KEEP YOUR SURROUNDINGS NEAT & ORGANIZED
Starting this year, I’ve been really putting in extra effort to be a neater person. It’s especially important to me now because I work from home and… well, am home A LOT. I’ve been making the bed every morning before starting the day, vacuuming weekly, keeping my desk clear of clutter, and much more. This is not only a great lifestyle practice, it also has helped curb unnecessary stress. It’s always refreshing going into a clean, organized space!
5. TRY SOMETHING NEW
Feeling uninspired or stuck in life usually contributes to anxiety, stress, and depression. So, it’s important to get out of your comfort zone every now and then and try something new. You just never know what will come of it. Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired when it comes to creating content for my blog, and just life in general. I feel like I’m lacking substance and just… well, feeling very “meh.” After picking up a full-time writing job, I think I may just be writing too much (though I wouldn’t trade my job for anything else right now!). So, I just took the leap and purchased my first acrylic paint set. I’ve been wanting to try painting again (hated it in high school art class though), and see if I can get my creative juices flowing again, through a new art medium. Getting out of your comfort zone will help you explore new aspects of life and feel more meaning in it.
6. ADD LIVE PLANTS & CANDLES TO YOUR SPACE
Sometimes, our moods can be easily changed with just the addition of live plants and candles to our living spaces. Live plants add colour and life, while candles add a soothing scent — both of which are pleasing to the senses. Potter got me a beautiful lilac purple orchid for Valentine’s Day, and I added a fresh lilac candle to my desk in the room. It smells heavenly, and working on my desk is now something to look forward to!
7. FOCUS ON YOU
It can be extremely difficult to not compare yourself to other people, in a world where we are constantly looking at other people’s social media feeds (where again, people only display their highlight reels) and talking to others (who will not outwardly complain to you unless you open up to them first about your problems). We often forget that the people we compare to are just as human and have their problems as well. I am guilty of comparing myself to others my age whom I feel are ahead of me in life even when I know that it’s not good for me, and I’ve been working on getting better with this and just focusing on myself, my goals, and my path. Consciously counting my blessings and realizing that things could be a lot worse (probably not the best way to look at things, but hey, it works), and just being thankful for what and who I have has also been giving me a great peace of mind.
8. REMEMBER YOU’RE NOT ALONE
It’s easy to feel anxious when you feel like you’re alone. The thing to keep in mind is that while many people are in the same boat, they don’t want to reveal their weaknesses or share their negatives. I’m not too much of a podcast person, though my boyfriend is, and has found it therapeutic to listen to them. Personally, I like to go on YouTube and search up videos from those I aspire to be like, and hear about their beginning experiences and how they got where they are now. It’s so easy to admire someone’s success now and disregard their personal challenges to get where they are. I recently stumbled across blogger Chriselle Lim‘s heart-to-heart video about her broke beginning days and how she persevered through emotional and physical obstacles to be where she is today. I mean, the principles discussed are all common sense, really… basically, everyone starts somewhere, and then they achieve success. But, it’s also really reassuring to hear them talk about their real past and personal tips on how to be successful, among other things. It’s a good reminder that even your idols go through or have experienced what you are currently going through now. So breathe, everything will be okay. 🙂
There you have it — my 8 tips for overcoming anxiety and stress. What are some measures you take to alleviate anxiety?