Not everyone will find the same coping skills effective with their anxiety when it comes in with a vengeance, but here are some tools and tricks that I use to help me get through those times.
- I have fallen in love with my weighted blanket. I put off buying one for so long because I wasn’t sure if it was just a fad, or if it was something that was going to help. After all, they are slightly expensive. It was so worth it! I started with a 12lb blanket and decided after a month or so that I was needing something with a little more weight, so I ordered a 20lb blanket which turned out to be the perfect weight for me. The 12lb blanket is now on to the couch to use as a throw.
I use my heavier blanket every night when I sleep. It helps me to fall asleep quicker and have better quality. If I’m sitting on the couch watching TV or I notice in general that I’m feeling anxious, I will use the lighter one. As soon as I’m under it, I can feel the relief!
- Smart lights have become a huge help for me. Any time I am feeling overwhelmed or desperate for calm and quiet, I make the room as dark as possible and turn on my smart lights and change them to a low blue color. This helps tremendously. I’m sure there are cheaper solutions out there, but I have my whole place outfitted with these so that I am not limited to hiding out in one room.
- Writing and mood tracking have also become huge for me. When I write, I can get all my thoughts out on the page, rather than keeping them swirling around in my head. I’ve tried to use notes on my phone or typing on a computer, but because my fingers can move quickly and keep up with what my brain is saying, I find that it increases my anxiety. Putting a pen to paper forces my mind to slow down so that I can get the words on paper. It is also nice to look back and be able to reflect. Moleskine notebooks are currently my favorite as I am a light writer, so I don’t tend to have issues with ghosting. I also use TUL pens which are amazing! Any creative outlet is really perfect for this. Writing just happens to be mine. Painting, drawing, and coloring are also great. Maybe you are a musician? Create some music!
- Puppy cuddles! or any fluffy cuddles! Making myself slow down is the trick, so sometimes I’ll just curl up with my pup and get some cuddles in. He loves it and so do I. Throw together a mix of blue lights, weighted blanket, and cuddles with the pup and I start to feel better in no time.
- Last but not least, talking to friends helps. It doesn’t make me ignore the issue, but it helps me to take my mind off of it so that I don’t keep fixating on the problem. You don’t necessarily have to tell them that you’re having a struggle with your anxiety. A light-hearted conversation is perfectly acceptable. Thankfully, I have people in my life that I can be open and honest with about what’s going on. that may not be you at this point, but I do recommend finding someone(s) that you can be honest with. It just takes time sometimes.
I found a list of coping strategies for anxiety from Psychology Today that I think is worth sharing. As previously mentioned, not everything that works for me will work for you. Find your combination!
I want to hear from you! What works for you when anxiety strikes? How do you cope?