Coping with Anxiety
Putting it plain and simple, anxiety is kind of a bitch…but you already knew that. Just like irl bitches, anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes but luckily so do ways to cope. Here are 10 test-and proven ways to cope with it.
- Meditate. I know, I’m sorry I had to. I’m not going to lie and tell you that meditation will immediately fix all your problems, but in the long run it works wonders. Try doing a guided meditation every day for a month. You can spare 10 minutes and trust me, you’ll feel the difference sooner rather than later.
- Stop Everything And Watch A Sitcom. I swear by this one. I’m a firm believer that the cure for everything is laughter. If you can’t spare a 20-minute break, look for a short standup set on YouTube. The Comedy Central Stand-Up and Laugh Factory channels have thousands of videos. You can find the channels here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtw7q4SyOeoCwM1i_3x8lDg , https://www.youtube.com/user/TheLaughFactory/featured
- Soak Your Hands in Cold (basically freezing) Water. If you’re ever in the position, where you feel like you can’t breathe, your hands are shaking and/or it genuinely feels like you’re going to die, put your hands in a bowl with ice and water for 30 seconds. If you can’t find a bowl, put them under the faucet. The cold sends a shock to your system and it helps lower your heart palpitations. I don’t really know the science behind this, but my therapist gave me this tip years ago and I’ve sworn by it ever since.
- Do Something Repetitive. It’s surprisingly soothing. When I feel anxiety creeping in, I like to French-braid my hair. Focusing solely on grabbing the right sections is calming. I have a friend who paints her nails, and another one that likes to print out Barbie drawings and color them in.
- Talk About It. I’m tired of everyone and their mother telling millennials to go to therapy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a therapy ENTHUSIAST through and through. But truth be told, we are in a pandemic and a lot of people can’t afford therapy right now- and that’s okay. Try calling a friend, they might not be able to give you the best advice but they can listen. Sometimes all we need is someone to listen to us rant. If you feel like you can’t talk to anyone, sit down with your thoughts and write it out. Write everything that you feel. Don’t judge yourself. Let the words pour out of your pen. You won’t believe how much better you feel when you’re done. For some reason, every problem seems smaller when written on paper.
- Start Practicing EFT Tapping. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques. I discovered this in 2019 and I genuinely cannot believe how I lived without it before. With EFT, you tap on specific points of your face and upper body that creates a balance in your energy system. It sounds insane, I’m aware. But hey, don’t knock it ‘till you try it. It’s literally free. Brad Yates is the un-disputable KING; you can find his videos here https://www.youtube.com/user/eftwizard. But if you’re looking for something more “bad bitch energy,” may I suggest the ultimate High Vibe Honey Herself, Gala Darling. You can find her tapping videos on topics like “I Absolutely FUCKING Refuse to Settle” and “Tapping on Being a Rich Bitch” here https://www.youtube.com/user/galadarling
- Exercise. Yes, I know, I’m sorry (again). You’ve heard this one a million times before, sadly that’s because it’s true and it works. I spent the longest time hating exercising but once I understood that I just HAD to do it to not feel like I was dying 24/7, life just became better. Lately, I’m obsessed with EMKFit’s dance HIIT videos. She picks the most fun themes (there’s a Shrek themed HIIT class.) I’m obsessed with her, and I think you should be too. You can find her videos here https://www.youtube.com/user/kd7773
- Watch Dumb Reality TV. If you’re rolling your eyes at this suggestion, hear me out. I went to Film School- I’ve spent a lifetime watching pretentious art house cinema and classics and I LOVE them, but when I’m having a panic attack, silent films and deep psychological dramas are not really going to help. There’s something incredibly soothing about watching The Real Housewives, 90 Day Fiancé or The Bachelor with a glass of wine. Even if you cried for 3 hours today, at least you’re not a middle-aged woman throwing a drink at another middle-aged woman for the entire nation to watch.
- Have Routines. As a Virgo, I’m a die-hard routine enthusiast. Following them is my safety blanket and it helps me wind down. In the morning, I drink black coffee and watch The Office or any other sitcom, and at night I drink tea (generally Ultraviolet’s ginger pear because it slaps) and read at least 20 pages of whatever book I’m reading at the moment.
- Give Yourself a Sec to Feel the Fear. As much as we want anxiety to just go away, it won’t unless you sit with it for a second. Feel it, breathe it in, exhale it out and recognize that you are safe. Realizing that I had to let myself feel my anxiety for a bit before trying to shut it down without taking a second to listen to my body changed my life forever. You can still do all the things in this list, I encourage you too! But also, please, be kind to yourself and your brain. That is always the most important.