At-home actions to help alleviate anxiety
Anxiety is no joke and yet is trivialised daily. And being a bit worried about something is not the same thing. Anxiety can rear its head in all manner of ways and at the most inappropriate of times. It's often a very physical experience which can include a sick stomach, chest pains, constantly needing the loo and hot flushes. There's panic attacks, a constant sense of dread and an internal dialogue that never seems to quieten.
Feel like a cat on a hot tin roof?
Whether it's about a specific event, time, or life in general, the unhelpful thoughts and constant fear and apprehension in your head can be exhausting. The act of trying to keep multiple trains of thought together to keep the dialogue at bay and get on with your day is distracting and can lead to other feelings of guilt, nervousness and low self-esteem.
So, what can you do?
If any of this rings true for you, it's ok.
You can take some simple steps to help alleviate the pressure you are feeling…
1. Ditch the caffeine – coffee, energy drinks, and even tea can cause issues with anxiety. It is well documented that caffeine can mimic a panic attack at relatively low levels in people suffering from anxiety and stress, causing restlessness, nervousness, and even increased heart rate. Your love of coffee or energy drinks won't cause anxiety, but it certainly won't help existing conditions.
2. Get outside – you hear this a lot because it's true! Getting out helps to refocus and centre the mind, while regular exercise can boost your brain's serotonin levels, positively impacting your mood and well-being. A walk around the block every day can be enough to help break the feeling of apprehension and relax you.
3. Think about your triggers – anxiety doesn't come and go, but there are good days and bad days. Consider what may trigger you, document them to share with your GP, then look at some healthy ways to work around them, for example, only check in with the news headlines once a day, lay off the true crime docu's for a while and try to fill up on more of the good stuff.
4. Lean on your friends and family – where you can, confide in someone and let them know how you are feeling. They can be of comfort in situations that trigger you, help with childcare to give you a break or accompany you to get outside.
5. Remember that you are doing your best – anxiety is hard work, and trying to second guess the outcome of everything is involuntary and fruitless. The outcome and reaction of people and situations are almost entirely out of your control. Reminding yourself of this when times are fraught won't cure you, but it can bring a little rationale and truth back into your situation.
There is help available to help you live with and combat anxiety, such as CBT and counselling. Seeking support is one of the first things you should do by contacting your GP, who can get you started on the road to recovery.
Chloe is a copy and content writer, happily juggling the household and two young children with her husband. She is passionate about mental health accessibility, wanting services and advice to be approachable and accessible to all, without the fear of stigma, embarrassment or being patronised. Chloe loves music, food, travel - the usual, but mostly loves watching her family grow up and hopes for a more understanding world for them in which to do so.