Anxiety sucks, there’s no question about it. We can’t always control what causes it or how it affects us, but we CAN take small actions to help us be proactive + take care of ourselves.
I’m a naturally extremely anxious person, but I’ve also built my lifestyle around being PROACTIVE and doing what I can to be happy, calm, and positive.
My best tips I’ve learned so far are right here for when I need to quiet the noise in my head:
Anxiety (most of the time) can come from either worrying about the future OR ruminating about something that’s already happened. Maybe it’s feeling like you’re not good enough, you weren’t good enough, you won’t BE good enough. Maybe it’s just a feeling.
Maybe something is happening to you or around you. Whatever it is, one thing you’re always in control of is grounding yourself: all that means is you can re-connect to the present moment and remember that you’re OK right now.
For me, I’ll either put my hand on my heart which feels calming to me, I’ll breathe deeply for a minute, or I’ll do sensory grounding. That means I’ll look around and say to myself, I’m in my apartment. I’m healthy right now. Everyone around me is okay, everything is paid for, the weather is great outside. Basically, noticing things I KNOW are true in the moment so that I can ground and feel like in the moment, I’m actually ok.
Let it out.
Sometimes ya need to vent. Or let it out. There’s nothing wrong with asking someone if you can just vent for a few, or writing down what’s bothering you. Sometimes letting it out means letting the energy out, like going for a run or a walk.
One thing that helps me alll the time is to write down every last thing that’s bothering me. There’s something about seeing it all on paper that helps me separate from it and THEN go down the list and see where I can make a real change.
Most of you are reading this blog because you care about being healthy & improving your relationship with food. Sometimes we turn to food when we’re emotional or want to mask our emotions, so I’ll leave this resource here if you struggle with that. I designed prompts to help you work through emotional cravings or feeling like you want to mask emotions with food.
Notice your self-talk.
The way you talk to yourself MATTERS. You’re your own narrator through life, right? The voice in your head can be super negative sometimes, but ANYONE can practice making the positive part a little bit stronger every day.
We’re ALL hard on ourselves sometimes, but there are some easy ways to notice that negative self-talk and turn it around in a realistic way. Nobody breaks this down better than my friend Lauren Frontiera on our episode about mental health + changing the way you talk to yourself. I could write a book on this, but just listen. I promise.
Change your environment.
This one can be as serious or as easy as YOU want it to be. When you’re anxious, changing your environment can give you that sense of control back (and anxiety can sometimes come from feeling OUT of control).
It could be cleaning your room. It could be putting on noise cancelling headphones, taking the day off, and sleeping to recharge.
You could give yourself a Life Detox (full breakdown here), you could spend extra time with high energy people to re-inspire you, you could switch something around in the way you eat in order to feel better.
Eat something good.
Eating for good mental health is one of the most underrated things you can do for yourself. Changing how I ate has done wonders for my mental health and I couldn’t be happier that I committed to just trying to eat what made me feel good.
Something I look forward to at least 5 days a week is the salad I eat every day. Something about it boosts my mood and makes me feel REALLY good inside and out for hours on end. I don’t eat this because I’m trying to lose weight, I eat it because I feel incredible afterwards and food should do that for you.
When I created the H&H Recipe Ebook, I specifically designed the morning meals to include essential nutrients for good mental health (like omega-3’s), a positive mood (like magnesium), and delicious but CLEAN ingredients so that you start your day off with a burst of good energy. I still eat these daily, check them out.
Listen to something inspiring.
This could be music, this could be a podcast, this could be an audiobook, whatever. I find that if you specifically have someone else’s voice in your head, it helps you take a step back and get out of your own for a bit. I’ve been loving podcasts (I think it’s because I started mine and I want to get better), but listening to podcasts while walking has actually helped me almost double my daily steps per day.
I’m bored less, and it’s a great way to calm down when I’m anxious. For a health pep talk to get you into a better mood and to be less hard on yourself, I recommend this episode.
Ask for help.
There’s nothing better to do for yourself than to ask someone qualified or close to you for help. Learning to ask for help when you’re anxious or stressed is key and it’s important to tell the person you’re asking exactly what you need.
Sometimes you can ask the person to hear you vent. Sometimes you can ask them what you should do, or if they can do something to help you. Sometimes it gets to a point where you need to talk to a therapist, which is great because you’re choosing to let somebody who’s trained to help you, help you.
Whatever works for you, it’s better to ask for help than wonder if you’re in your thoughts alone.
Check out natural remedies.
Natural remedies for anxiety aren’t always effective or better for you than medication and/or therapy depending on the person, but I’m lucky enough to have found some that either help me PREVENT anxiety, or help me handle it better.
Some natural remedies are simple & you can add them to your environment. I love using an oil diffuser to get essential oils all over the house and room. My favorite scent EVER is a mix called Stress Away because it literally makes me feel happy when I smell it. I go through it way too quickly because I’d love to have it diffusing in my room and on my wrists to smell when I need it. Lavender is the most widely-known anti-stress scent when it comes to essential oils.
Green tea is also a great way to relax your mind and system. People are asking me about CBD oils/supplements as well, but I haven’t tried them yet. From what I’ve researched, I’m all about it if the brand is right: ask your doctor, make sure the dosage is right for you, and start small because everyone reacts to things differently. I’ll keep you guys posted when I try because it’s on the list.
The thing I AM trying right now is called Ashwagandha. Someone close to me saw amaaaazing results from using these in a high stress lifestyle and after seeing the change, I wanted to try for myself. I can’t officially recommend because I just started, but so far so good. It feels like a subtle difference in your body – you relax, you still might think anxious thoughts, but your body doesn’t take those thoughts and run. It just alleviates my body’s response to stress and makes my mood happier and stable. All natural ingredients, too. If you want to hear more after I’ve tried these longer, LMK.
Your body WANTS to release endorphins. Your mood elevates, your heart is super active, your brain activates on a higher level which improves your mood, logic, and function. All of these things are essential to your mental health. Your brain activity elevates when you stretch if that’s all you have time for, what matters is that you make the effort to do something good for your body.
So you’re not alone, lil angels.
I learn so much from you so I neeeed to know what I’m missing here. Have an anxiety hack I don’t know about? LMK below. I hope these help you out.
XO – Lupe
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