7 Ways To Cope With Anxiety
How are you doing? How’s your anxiety? It’s been awhile since I shared how I cope with things and one thing (that I think) is pretty obvious that I have been learning to manage a bit better is dealing with uncertainty. I still find it hard to believe that we are going through a world pandemic. That kind of stuff only happens in movies. My health will forever be in question. Every symptom could be a sign that my cancer has become terminal and then you add coronavirus to the mix, and it is just chaos with my mind. So let me tell you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We are all in this together. Maybe for some of you this is the first time you have ever dealt with uncertainty. I totally get it and without a doubt it is scary.
I’m not perfect but these 7 ways to cope with anxiety have helped me. By no means am I healthcare professional or licensed healthcare professional. But I hope I can help you all in some way.
7 Ways To Cope With Anxiety
Practice Deep Belly Breathing
Take a deep breath. But not just any type of deep breath, deep belly breathing helps slow down blood flow and brings you back to a relaxed state of mind and releases the tension.
- Sit Upright
- Close your eyes.
- Take a deep breath through your nose and simultaneously suck the air in from your belly. Pull in the air as much as you can. You’ll feel your belly go in.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth and simultaneously push all the air out through your belly. You’ll feel your belly slowly go out.
- Repeat Steps 1 – 4 three to 10 times.
How do you feel?
It has been a known fact that exercising has many benefits to the body physically and mentally. You don’t need to be a workout warrior. You just have to make sure you keep your body moving. Especially since most of us are working from home, it is so easy to have the lack of movement. Exercising gives you more energy and helps cope with stress. Either go for a walk, do some at home workouts, yoga, or maybe even dance!
Talk It Out
Whatever is on your mind let it out. Sometimes just talking out loud helps me feel like I have a sense of control and I figure out how to manage my stress and anxiety. If you want to talk to someone who is unbiased, I’m all for therapy! I go to a psycho-oncologist. They’re basically a psychologist that specializes with cancer patients and they understand the medical aspect (they’re well informed about cancer treatments and its side effects) as well as helping me navigate psychologically.
To find a therapist, I highly recommend checking with your healthcare provider. They will be able to assist with finding the right one. My psycho-oncologist was recommended by my oncologist. Let me tell you, therapy has been a game changer for me.
Take Time Out
This time is for you and for you only. Do what you want to do. Either you work on a hobby or need complete silence for a moment. I struggled with this at first. I told my therapist that I just don’t have the time. So she told me I need to take deliberate steps to have the time out. Either set aside one day (or evening) a week for this time and put it on the calendar.
Meditating doesn’t mean you shut everything off. It’s all about just letting your mind go with the flow. I’ll admit I still need to do a better job incorporating meditation into my life, but whenever I do, I feel better. I love using the Headspace app. You can meditate for as little as 3 minutes and it can be effective.
Most people think that when we have anxiety that the goal is to get rid of it. But what gave me clarity and peace of mind is knowing that anxiety is part of life. Anxiety can be good because it can help us be more aware and be more productive. So really it is all about managing the anxiety so it doesn’t take over your life. It is totally okay to be scared. It is okay to feel stressed and anxious. Focus on what you can do. For instance, this whole COVID19 pandemic is very scary. So I do what I can control and that is social distancing, wash my hands, and follow the rules shared by the CDC.
Get Good Sleep
Not only will you feel well rested and recharged, but when we sleep the body does a lot to be healthy. When we sleep the body flushes out toxins, takes in and processes information from that day, and balances out hormones.
Again, I’m not a healthcare professional but these are ways that continue to help me cope with anxiety. I still have high anxiety, but like I said it is all about managing it.