Anxiety can strike when you least expect it. Everyone’s experiences with anxiety are different, it can grip you as soon as you wake up or it can strike at an unexpected moment. It can be something you live with for years or something that happens all of a sudden.
My own experience with anxiety is a familiar story for many of you. I had it when I lived in my first flat. My heart would beat, my palms would sweat. My fight or flight would kick in. And even now, I get it bad, in the form of not being able to eat and feeling nauseous, and having my heart pounding in my chest and my cheeks flushing.
Therapy helps when you’re anxious. But, having a routine that helps you cope with anxiety is another great way to stay on top of it. You can’t cure anxiety, but you can learn to manage it. Giving yourself structure and sticking to it will help manage anxiety that’s caused by being part of a generation that’s ‘always on’, where everything is instant and results-driven. You need to create a realistic schedule that helps you manage your day-to-day anxieties because there’s no quick cure or fix.
START THE DAY
When you wake up, you need to immediately get your mind prepared for the day. So make room to meditate as soon as you wake up. You can take your phone out and follow a YouTube video, or if your phone is a source of anxiety, open your curtains, lie in bed, and try to get yourself in a positive mindset for the day.
Hop into the shower and prepare for the day. It’s always important to have breakfast, eat natural foods like fruits and vegetables and try to eat healthy and clean. Also, don’t skip meals. The things you fuel your body with will help boost your brain and stave off anxiety. You should also avoid sugar and caffeine. Celina, the founder of CGD LONDON, brings herbal teas to the office now and swears by one that contains chamomile and lavender to keep her relaxed throughout the day.
CREATE A TO-DO LIST THAT WORKS
We designed the Getting Stuff Done planner because of our own experiences. But having a place to write down your daily to-dos and all the other things that might be giving you anxiety is essential if you want to manage the monkey in your mind.
Sometimes just looking at your to-do list will give you anxiety, but you need to ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen if you don’t tackle everything on it? Nine times out of ten it’s this little reminder that everything will be OK at the end that will help you tackle your to-dos and stay in control of your workload.
SHOP THE STORY
WIND DOWN IN THE EVENING
Make sure your evenings are sacred. Fill in your Gratitude Journal to focus on the positives and the small things you need to be thankful for, relax, rest and take time for yourself. The evening is a good time to journal, to turn off technology and focus on you. Do some hobbies, distract yourself from your anxious thoughts by journalling them and re-working them into more positive, helpful thoughts. Make your evenings sacred, uninterrupted time for yourself.
Yes, you can do your household chores, cook, watch your favourite show, but don’t busy yourself with work, don’t allow stressful thoughts about your to-do list to creep in, and don’t let texts, whatsapps, and friends and family problems seep into your evenings. If you find yourself fixing problems which gives you more anxiety, try to create strict guidelines and give them a window to contact you.