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, and I became a full-on hypochondriac who thought she was dying. 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.
I know SO many people who have anxiety now. For some of them, hypnotherapy helped, but nothing manages anxiety like a good plan for the day. 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.
Once your day is over, it’s important to exercise. I have always worked out in the evening, and Celina goes for a run or does YouTube workouts in the evening too as it helps her to process the day and end the day with a good sweat. Exercising will help you sleep well, too. It gets your heart rate up, makes you feel better, and helps you to combat anxiety that crops up during the day.
One tip to keep yourself motivated is to dress in your workout gear as soon as you come home. Don’t give yourself a chance to sit and slob out on the couch.
CREATE AN EVENING ROUTINE
In the evening have a nice balanced dinner, drink a cup of chamomile and lavender tea which will naturally relax you, and get yourself into the evening routine. Take a nice shower and get into a relaxing state of mind. Celina does this with some lavender pulse point oil and spritzes her bed with lavender spray to get her into a relaxing state of mind, which is a great tip for bringing relaxation into the bedroom.
I always read before bed and I have lots of scents in my bedroom that make me feel calm and relaxed. I used to really struggle with sleeping related to anxiety but now I only use the bedroom for sleeping, I never work there and it creates a sense of inner peace and calm for me when I come home.
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Photos by Isabela Souza