5 Ways I Keep My Anxiety in Check
As I am writing this, the calendar has changed to August. I’m also hoping and praying that the remainder of this year will be better. Most days, my mind goes in a million directions wondering what’s going to happen next.
I’ve always been an anxious person, even as a child. In my adolescence, it was crippling because I didn’t have the tools to identify what was going on with me. Everyone just thought I was an introverted kid.
It’s estimated that 85 percent of what we worry about never happens and even if it does, we tend to handle it better than we expected we would. If you are an anxious person, people will tell you things like “don’t worry so much” and “just relax”, as if it’s that easy. But we all know there is no magic switch to turn anxiety off.
Writing is an essential part of my day – and more importantly my life. In the past, my anxiety would prevent me from being productive. Writers are always coming up with new ideas. Our imagination allows us to create worlds that don’t really exist in the same way that our anxiety create problems that don’t really exist.
Sometimes, an idea will pop into my head. It starts out as something small, often coming out of nowhere, and then I just keep developing it until I have a poem.
Anxiety works the same way. Something normal may occur but then you think of something bad and keep developing that story in your head until you’ve worked yourself up.
I no longer look at anxiety as something that is wrong with me. I was blessed with a vivid imagination and creativity; anxiety is the by-product of that. I focus on these 5 ways to keep my anxiety in check:
Schedule My Day
I need structure. I need order. I need a daily schedule. This is probably why I enjoyed the military so much! I sit down for about 15 minutes at night and write out my schedule for the next day. This also serves as a “to-do” list of things that need to get done. This gives me a framework for my day, so that I stay in control. This is important for me.
Prayer and Journaling
Before I check social media and emails, or do anything for that matter, I spend time with God. I start the day with scriptures, devotionals, and prayer. It definitely sets the tone for the day, being able to tell God what’s on my heart and ask for what I need. And then getting my feelings out in my journal helps clear my head.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
I have to say that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I love it! I realized that if I skip breakfast, for any reason, I don’t concentrate as well and I feel antsy. Another thing I’ve done is replace my morning coffee with a healthy smoothie. I bought a Magic Bullet Mini and make them myself. It’s healthier than all the caffeine and I feel so much better.
At the beginning of the year, my goal was to return to my workout regimen. It has always helped to keep my mood and mindset in a good place. Once Covid hit, that idea went away and I found myself not doing anything but making excuses. Although the gyms in the city were closed, as well as the fitness center in my apartment complex, I could still walk outside. It’s even better enjoying the fresh air.
I give myself one day a week where I don’t go on social media or watch the news. You can become severely inundated with other people’s lives, as well as get emotionally drained by what’s going on in the world. I need a day to replenish my spirit and it gives me a chance to extend that time to calling a friend or cooking a new recipe.