As I quickly approach my 26th year on earth, I’m realizing the schedule of an adult is hectic. Finding the time to practice self-care and alleviate anxiety can sometimes seem impossible given the few hours in my day I have to get work done, but it’s extremely important. Not only for my mental health, but to improve my daily mood and keep me grounded in reality.
No matter how short of a time window you have to squeeze these small habits in, they will make a real impact on your anxiety and how you approach each day.
While it’s beneficial to keep track of what you’ve accomplished, it’s equally important to notice what we already have. Personally, I keep my therapy journal by my bed and each morning when I wake up, I make a point to note the things that I feel lucky to have. There’s no wrong answers, it can be anything from the bed you’re sleeping in to a close friend. Practicing an attitude of gratitude each morning can set the tone for a positive day where you’re fully grounded in reality.
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can have its benefits, but does it really make you feel good to constantly compare? Take some time to break away from social media and focus on the beauty of right now – without any filters.
Personally, this one can be difficult for me. I’m a big fan of Instagram, and I can find myself permanently attached to my phone, but lately it’s my boyfriend who will give me a reminder to set my phone down and be present. With my anxiety, it can be really beneficial to have these key moments where I’m experiencing the right now.
Call Your Person
Whether that person is your best friend, mom, dad, boyfriend, girlfriend or second cousin – set a time to catch up and check in. This doesn’t have to be just to catch up either, if you have an anxiety crisis or just need to vent, text or call that person who always knows how to ease your mind and just knows you. One crucial thing I’ve learned is that you can go to dozens of people seeking advice or validation, but they’re never going to say what you want to hear. When you realize who your people are, they’ll always make a genuine effort to say ease your nerves.
While everyone has their own form of meditation they practice – make time for moments of mindfulness each day in your own way. Whether it’s right when you wake up, on your drive to work, or before you go to sleep at night, find something that works for you and stick with it. For me, it’s Simple Habit. With hundreds of various, brief meditations for my busy schedule, it’s easy to open up the app on my phone and find the perfect meditation I need in that moment. You can learn more about my thoughts on this magnificent mediation app on Simple Habit’s blog here. (Shameful self-promotion, I’m aware).
Create Your Own Space
Does your bedroom look how you want it to? If not, add some candles or silly throw pillows that show off your personality and make you smile in your sanctuary. Building a cozy space that feels warm and inviting helps to establish the perfect place to retreat to when anxiety levels are high and you just need a safe place.
For me, this has been quite a journey. I’ve always made any bedroom my own, but only a few weeks ago, I finally moved into my own studio. I’ve come a long way from living with my mom years ago and I’m proud to have crafted a comfortable, inviting space to come home to at the end of each day.
Read a Book
You know what’s a great way to ease anxiety? Peruse that bookshelf and curl up with a good read. Whether you’re headed back to Hogwarts or near Narnia, the act of reading encourages a sense of peace and let’s be honest – we all love escaping in a satisfying story.
Fun tip: If you’re feeling social, hosting a monthly book club is a great way to explore new books and meet up with close friends to catch up over some chips, guac and of course wine. I host my book club, Books and Babes, and it’s something I seriously look forward to every month as a relaxing night filled with laughs and high spirits.
Learn to Say “No”
It might seem like the easier route to say yes to things, just to make others happy, but have you considered what will make you happy? This is a hard lesson to learn, and it takes a lot of practice, but in the long run it’s worth it to walk away from things, or even people, who don’t invest in your growth.
You can’t be your best self without being a little selfish. However you want to, practice self-care every day to ease your anxiety and empower your mind.