I’m going to be honest; I sometimes feel as if I’m living the opposite life as those around me. My friends are getting married, I am the single girl. My co-workers are having babies, I’m smothering my fur kids. And while the whole world is getting ready to return to normal, I’m wanting to stay right where I am. While this past year was a struggle for so many, I’m one of the few to which it provided an opportunity. I was able to work remotely indefinitely for the first time in my life, which is something I’ve wanted for the past several years. And now, with the return to work date looming, I’m forced to evaluate – well, everything, once again.
Being that May is Mental Health Month, I think it fitting to share my thoughts on struggling with anxieties like these. One of my friends recently asked me if I’d ever tried any natural remedies for anxiety. I had told her not really, but after thinking about it I realized we all do little things that help us to deal with daily stressors.
Talk to Someone
Whether it be a friend, family member, therapist, or stranger – sometimes all we need to do is say the words out loud. So many anxieties are made worse by festering in our heads. Sharing thoughts and feelings with a trusted confidant can sometimes be enough to lift a weight off my shoulders. There have been many times when I felt something was too personal to share, but once I did, I realized others have had many of the same experiences. And even if they haven’t, they can offer a comforting word or sound advice.
Distract and Relax
It’s no secret that I like to escape into my TV shows. While I do think feelings need to be acknowledged and dealt with, they also need to be let go. Obsessing and worrying doesn’t solve anything and we need to give our minds the room to calm down. Watching my TV shows and treating myself to a massage every so often are my go-to’s. Listening to an audiobook or just focusing on chores and tasks to be completed throughout the day can help too.
Work it out Creatively
Just writing this here little article is helping me with my anxiety! Focusing on putting words to paper and using a different side of my brain helps me to work out the tangled mess in my head into something that makes sense – well, sort of. Gardening, house projects, music, crafts, cooking, photography… whatever it is that you enjoy can help to channel anxious emotions into something positive and productive.
Be Open to Remedies
I really think a lot of the old stigmas around mental health are a thing of the past. Especially after the past year, it seems to be more of a talking point than ever before. Whether it be an herbal tea, a meditation app, therapy, or medications – there are so many avenues available to help. Being back in the land of the living around actual people and having to converse is going to take some getting used to, baby steps people.
Walk it Off
There isn’t anything much better than physical activity to work out anxieties quite literally. For me it’s taking a walk; getting fresh air, sunshine, and moving my body can be like a reset button for my brain. It doesn’t stop the constant thoughts from swirling through (it really is exhausting being me), but it helps! Changing my surroundings, immersing myself in nature, and just being out and about helps with perspective and gives my mind other things to focus on.
My Dad and I were watching The Unit recently (action for him, cute soldiers for me) and a quote stuck out to me – “peace comes through security.” All anxieties are just that – insecurities. Insecurities about the future, about health, about finances, work, and relationships. What did I say in that conversation, what am I going to say next, etc. At least that’s what it’s like for me. And while we can’t have all the answers, we also can’t waste today worrying about tomorrow. We can do our best to prepare and have faith that we’re making the best decisions we can to be where we are meant to be. So, while I’m not sure how things are going to unfold in the next few months – I’m going to do my best to follow my heart and live a life I love. Messy or otherwise.