For many people anxiety is not just a feeling they get before a big exam, a job interview, or meeting a partner’s family for the first time. For many people anxiety is a state of mind that likes to creep in at the most inopportune times, like when you’re trying to sleep at night or when you are trying to finish an essay for school.

With winter around the corner and the holiday season, many people experience this even more so. The stress of money, the increase in social interactions, and the lack of physical activity due to the cold can all be triggers for people. The days being short most definitely does not help as well. Incorporating small every day habits can drastically change how you feel. There are small things you can do that can help put you at ease and lessen the number of times your palm gets sweaty or your stomach churns.

When you are having an anxious day, it is important to take a step back and make sure to breathe. Physically stop yourself, sit in a position that is comfortable for you and just focus on breathing in and out. Focusing on breathing tends to centre you and clear your head.  Anxiety is typically centred around a past or future event, take a moment to collect your thoughts and figure out what is making you anxious. Once you have figured out the what, figure out the why. It is easier to have control over a situation and a feeling when you know the what and the why. Once you have determined these two factors it is easier to determine a course of action and how you can help yourself feel better.

Sometimes the best thing to do when you are feeling anxious is to distract yourself, redirect yourself to focus on something else. Going outside and going for a walk is a great way to do this. Physical exercise will be good for you and the fresh air will feel amazing. Doing something creative is another great way to distract yourself, paint a picture or do some mindless doodles. A funny movie usually does the trick as well. Do something that you know will make you happy.

It is important to take time for yourself as well. Nourishing your body is so important for good mental health, eating a well-balanced meal, getting yourself on a regular sleep pattern, and getting some exercise.

Often our anxiety is at its worst when we are stressed out and running ourselves thin. Self-care should always be at the top of your to-do list. Your brain and body need to take a break. Take a long hot bubble bath, book a spa day, or cozy up in bed with your favourite book and a cup of tea or coffee. Meditation is a great way to take some time to relax and focus on yourself.

Published by HOLR Magazine.