A few of my favourite things...

...to help with anxiety
  1. Meditation
    I have found that a 20 minute meditation buys me 48 hours of more manageable anxiety levels. When I've meditated, it's like I can choose whether or not to go down the anxiety path when it presents itself. When I haven't meditated, I have no control over my anxiety. (I use two apps: headspace and rituals).
  2. Reading
    I had this period where I had to read every day to be ok. It felt like I was refilling an empty tank. I read Strayed, Gilbert, Patchett, Brown Taylor, Niequest. Lots of memoirs/soul-searching essays. I still read pretty much every day, but I don't have the same feeling of thirst for it. These books helped me to repair a part of myself, I think. And reading still helps my anxiety, even now that the tank is full.
  3. Swimming
    Ok, I am totally late to this party, but apparently sport is really good for your mental health. Who knew?! I swim at least once a week, and when I don't I feel all bleurgh.
  4. Planning ahead
    Thinking through potentially anxiety inducing situations and planning escape routes, coping mechanisms, prepping key people (husband, bestos, even organisers - once I actually emailed a conference leader to let them know that I might have to sneak out sometimes, and to ask for an advance copy of the schedule. She was more than happy to help out.)
  5. Adjusting expectations and behaviour accordingly
    Maybe you can't be your charming and witty self at that event, maybe you'll be a wreck and embarrass yourself. That's ok, dear.
  6. Having a few dear ones who know and understand
    My husband and a few close friends, all people who know how anxiety affects me and will pat me on the head and feed me biscuits.
  7. Home comforts
    Baths, tea, candles, that kind of thing. Can help you come down from a wired state.
  8. Podcasts
    Get on with life, while your mind is occupied with something other than fretting. Especially recommend Dear Sugar for this purpose.
  9. Napping
    Often when I'm feeling wired, I'm actually exhausted, but haven't allowed myself to feel it yet. Get yourself to bed.
  10. Emily Nagoski's explanation of stress cycles
    Apparently we're all building up the after-effects of stress, and not discharging them. Our bodies need to run, connect to community and rest after a stressful event. I'm trying to build some of these into my anxiety management.
  11. Writing
    I find it hard to write when I'm anxious, but the more I write, the less susceptible I become to anxiety. It's a learning curve.