5 Basic Ways to Manage Anxiety At Home
[originally published June 13 2020]
Many of us are back at work in this stage of the quarantine. However, it is still unlikely that we can go out to downtown areas, stores, cafes, and bars safely. The virus is still just as infectious as it was in May - so there's a good chance we will all still be at home most of the time until things start getting significantly better.
Anxiety often creeps in when we spend a lot of time in the same place. Of course, a global pandemic often creates much anxiety on its own. I have been experiencing massive amounts of anxiety during the stay-at-home order and even now as it has been lifted. Some days, I just don't know what to do! If you are looking for new or different ways to help manage anxiety, please keep reading! I hope you'll find that something appeals to you on this list - and I hope it helps you!
Just Lie Down
Honestly, this is one of my favorite anxiety-management techniques! When my anxiety gets really bad, I'll lie down on my back, flat on the floor, and just focus on my breathing. I'll close my eyes and focus on the sounds from outside my window or from inside my house. I try to keep it as quiet and serene as possible. Turn off the lights, focus on the soft sensations around you, and avoid triggering excess stimuli. This technique has even helped me prevent self-harming in the past.
I love drawing - even if it's just a scribble! If you like drawing and are good at it, this is honestly a perfect way to relieve stress. If you're not good at drawing - try choosing colors that represent how you feel and scribble your emotions across a page. If you don't have all the colors you need, I recommend downloading a sketchbook app if you have a smartphone! A free one that I use to illustrate and doodle is Autodesk Sketchbook. There are many more too, so choose the one that works best for you.
Also, coloring books are still underrated in my opinion.
Push Up Against a Wall
Don't punch the wall, just push. Don't lift your hands or arms from the wall until they feel tired. Pretend like you're about to push the wall over. This helps relieve tension. Visualize your anxiety leaving your body through your arms and into the wall. Push all of your anxiety into the wall. The wall will stand tall (even with all your anxiety) so you can always resume pushing it later. It's always a good idea to 'transfer' your anxiety into inanimate objects, furniture, and structures. I'm pretty sure those things don't even feel anxiety - so give them all you got!
Let it out. Let it out aloud or into a pillow. Don't forget to grab some tissues!
Journal Some Gibberish
I have cohesive journal entries that actually make sense. I also have filled entire pages with repeating words or phrases that described my emotions. You can doodle and write these words and phrases down together to create a complete visualization of your feelings. Sometimes writing gibberish can relieve all the different thoughts spiraling in your head, and other times it can help streamline anxious thoughts.