Steps to Help Manage Your Anxiety

Many people struggle with anxiety.

In fact, according to the National Institute for Mental Health, 40 million Americans over the age of 18 suffer from some form of anxiety (NIMH ). 40 million! Keep in mind these are only people who have an anxiety disorder, and does not account for those who are higher functioning or who do not seek help. Those statistics are through the roof yet in some way I hope you feel comforted. Not because I think it’s good that so many people suffer, because I don’t; rather, because I know and see that a common thread in anxiety-sufferers is that they feel alone or as though no one else struggles quite like they do. It can be incredibly isolating.

So if you struggle with anxiety at all in your life, here are ways you can begin to manage it on your own:

Nighttime Routine:
• Make sure to eat a healthy dinner at least 2 hours before bed to ensure your digestive system has time to break down foods before sleeping
• Put the phone down, turn off tv or computer 30 minutes before bed – allow yourself to unwind through reading, taking a bath, stretching, talking with loved ones
• Write an affirmation and put it on your bedside table (or something you did well that day)
Morning Routine:
• Wake up slowly, stretch, move, be mindful before standing up
• Take 5 deep breaths
• Read your affirmation from the night before to help set your day on the right track and to serve as a reminder that you got through yesterday with anxiety, and you’ll get through today as well
• Set an intention for the day that suggests even though you may get anxious, you will be okay
• Drink water before anything else (avoid caffeine!)
• Eat a healthy breakfast in a slow, mindful manner

Mid-Morning and Mid-Afternoon:
• Take 5-10 minute breaks to practice deep breathing
• Step outside to get fresh air, a fresh perspective and a rejuvenated mindset
• Recall your affirmation
• Don’t rush!
• Be present

Evening Routine:
• Exercise to help alleviate tension and channel anxiety build up (or whenever it fits into your day)
• Practice mindful cooking or cleaning
• Avoid alcohol
• Spend time in prayer, reflection and meditation to help decompress from your day

By having a plan in place, anxiety sufferers find they can more easily face their day because they are living with more intention, structure and are taking the day in bite sizes.

This also helps to avoid the anxiety build-up that can happen throughout the day. What are some of the firsts steps YOU can do to begin managing your anxiety?

Sara Hunter