I’ve been dealing with anxiety for quite a few years now. Depression too, but not as bad as the anxiety. It gets really bad when I know I have to leave the house. For a couple of years, I only left the house for doctor appointments or something really, really important. I am better about it now. I TRY my hardest to get out at least once a week. I don’t manage it every week, but I don’t beat myself up about it anymore. Instead, I have found a few things that seem to calm me. I’m also incredibly fortunate, in that, I have very supportive family and friends. They love me and understand that I’m truly trying. I did lose one close friend, but that’s another story.
I’ve been writing my whole life. Poetry, to do lists, planners, journals, etc. Putting pen to paper is just so cathartic to me. I quit writing when my anxiety was at its worst. Now I’ve learned that writing is essential to my mental health. So are other, seemingly trivial, activities.
The first thing I do when I get up is make my bed. I never used to do that. My thinking was, why bother? I’m just going to mess it up again. But, for some reason, I started making my bed in 2018. I discovered it was oddly satisfying. So it quickly became a habit. To the point that, if I don’t make it, it’s become indicative of a bad day for me. It’s like a thermometer of my mental, as well as physical pain, levels.
Keeping a daily to do list is also an anxiety fighting activity for me. I sit at my vanity after getting dressed for the day. I put my face lotions on and then make my list of things that I want to get done every day. Making the bed is at the top of the list. It feels good to cross that off immediately.
Walking is next. I try to walk 2-3 miles per day, every day. This helps with my chronic pain from spinal stenosis and L5S1 nerve damage. I watch YouTube videos while I walk on my treadmill. It calms my mind and gets me sweating. Plus, it’s another check off of my to do list.
Crafting is another relaxing thing for me. I try to make something at least 3 times a week. This blog is a big part one for me. I’m trying really hard to be more consistent with it. Makeup is a biggie too. I love playing with it and I tend to feel better when I think I look my best. Is that vain? Maybe, but it works.
Cooking is another big one. Chopping, dicing, mixing, etc. really helps me get out of my own mind. Plus, I swear it helps because I control sodium levels, fat and sugar content as well as no preservatives. Not only is it good for me, but it’s yummy. My husband eats leftovers for lunch, so we save money on fast food or restaurants. It’s a win/win situation.
Those are just a few of the things that I try to do regularly to help my anxiety and depression. They also work great for pain redirection. I can tell a big difference when I do these every day. Please note, these are the THINGS that I do, not the people who I also rely on for calming me. I’ll tell you about them later.