*I am not a mental health professional. I am just sharing my personal experience with anxiety and some of what’s helped me manage it recently. If you need professional help, please reach out to a professional. Much love!
Hey there, CWS fam. 🙂 At the end of last year, you said you wanted to see more heart-to-heart and personal posts from me, so today that’s what we’re digging into. I am very passionate about sharing the raw and realness of my life when it’s appropriate to, of course. I’m going to share a bit about what I’ve been struggling with the past month and then towards the end, I’ll share some things that have been helping me get through everything lately.
LET’S HAVE A HEART-TO-HEART ABOUT ANXIETY.
This past month has been a very difficult one for me. It felt like stress upon stress was being added to these little shoulders of mine and it was really hard to deal with.
If you don’t already know, in addition to blogging full-time, I also have a side job as an Airbnb manager. I handle all of the booking requests and behind-the-scenes work, and I also clean the home. I really love doing it but it can be a lot sometimes. The home is huge! The first weekend in February, we had the absolute messiest guests we’ve ever had. It usually takes me a good, full day to clean the home and a little more to wash all linens. After these guests left, I was there EACH day that week cleaning up after them. It was so, so rude. The lack of “common” courtesy is outstanding to me sometimes. 🙁
Related Reading: How To Reduce Stress When Life Is Busy
The same week that I was there every day, the heating unit had blown and here in the mountains, that’s not any good in the winter. The owners of the home live abroad so it’s been on me to have companies come out and give quotes, etc. I’m the manager, so this is something that I expect to do but it was so insane. Not even a week later, the septic pump needed to be replaced. It’s seriously been headache after headache with my side job this month. At one point, I had both the heating techs there and the septic servicer there at the same time and it was OVERWHELM city. I would say, “when it rains, it pours” but I think it’s more appropriate to say, “when it snows, it piles up.” LOL
The anxiety and stress have really piled up for me the past month. Dealing with the Airbnb last month has pulled me away from my blog for a good portion of it. Then you mix in personal life stresses into the mix of work and family… it’s a lot to comprehend and to deal with all at once. I’m usually very good at handling my anxiety when stress decides to come around for a visit but gosh, this past month, it was a challenge.
Related Reading: 5 Self-Care Steps For Anxiety
Getting really vulnerable here for a moment… In the times I would usually be anxious, I wasn’t. This wasn’t a huge surprise to me because I have trained myself to ditch the anxiety in certain situations when I can. I’ve really grown in that. But, a couple of days after those times of high stress, my anxiety would creep up out of nowhere for no reason and be bothersome that whole day. I’m talking… hands shaking, irritability, lack of concentration, feeling paranoid about anything, and so on. I had never experienced anxiety like this before until then! Anxiety can take on many forms.
Again, February was a month of high stress like no other for me. I am doing much better now as things are calming down. 🙂 Even though I felt small and overwhelmed last month, I can look back now and see where I grew. Experiencing anxiety in a new way than I ever had before taught me more about myself and my body. Even though I hate anxiety, I am grateful that I’ve been able to see how I really do grow in those times, even when it didn’t feel like I was.
5 SIMPLE WAYS TO COPE WITH ANXIETY:
I wanted to share 5 simple ways that have been helping me deal with my anxiety during times of high stress. Again, I am not a mental health professional. But, these things have helped me in a huge way and if they can help you, as well, it’s worth sharing. 🙂5 Simple Ways To Cope With Anxiety Click To Tweet
1. Take A Day Completely To Yourself // Take a day completely to yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. I’m dead serious here. I have some close friends that I can talk to about anxiety and how we deal with it and some of them have told me that they feel guilty taking a day to just spend time with themselves. Listen, taking time to focus on your mental health is not something you should ever feel guilty about. Throw the guilt out the window! If you need to take a day off of work, do so. If it means that you can truly have time to focus on bettering your mental health, the day off is more than worth it.
I have taken quite the days off from my blog this past month simply because I wasn’t in a healthy state of mind. The time off helped immensely.
2. Do Some Deep Cleaning // Yes, I’m for real, haha. I started my spring cleaning super early this year and honestly, it’s been really helpful for me. By focusing on tasks around the home and cleaning, I’ve found I was able to work through (not stuff away) my anxiety. If I’m not listening to music while I clean, I’m usually doing some deep thinking. This was where I got to reflect on how far I’ve come in my journey through mental illness (anxiety and depression). It was actually very refreshing to me. I recommend you try the same! Even if you don’t *feel* like cleaning, push yourself to do so. Start with attainable and easy cleaning and then work your way from there.
I’ve found that cleaning helps me to feel in control. I don’t know about you but when I’m anxious, a lot stems back to feelings of having absolutely zero control over anything in my life. Cleaning, while it’s a simple task, can be very impactful when battling through anxiety, especially in times of high stress.
PIN ME FOR LATER!
3. Listen To Music & Take It In // Music is such a powerful tool. Growing up as a dancer, music has always and will always be a huge part of my life. When I’m feeling anxious, I’ll first listen to some soothing, yet sad music. Sad music?! Yep, haha. For me, it helps. When I put on artists that have depth and emotion to their arrangements, it helps me to feel less alone. After I’ve taken time to reflect and take in all of the emotion from the music, I will then change my playlist to something more upbeat and fun! This may sound strange to you but hey, try it out!
Whether you’re up for trying my method of feeling all the “feels” and emotions through sad songs and then switching to upbeat or not, I want to encourage you to find an artist or playlist that helps you get your mind off your anxiety.
4. Memorize Scripture // One thing that’s always been a constant in my life and my journey to overcome anxiety has been God. He has always been there and is faithful. The past month, I have been challenging myself to memorize scripture to reflect on in times where my anxiety is completely unbearable. The Psalms are always my favorite to read when I need to find peace. Here are some verses that really help to calm my soul during times of anxiety.
“Cast your burden on the LORD,
and He will sustain you…” – Psalm 55:22
“I sought the LORD, and He answered me
and delivered me from all my fears” – Psalm 34:4
“I waited patiently for the LORD;
He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.” – Psalm 40:1-2
5. Severely Limit Your Time Spent On Social Media // Social media… something we all have a love/hate relationship with. As a full-time blogger, social media is part of my job which means two things for me. 1. I have to spend time on it because it is work. 2. I need to have a work-life balance and that means limiting social media when it’s not working hours. It’s a tough thing. When I spend time off of social media, I feel free and like I’m able to breathe. The thing is, though, even if social media isn’t your job, you could be spending way too much time on it. Social media can grow unhealthy faster than you’d think. Social media causes comparison issues, FOMO, and so much more, including anxiety.
Get off social media and focus on what’s in front of you… your real life. I can promise you that when you severely limit your time spent on social media that you will start to feel your spirit lighten up.
If you struggle with anxiety, what are some of your best way that you find you cope with it? Let’s have a heart-to-heart!