20 Anxiety Hacks That Work
During this busy time of year, I thought it would be a good time to touch on something that I have struggled with in my daily life, especially when traveling… anxiety. If you’re struggling with anxiety, girl, I’ve been there and it sucks. It can pull you down into a dark place, be incredibly debilitating, and ruin your life. I was once on medication for it, and am proud to say that I am no longer taking it. Today I’d love to share some tips with you that have helped me, and if one or all of these tips can help you, then I’ll be a happy gal. Let’s dive right in!
1. Cap screen time
Scrolling your newsfeed and being on specific apps can make you feel a certain type of way and be triggering to your anxiety. Try to track what apps you’re on and figure out if you’re mindlessly scrolling and feeling worse after that. Here’s a tip: go into your phone settings, select screen time, and set a time limit for those apps. Alternatively, if there are specific apps that trigger you, delete them, or turn off your newsfeed.
2. Books to help
Read some books about anxiety to try to help you understand more about anxiety and reworking your brain. A few of my favorites are The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins, Calm the F*ck Down by Sarah Knight, and Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking and Health by Dr. Caroline Leaf. I personally love listening to the audiobook versions. It’s not only soothing, but it makes you feel like you’re watching a movie without the screen time!
3. Set boundaries
One of the reasons you could be feeling anxious is because you’re lacking the boundaries you need to protect your peace. Boundaries can definitely be in reference to people, but we also give our energy to the news, headlines, and other things that are out of our control. Tying back into screen time, remove or steer clear certain apps, accounts, channels, and even people that trigger you. Build a fortress around your mind and protect it at all costs!
4. Use a workbook
Find a goal-oriented workbook, such as My Dream Life Blueprint Workbook by the Daily Grind. A workbook where you’re focused on your goals can not only be a welcome distraction, but it could also be a key pivot point. Instead of focusing on all of the things that are making you anxious, you’re focusing on what you’re excited about!
5. Area music
Music helps a ton, but specifically area music has changed my life! Instead of having a silent house, play some area music throughout the house. This drowns out the outside world like sirens, traffic, etc. and puts you in a different state of mind. I love Disney area music! Some of my faves are Disney’s Sequoia Lodge and Calmed by Nature.
6. Bath reset
If you’re in a bad state of mind (anxious, on edge, antsy, etc.), take a bath and relax for a little while. Adding some essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint can also make a big difference!
7. Read fiction
Toward the end of the night when I’m trying to unwind, I reach for a good fictional book. This can be mind-numbing and help take you out of your own head.
8. Go for a walk
Getting outside and going for a walk is a great way to ground yourself. Take in the fresh air and focus on the forward motion!
Relationship tip: when trying to discuss a hot topic as a couple, walking can be so helpful. It’s non-confrontational as you’re walking in the same direction, instead of facing each other or walking away from each other. Plus, you’re public so you can’t get too crazy, lol.
9. Dance it out/do a workout
You’ve got to get the anxiousness out of your body, and a great way to do that is to dance it out to some great music! If dancing isn’t your thing, try doing a workout to get your body moving. On days where I’m feeling anxious and I haven’t worked out, I now know that’s why!
10. Diet & levels
Keep a food journal and take note of what you’re eating when you’re feeling the most anxious. Now, I don’t mean going on a detox and taking away the things that make you happy… I would actually advise against that. Journaling will simply help you identify any foods that might be triggering your anxiety. Through keeping a food journal, I learned that if I have red meat, without a doubt, I end up being super anxious.
Something else that might be contributing to your anxiety is being deficient in a certain nutrient. Get your levels checked, and use supplements to help get those levels where they need to be.
11. Get creative
If you’re a creative person, make time in your day to be creative, such as painting, drawing, or whatever activity makes you feel happy.
12. Self care
Along the same lines of getting creative, do things that make you feel good. A little bit of self love can go a long way! Use a gua sha tool or face mask to give yourself a spa experience. If doing your makeup or nails makes you feel good, do it! Just be sure you’re taking the time to make yourself a priority each day.
Meditation is an amazing tool to help calm the mind. The best part is that you don’t need much time to feel the benefits. I do a 5 minute meditation every day, and that 5 minutes changes the course of my day!
If you feel like it’s too quiet and you’re alone with your thoughts, this exercise can help! I always do this when I’m feeling very anxious.
Take 3-5 deep belly breaths, and notice your breathing.
Focus on 5 things that you can see around you.
Focus on 4 things that you feel.
Focus on 3 things that you can hear.
Focus on 2 things you can smell.
The last one is something that you can taste, however, I usually switch that to something that I’m grateful for.
15. Get excited
Try pivoting your anxiousness into excitement or gratitude. Focus your energy on what you’re excited to achieve in the next year. If you can progress on one little thing, you will be happier. That feeling of progress is amazing! Progress equals growth, and growth equals happiness. This can help you shift your energy so quickly!
These last few tips are related specifically to flying anxiety:
16. Essential oils
I know it might sound simple, but oils really help! Just smelling them can affect your mood and promote calmness. Depending on what kind of oil you have, you can put it on a cotton ball and simply smell it, put it on your skin, or mix it with body lotion. Just be sure to double check how to safely use your oil of choice! There are oils made specifically for anti-anxiety, but obviously make sure there’s no funky stuff in them. A good lavender oil can really make a difference as well!
17. Slipper socks
Take your shoes off and put slipper socks on so you’re more comfortable, especially for long flights.
18. Wear a beanie
This one is so random, but wearing a beanie almost makes me feel like I’m in my own little bubble, and it helps a ton!
Trick your brain! Go through a workbook or planner so your brain doesn’t have time to think about what’s going on around you, like the noises, turbulence, etc.
20. Over ear headphones
Put on some headphones, watch something on your tablet and tune out everything around you. Don’t watch a stressful movie, like a horror or thriller. Instead, keep it light and choose something positive. I love watching funny movies or the Housewives series because it’s so mind-numbing!
The last thing I will leave you with is some food for thought. Ask yourself, “what am I actually afraid of?” If you can identify the answer, it might help you understand more about what’s going on in your brain and how to deal with it.
It always feels good to talk it out, so I hope at least one of these tips can help you this season and beyond. If you have any other tips that work for you, be sure to drop them in the comments so I can check them out!