It can only get better after 2020. What a crazy year! If you were already dealing with anxiety and depression, it was probably intensified. The good news is that there are things you can do to truly help with anxiety and depression. I know from experience how difficult it can be:
- Go outside: As humans, our bodies are meant to be outside and moving. In today’s society, we end up spending a vast majority of our time sitting inside, which can have negative effects. Even a short, brisk walk has been shown to positively impact one’s mood. If the weather and environment allow, I would recommend walking around barefoot outside, which can help you ground yourself and improve your posture.
- Identify senses around you: I know from experience that if you are feeling intense anxiety, it can be tough to think about anything else. But, if you can ground yourself in the setting around you, you may be able to stop the thoughts spiraling through your brain. Open your eyes and look around you. Write down or think about specific things that you are currently touching, hearing, seeing, tasting, and smelling. This technique will hopefully allow you to feel more present, and ease feelings of dissociation that can go along with anxiety.
- Call someone who you love: Anxiety can also often manifest feelings of hopelessness, panic, and sadness. You may also experience symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Although calling a friend, parent, family member, or other loved one will not fix your problems, hearing their voice and getting advice may help put things into perspective. If nothing else, receiving and giving love to others has never failed to at least slightly shift my mood in a more positive direction.
- Journal: If your thoughts seem to never end, and you can’t escape the noise inside of your brain, try writing. Try your best to write freely, without judging yourself or what you’re writing. Both irrational and rational thoughts are valid, as they will all affect you. Hopefully, if you can see your thoughts from a more external perspective, it will be easier to know what exactly is bothering you, and decide what the next step is.
- Create art: Art is an extremely valuable and often underrated way to release your emotions. You do not have to be a professional artist to create – you could play with clay, draw on a napkin with the old pen you keep in your purse, download a coloring app on your phone, or make a collage by cutting up the junk mail in your recycling bin. I have found that my brain will begin to move a little slower if my hands are occupied.
- Put on music and dance: This one may sound silly or childish but bear with me. The energy of music can have a profound effect on our mood. If you put on your favorite musician, or find a happy, upbeat playlist on Spotify, Pandora, or YouTube, your mood may begin to brighten as well. If you are willing to let loose a little, try standing up and moving freely. There is no right or wrong here. Close your bedroom door and wiggle and jump around in private, and do your best to not judge yourself.
- Move: I get it. When you have anxiety (and depression), it can be hard to get out of your own way, much less exercise but I can honestly say that it is the best tool I have found for clearing my body and my mind and helping me re-set. It’s not about perfection or doing it every day, it’s about starting and not giving up. The key to doing it on a regular basis is to find something you truly enjoy. You aren’t going to want to do it if you dread it. If you love it, you will look forward to it and not even think about it as exercise.
- CBD oil: This has helped me to sleep better and relax. It is also helpful with pain, relieving a twelve year issue my husband had with his toe after only a few days of use. It is difficult to choose a good product so when Remedy Plant Lab sent me a sample, I was excited to try it. I have re-ordered four times and I’m about to re-order for a fifth. Both varieties taste great and they come in a large bottle, so they are economical. A little goes a long way, 20mg per drop, which is the same dose as in the average gummy. The code they gave me to pass on to you for 10% off is katieb10 at https://www.remedyplantlab.com/