For most of my life I have suffered with anxiety. Anxiety over my grades, anxiety over whether or not I’ll ever get married, anxiety over global warming, anxiety about anxiety. Since my natural state is to be anxious about everything, work has become my security blanket of sorts. (Before that, it was school.) I constantly brag-complain about being so tired and busy, even when I don’t mean to. I’ve surrounded myself with a group of #GirlBosses who are all “so busy” we barely have time for brunches. All of this work, work, work, work, work, work, has just amounts to me being over stressed, over worked, and over anxious. On the upside, my apartment has never been cleaner or more organized.
While my kitchen is spotless, being so stressed that you are obsessively cleaning your house is not sexy. It’s also not healthy. Stress leads to everything from weight gain to increased risk of heart disease, and no one has time for that. So as a reminder to myself, and to give you a little inspiration, here are a few tips I’ve picked up on how to chill out. Most of these came from my time in therapy or with a life coach. Take what you like, leave what you don’t and share in the comments what works for you when you need to chill out.
Get Grounded: Nine times out of ten this works when I’m in the middle of going from 0 to 100. I take a deep breath and feel my feet on the ground, my arms pressing into my desk, the quality and length of my inhales and exhales. Another good way to get grounded is to take deep breaths while checking your pulse. The goal is to bring you back to the present moment, and to get you out of your own head.
Disconnect: There is no reason for you to be on your phone checking emails, Facebook, and your boss’s text messages at 3am. None. All that does is mess up your sleep habits and stress you out. Turn on your do not disturb at night and make a conscious effort to not pick up your phone, even if it means plugging it in as far away from the bed as possible.
Move Your Booty: I’ve said it once and I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face, the best cure for anxiety is to work out. Just 30 mins of activity in the morning keeps me chill for the rest of the day. I don’t know how it works, science, endorphins, serotonin, I just know that it works.
Get Rested: #Nodaysoff is great for social media but awful for your mental and physical health. Your body and mind need rest. Whether that means turning off your phone and spending the day at the spa or just making sure you get 8 hours of sleep every night, you have to make rest a priority.
Just Chill Already! There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that you are stressed, anxious, and need to take a few minutes. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I have taken many a bathroom break to cry, breathe, dance it out, phone a friend, or just sit quietly to regain my composure. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all could use five minutes and there is no time like the present to get up and do it.
Photo: Pierre Jean-Paul