Lately I’ve had a lot of severe anxiety but I’ve been able to cope with it pretty well. Here’s some of the things that have helped me:
- Journaling: Last night I couldn’t sleep and my mind was racing so I got up and started writing in my journal, just about everything going on in my mind. Normally when I journal it’s just to write about what’s been going on in my life and I’ve never really used as a coping skill during an actual problem with anxiety or anything else. It was a good experience and I’m wondering why I never used it that way before. I just kept writing until I calmed down eventually. I like documenting things going on in my life but this was really helpful for releasing anxiety onto paper.
- Videogames: I love playing games and the other night I was panicking so I decided to play Lord of the Rings LEGO on my 3DS. It was so relaxing! I play wide array of games but I think my top games to play when trying to relax would be Animal Crossing and any of the LEGO games. Some games are too stimulating for that purpose and more complex, which I enjoy but they aren’t as helpful when trying to reduce panic because it requires too much concentration.
- Drawing or Coloring: I love drawing and coloring, and I don’t do it often enough. I think it was maybe last week I was really having a hard time sleeping so I got my sketch book out and started doodling some zentangle stuff while listening to music. It’s a nice way to be creative and keep my hands busy.
- Praying: I’m Catholic, so I find praying the Rosary to be calming. It’s repetitive and a good way to meditate, plus the beads feel nice to hold and help keep track of the prayers. I feel like I’m holding onto my faith physically when I pray with rosary beads.
I’ve noticed a lot of the anxiousness happens at night and the four things that have been most helpful all involve using my hands (holding pencils, the rosary, video game). I’m not really sure why I get so anxious towards the evening. It’s a lot worse when I haven’t slept the previous night. I get hyper aware of everything, especially my heartbeat and I start thinking I’m dying. I’m proud of myself for taking action and distracting myself when these things happen because I had a tendency in the past to just get consumed by it and freak out even more. Meditating while closing my eyes used to help me but for some reason it causes me to have the physical sensation that I’m flying or on a roller coaster blindfolded when I do which makes things worse. I’ve been wondering about other hobbies I could get into that could be helpful as well. I know a lot of people enjoy crocheting, maybe I’ll try that someday.