What’s Been Helping My Anxiety Lately

So, I’ve been actively working on combating my anxiety/panic.  So far I haven’t needed my prn anti-anxiety med in about a week.  I was having really bad panic attacks for awhile.

I’ve been drinking less beverages with caffeine (coffee, tea) and more water, that’s certainly helped I’m sure.  Praying the Rosary is very helpful as well, I had been meaning to get a new rosary for awhile and finally got one recently.  I think that the prayers being repetitive and having something to physically hold and move makes it very relaxing. I used to pray it every night and it was always a nice peaceful time.

Music is another thing that’s helped.  My friend recommended some really good headphones for me to buy since I was interested in finally getting something with good sound quality.  When I put my headphones on and turn my on my music it completely cancels out any outside noise which is great.

Something else I’ve been doing (now that my concentration has improved) is reading.  I’m a huge book lover and used to read upwards of 70 books or more a year.  Now that I can focus I’ve been getting into some good books that have been on my to-read list for awhile.  Nothing is more relaxing than a cup of tea and a good book (and my cats purring next to me!) Right now I’m reading “My Lovely Wife” by Samantha Downing.  I won an ARC of it from a Goodreads  giveaway awhile back.  It was described as “Dexter (one of my favorite shows!) meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith), so I was definitely interested and happy to win it.  It’s out now by the way, if anyone wants to read it, it was released at the end of last month.

I’ve been drawing again and doing other arts and crafts, coloring, etc.

And, lastly, walking.  Just walking anywhere around town, it helps clear my mind and the weather has been pretty nice.  🙂

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Doing Wonderful!

Things have been going very well lately. 🙂  It’s the second week of the spring semester and I already have tons of assignments, readings, quizzes and other stuff coming from every which way!  I’m actually enjoying it though.  I love learning and it helps keep me busy.

My anxiety level has improved a lot.  I was able to face something earlier this week that was giving me anxiety for months.  Something ridiculous honestly but it’s an accomplishment for me.  Haven’t been having panic attacks, finally!

Started drawing more often and journaling.  I seem to be able to do more lately.  I was a little depressed for awhile and kind of paralyzed by anxiety so I wasn’t doing things I needed to do or even things I enjoy.  I’m motivated and happy now.

Have been eating healthier.  Much less sugar/junk food and more fruit and vegetables.  I swear I was going through sugar withdrawals for a couple days, I had such a horrible headache that would not go away and felt like crap.  My body was probably shocked by the healthy food, like what the hell is this stuff?!? lol

Bought a set of 300 anatomy study cards.  No, I am not taking an anatomy class right now…   It was partially an impulse buy and partially due to the fact that I want to learn more about the human body out of general interest and for reference when drawing.  They’re really cool!

Still reading The Chronicles of Narnia, haven’t had as much time since classes started up again but wow, it’s amazing

 

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What Helps Me When Anxious

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.