Whether you’re experiencing anxiety for the first time or have learned to live with it these tried and tested tips from our HQ Huns could help. From helpful breathing techniques that ground you to fun activities that help distract your whirring mind, have a read and try them out. Remember you’re in control of your body and have 100% got this!
Listen to meditation apps
When I’m over-thinking (which happens a lot at night!) I’ll put my earphones in and listen to some guided meditation to calm my mind.
Fail safe activities
Keep a list of failsafe activities that always bring you joy and immerse yourself in them when things feel too much. For me, it’s going for a walk, singing or baking to release those endorphins!
Focus on other people
Instead of being stuck in my own head I’ll call someone I haven’t heard from in a while and arrange a coffee or check in on someone I know is struggling to get some perspective. Connecting and helping others is a really good way to boost your own wellbeing as well as being a good friend.
Read about wellbeing
I love reading and watching anything which helps me understand more about wellbeing. I’ll read Brené Brown’s books and podcasts, articles from The Greater Good Science Centre or Action for Happiness, all of which are great sources of inspiration.
I have struggled with anxiety for many years and being able to talk about it made a huge impact on my life and ability to put my anxiety into perspective. I couldn’t recommend talking therapy enough, I think everyone could benefit from speaking to a professional. We all have mental health that we should take care of and need to start making it a priority to check in with ourselves and others.
It’s ok to say no
I try to ensure I keep a good balance of work, exercise and socialising. If I ever feel too overwhelmed, I no longer fear telling my friends/family that I may need to skip a social occasion because I need to have some ‘me time’. Sometimes your ‘social cup’ is full and that’s ok.
Curate your Instagram feed
Create an environment around you that doesn’t make you feel inadequate or anxious. Changing who I follow on Instagram and curating what I see on my feed has helped in more ways than I could have imagined. Ensuring I am following people who share their ‘real’ side, who are positive but realistic and have the same values as myself has helped me change my daily mindset when I scroll through my feed.
Talking to friends is key!
I was suffering in silence for a long time but when I was at a particular low point, one of my friends turned around and said, ‘this isn’t right, you shouldn’t be feeling like this and you need to speak to someone.’ Without her acknowledging and sympathising with me, I would have continued thinking that my anxiety was normal.
Reach out for help
There are people out there who can help you. In my case, my GP gave me the details of a NHS therapy service and I started a course of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) sessions with a therapist. It’s good to talk and these professionals are there to help you understand your worries and to find ways to overcome them.
This is a technique I first learnt when I was pregnant through hypnobirthing, and although it didn’t really help me then, I have used this since. The idea is that you’re breathing in peace (good thoughts) and breathing out any tension in your body. It gives your mind something to focus on in difficult situations, and I find it helps when I’m struggling to sleep.
If I'm struggling to fall asleep because my mind is going 100 miles an hour, I personally find that ASMR videos really help although it is like marmite; some love it and others hate it! Watching or listening to ASMR takes my mind off whatever was keeping me up and sends me to sleep in minutes! I recommend the Gentle Whispering ASMR's YouTube channel.
I really believe that pets can help us with anxiety. My cat Louie is the sweetest and fussing or playing with him really helps take the mind off everything else that's going on in the world.
Taking regular breaks is really important for me when I'm working. I take a regular tea break so that my mind can have a break too.
Have a bath
I'm a big fan of baths! I usually take one at least once a week and it's good to just relax and not have any mobile devices although I am guilty of watching KUWTK while soaking now and then!