Life is busy, and our to-do lists are longer than a CVS receipt (Good one, huh?) — Whether you’re under-water at work, or struggling through endless coursework — anxiety can take a serious toll on the mind and body. I know this firsthand, as it can be scary. I’ve been through the long sleepless nights, the frightening panic-attacks & medication. I’m no doctor (unless we’re paging Dr. Fashion) but for me, those didn’t seem to do any good. I stopped taking medication, and started working toward health and happiness. I can tell you now, that I’ve been med-free for 12+ months, and I’m feeling better than ever! I’m sharing a few of my favorite ways to rid anxiety, and bring calmness to your daily grind! It works, if you work it!
CREATE A VISION BOARD
My mom actually introduced me to this, and it’s so much fun! Sometimes, the future seems a bit intimidating, and instead of living in the present — we dwell on the past/future. Vision boards create excitement about projects and possibilities to come. It also takes our mind off ‘duty’ and we get to explore some positive corners of our soul. What does mine include? Beautiful homes with infinity pools, laughter, nature and success. Do you have a vision-board? Use hashtag: #ChicInspiration so I can see!
Ha, not just anything — but something calming! Lavender, basil and chamomile reduce tension in the body, and help increase clarity. PS: I take a hot bath every single night with plenty of lavender bubbles. This is my time to disconnect, and have alone time. I always come out feeling more relaxed, then when I went in. (More calming oils)
I swear by the 4-7-8 exercise — Close your mouth and inhale through your nose, count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale through the mouth (making a whoosh sound) as you count to 8. Meditation is huge on breathing techniques, and this one happens to be a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. (You may get dizzy, so make sure you’re sitting down the first few times). Short breaths signify strength and anxiety, where lengthening sends signals to your brain that say, ‘we all good down here!” (This app is a favorite of mine and it’s from the most amazing website, calm.com — go check it out right now! I have it in the background as I write this blog, ha!)
EXERCISE + NUTRITION
Exercise, and nutrition — they are the best couple, I tell you! Studies have linked vitamin B with good mental health, and omega 3’s help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is definitely something I struggle with, as I’m a huge dessert-gal! We have to make these a lifestyle, and not a diet to be effective. Exercise helps your mood, and gets those endorphins flowing — and hey, who doesn’t feel better after a workout? Sugar, and processed foods can actually increase your symptoms of anxiety — everything in moderation though!
Expressing gratitude is a mood-booster. f you’re not in the habit of this (really tough in the middle of a Chicago winter, trust me) then grab a journal, and start writing down a few things you’re grateful for at the start of each day. The point behind this exercise is to get the mind trained for that mental-marathon. Soon, you’ll be waking up happy, and excited to start each day. Also, do you remember this adorable girl professing her very own affirmation in the mirror? ‘I like my hair, I like my haircut, I like my room, I like my whole house’ and she goes on and on! Say something nice to yourself every morning — Tell yourself you’re going to have a great day, and odds are, you will.