After a long day of work, many people often wonder what they can do to relieve stress and relax. I find that these 10 tips are the most helpful to my clients:
1. Take a warm bath with essential oils and calming music
2. Dance and/or sing it out to your favorite song
3. Take a walk around your neighborhood
4. Nourish your body with a well-balanced meal
5. Hydrate with a refreshing glass of water
6. Participate in a 5-10 minute guided breathing exercise on a meditation app
7. Enjoy a conversation with a loved one
8. Play with your pet if you have one
9. Read a chapter in a leisurely book
10. Exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes
Those who undergo treatment for substance abuse experience a variety of different symptoms. Some symptoms include anxiety, trouble sleeping, nausea, sweating, muscle aches, nervousness, and even hallucinations. Anxiety is one of the most primary symptoms. Anxiety occurs because the body is detoxing and adjusting to various chemical changes and bodily processes. During these processes, you may experience a temporary period of anxiety. The most important factor for people to remember is that this is a normal feeling. Your body is adapting to the changes going on and therefore, anxiety is expected So, what can you do to help minimize these feelings of anxiety?
1. Work on developing grounding exercises to keep your mind and body calm as the anxiety hits. Some grounding techniques include focusing on your feet as they hit the ground and objects around you that you can touch. Tactile resources can help keep you grounded and focused on the present moment.
2. Find a safe place where you can take deep breaths and focus on your core.
3. Purchase a diary or journal where you can write down and express fears, worries, and emotions that come through your brain during these anxious times. Writing these feelings out on paper will allow for a healthy release and in turn relaxing your mind and reducing anxiety provoking thoughts.
4. Learn how you can engage with the “happy hormones,” such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Simple tasks such as laughing, dancing, engaging with nature, and eating certain foods can boost your mood and help with your anxious feelings.
5. Consider speaking with a mental health professional as they can provide you with a safe outlet to discuss your feelings and give you targeted coping skills to get past these turbulent times.
These times may be challenging, and the anxiety can be overwhelming. However, the most important thing to remember is that this is a phase and as your body adjusts to the chemical changes, your anxiety will begin to fade. Surround yourself with a support system, develop strong and realistic coping skills, and remember that anxiety can be fleeting. Just as you have conquered your substance abuse, you can conquer this anxiety too.
WHAT IS RECURRING ANXIETY?
Recurring anxiety can happen for many different reasons. It can be due to a body memory, which means that your body is remembering getting anxious at specific times. For example, if you have suffered a previous trauma, your body might remember the exact time of day it occurred. Therefore, you have an anxious reaction at that specific time because your body learned to experience that feeling from a previous traumatic event that occurred.
Recurring anxiety can also occur due to a lack of proper sleep, nutrition, and water. This can cause low blood pressure and low blood sugar, which in turn can lead to an increase in anxiety. Nourishing your body with proper nutrition, a sufficient quantity of water, and developing a solid, steady sleep routine can help as you work to lessen these anxious occurrences.
All of this is completely normal. Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the U.S. Some experience it consistently, at random times, and or at recurring times of the day. There are skills that you can develop and routines that you can engage in to help prevent and overcome these anxious feelings.
Here are my 4 tips for coping with recurring anxiety:
1. Try to investigate the feeling to determine the root cause and ask yourself the following questions: Could there have been a past trauma that may have caused this? Is there a specific trigger that is causing this to happen? When did these feelings start? Am I properly nourished with food, sleep, and hydration?
2. Change the environment that you are in when the anxiety occurs. Provide yourself with a safe space to release your emotions and become one with your body and mind. In reconnecting with your body, the mind relaxes—hence anxiety reduces.
3. Find a release for the anxiety or coping mechanisms such as taking deep breaths, taking a walk, relaxing in a warm bath, calling a friend, or dancing to your favorite song.
4. Prepare a list of daily mantras to say that encourage you to get through your anxious moments such as, ‘this is temporary and will pass,’ or ‘anxiety is just a feeling and there is no immediate threat or danger.’
Panic attacks can come on suddenly, without reason, and leave one in a total panic of what to do. Do you know what you can say to someone who is experiencing one? There are many things that you can do and say to someone who is in these moments of the unknown. Next time you encounter someone in a panic attack, try telling them one of these wonderful suggestions below!
Everyone experiences anxiety and panic in different ways. There is no perfect thing to say to help someone who is struggling with panic, but we hope that these tips give you some insight into how you can best help someone close to you.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND MENTAL HEALTH
Even when you do not want to admit it, social media has some form of power over you. As a mental health professional, I can see the effects manifesting in a variety of patients. It can affect all ages, genders, and even appear in various walks of life. The following are some of the more common ways in which social media can impact your mental health.
The truth of the matter is no one’s life is exactly as it appears on social media. People put out the parts they want others to see and hide the parts they do not want anyone knowing. The constant comparison and need to fit in can lead to depression, anxiety, and other issues. Mental health and social media is an ever evolving topic and will continue to be a hot topic in mental healthcare as we learn ways of helping patients through these newfound issues.