Lifestyle, Tips

How to unwind when feeling anxious

Hello!

Some days are better than others. Sometimes the anxiety just becomes too much to handle. Luckily there are a few helpful ways to help you unwind and let go of your tension. I speak from experience when I say that I know anxiety can be terrifying. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we allow our anxiety to take hold of us.

How to unwind?

It might seem like such a daunting task but there are a tricks that can help ease an overwhelming sense of anxiety. For me, these tips and tricks are always very helpful and I hope that by sharing them I’ll be able to help another beat their anxious feelings and learn to unwind.

Tip 1: Watch your fave movie series/read your fave book

I have a few favourite books and movies for when I’m feeling anxiuous. The Harry Potter is top on that list for both books and movies but also Disney films. For that hour and a half, my mind is somewhere else and while I know the problem will still be there when the movie or chapter is over, I know I’ve allowed myself that time. Allowing yourself the time to unwind is very crucial and if that means watching your favourite movie every night for a week then so be it.

Tip 2: watch your fave series/youtuber

Pretty much the same as the tip above, watching your favourite series or youtuber will allow you an escape. However, a time needs to be set when it comes to this form of escape. If you have a deadline, electing to watch 8 hours of series to avoid your anxiety is NOT the solution. That being said, if you’ve been hard at work for several hours and you begin to feel your anxiety mounting then take a break and watch one episode of your favourite series or one of your favourite youtubers videos. It’s important to be strict with this as it can easily lead to more intensified anxiety.

Tip 3: Watch the sunset

There are very few things quite as soothing as watching the sunset. I’m not saying you’re all of a sudden going to stop feeling anxious but I am saying it will give you a bit of perspective. It might feel like the world is crashing all around you but if you take a moment to just enjoy this simple pleasure then you’ll slowly start to appreciate each day more. You will no longer allow your anxiety to rid you of the opportunity to appreciate nature and you’ll start to put your problems into perspective.

Tip 4: Do some yoga/go for a jog

Exercise is one of the top tricks for managing anxiety. Every doctor I’ve ever spoken to about my anxiety has encouraged exercise in one form or another. Going for a jog or doing cardio can help release tension and flood your body with endorphins which will lift your spirits. I choose to jog and do yoga as my form of release but any vigorous exercise will do the trick.

Tip 5: Cuddle your loved one/pet

Pets are wonderful beings – they love you no matter what you’re feeling. If you have a dog then you know what I mean, even a cat! We have a cat and despite what you might think, she’s very loving and can sense when something is wrong. Her company is enough to make me feel better and while she might not cuddle like a dog, she’s fluffy and adorable. Also, if you happen to have a husband/wife/bae then turn to them. Cuddle them until you feel ready to let go, that’s what they’re there for. Okay not only that but really, people who love you will want to be there for you and sometimes a good hug/cuddle is all the therapy we need.

Tip 6: Listen to music and dance

What I’ve learnt, from years of experience is that music can change your mood. Many a night have been spent dancing around my room listening to cheesy old school music. Dancing, like exercising releases endorphins and will lift your spirits. Even if 80s Madonna isn’t your thing, then pick your genre and go crazy. Obviously, music that is filled with sad emotional messages won’t really help to boost your spirits and help alleviate your feelings of anxiety, so try stick to upbeat tunes.

Tip 7: Drink a cup of tea/coffee/wine

I live for tea. I’m not a coffee drinker but tea is my thing! When I’m feeling anxious, a good cup of tea goes a long way. Whether you’re a tea or coffee lover, or maybe you enjoy a glass of wine, don’t deny yourself these treats. Note: all within reason! Too much tea or coffee can result in an overload of caffeine which is the opposite of what you want because that will intensify your anxiety. Same goes with wine, too many glasses will lead to a nasty hangover which will lead to guilt and further anxiety. So have your cuppa of coffee/tea/hot chocolate or wine but all within reason.

Tip 8: Treat yourself

This doesn’t mean go on a spending spree because this can end disastrously. I simply mean, give yourself a DIY facial and face mask or a mani-pedi. Effortless treats that you can do in the comfort of your own home, treats that will take your mind off your issue and lift your mood. Once you’ve treated yourself you’ll begin to feel better about yourself and feel ready to approach your tasks or that which is making you anxious. alternatively, you could treat yourself to a massage at a local spa. A massage is great for releasing tension and will help you rest better and thus think clearer.

Tip 9: Take a hot Shower/bath

While this has become a luxury to us here in Cape Town, it definitely works. When you’re feeling anxious, take a hot bath or shower and perhaps light some lavender incense or candles to create a soothing mood. Use some essential oils on your skin or bath in epsom salts. You’ll soon begin to feel the tension in your body relax and you’ll be able to think clearer.

Tip 10: Read the Bible

This is obviously specific to a persons religious beliefs. So please feel free to skip this tip if it’s not for you. For me, I know that turning to the bible gives me a sense of peace and relief knowing that God is on my side. Praying is also very soothing and will help release any anxious feelings you might be holding onto.

Tip 11: Talk to someone

As simple as this may seem, it’s often overlooked. When we feel anxious, we feel like no one will understand what we’re feeling and so instead we hold onto what we’re feeling and try to solve it internally. This can work but more often than not it’s detrimental to your chances of feeling and getting better. Often, just having someone to talk to can make the world of a difference – they can provide a whole new point of view and sometimes just help you unwind by simply listening. I have my husband and my family and friends but I also have a psychologist who I rely on. Seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of, it is important to look after your mental health.

Simple reminders:

Along with these tips, I have a few simple reminders for dealing with daily anxiety. These reminders have been given to by my psychologist.

Don’t forget to breathe. This pain will pass, you will overcome this challenge and soon it will be in your past. When you’re feeling anxious, take a deep breath in and slowly release it. Repeat this until you feel better.

 

Get the sleep you need. Trust me, lack of sleep will do you no good. Even if it means taking a sleeping pill, so be it. When you get your 6-8 hours your brain is able to function properly and make rational decisions. Without the sleep you will begin to feel worse and worse. The task will be there in the morning, you will be able to face it then.

 

If your anxiety is caused by a situation or environment you’re in then change it! If you’re unhappy with your current relationship then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the relationship and ultimately cut ties. This doesn’t mean leave your crappy job without a backup plan or move on a whim without a next time. Plan, prepare and make the change you need in your life.

This is possibly one of the most important – take everything one step at a time. Even if it means telling yourself “I just have to make it through this hour” for every hour of the day. It works, believe me. It helps you manage the task on hand and break it up into manageable chunks. Even if it’s not a task that is causing anxiety, even if it’s a feeling you can’t attach to a situation, just take it one small step at a time.

If you have any advice to share please do so! Also, if you need someone to talk to – feel free to contact me, I’m happy to try help as much as I can.

Read more on how I feel about anxiety here

You’re not alone and you can tackle your anxiety.

Thanks, VB xx

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26 Comments

  • It’s like this post was just meant for me. Thank you for sharing these amazing suggestions.

    I needed this post. I needed the reminders and I sure as hell needed those suggestions

    Looking forward to reading more of your post ❤️

    Reply
    • I’m happy to help where I can 🙂 xx

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  • Loved this. All of these things are so important for overall happiness 🙂

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    • My thoughts exactly 🙂 xx

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  • Loved reading this – self care is so important! I find I tend to get into an anxiety knot where it starts with one thing and then a cascade of thoughts – the usual anxiety provokers – start popping into my head once I’m in anxiety mode… So I have to interrupt myself and get my brain in a different space. With 3 kids I find some of the tips a bit challengning – what I do with my time is very seldom up to me alone – but hubby knows what happens when I don’t have time to myself to unwind! I’ve started waking a little earlier to do some stretching and that has made a huge difference. I know this is something I have to be very careful with because I ended up with some serious health issues due to unaddressed stress and anxiety. I wrote about my realisation that ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ doesn’t mean ‘do all the things even if it kills you’ here:
    http://twocentpearls.blogspot.com/2015/04/yolo-fomo-heck-no.html

    Reply
    • Ahh wow, thank you for sharing! I’ll be sure to check your article out 🙂
      Also I love that you acknowledge your anxiety and that your husband is supportive, it’s so crucial to have a spouse who is understanding.
      I wish you all the best 🙂 xx

      Reply
  • Love This Vee!

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    • 🙂 ♥

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  • Lovely post, Vee! This quote is what I can completely contribute to me getting so much better with my then-crippling anxiety –

    If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
    If you are anxious, you are living in the future.
    If you are at peace, you are living in the present.
    – Lao Tzu

    ♡ Cammy • Jane Wonder – Fashion and Beauty Blog •

    Reply
    • That is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing ♥

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  • What an awesome reminder that self-care is so important! I usually turn to HP too either books or movies to help unwind!

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    • HP is so special – I always feel happier after watching any of the films 🙂

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  • These are some really brilliant ideas! Self-care is so important. I love tea too, and I find it really helps soothe my nerves. 🙂

    https://www.hebahpervaiz.co.uk

    Reply
    • What is your favourite tea? I love lemon tea but also vanilla 🙂

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  • I really enjoyed reading about these tips to help with anxiety. Oftentimes it is hard to remember there are things you can do to help and this list will be perfect to look back on in those times 🙂

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    • I’m really happy to be able to help in any way possible 🙂 xx

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  • This is just what I needed to read tonight. I will now be putting on a film to unwind. I’ve done well to get to where I am on my journey through anxiety but everyone is allowed to have an off day even when they feel it has been already overcome 💗

    Reply
    • We’re all allowed our off days 🙂 I hope your film helped and that you have a wonderful day 🙂 xx

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  • Tip 1 and 5 is what happens everyday regardless of anxiety haha. but i will definitely start with watching the sunset again. thats something that really does help…thanks for this.

    Reply
    • It’s an absolute pleasure 🙂 haha I do agree that those happen regardless though!

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  • this is a great post! i do a couple of these ideas too. the only thing i miss is not being able to watch sunsets as the winter are very cold where i love and sometimes we could go days without sunlight

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    • Wow! I can’t imagine not having any sunlight! I see you have some anxiety advice on your blog too! I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

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  • These are great! I have a teen who suffers from anxiety and often times (honestly) I feel like she’s being “lazy” but I really need to remind myself that she’s just trying to unwind and calm down.

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    • Yeah it can sometimes seem like laziness but it’s important to find that balance 🙂 it’s something that I think will always be a struggle for those with anxiety but I’m sure you’re a wonderful mom who loves and supports her always 🙂

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  • Most are suffering from anxiety, and this article is helpful. Me, most of the times I like to do yoga or running or sometimes cook and eat what I want.

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  • Sometimes we forget that even taking a simple deep breath goes a long way to combatting anxiety. This has been the kind of week where I had to take a deep breath just tell myself, ‘get thru the next hour’ ‘you can do it’, over and over. And guess what, I did! Now it’s the weekend and time to read my book, have a hot tub and get back to my usual daily yoga workout. Hey, maybe I will even put on some music and do a little dancing! Shake out all those worries!

    Reply

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