Skip to content

3 Self-Care Tips for Anxiety

self care ideas for anxiety

The thing is feeling anxious and experiencing anxiety is not necessarily bad. Anxiety is a natural response to feeling worried about something in the future or the past.

Anxiety encourages us to stay hyper-vigilant. This means we remain ‘on edge’ in order to mentally and physically prepare our bodies for danger.

This anxiety is normal for job interviews, exams, and appointments. We’re bound to get anxious around these things.

However, anxiety becomes a problem when it affects your day-to-day life.

If your anxiety is ongoing, your worrying feels out of control, too intense for the situation or is causing panic attacks, this could be a sign that you need more support.

Before we look at self-care tips for anxiety, lets look at how practicing self-care can actually help anxiety.

How self-care can help anxiety

If you experience intense, overwhelming anxiety, practising self-care can help you.

You may have heard that if you struggle with anxiety, then creating a sense of safety and comfort will help. By feeling safe, you can reduce your self-doubt and inner critic, build your self-compassion and escape feelings of impending doom.

This is where a solid self-care practice can help you. By building self-care habits that soothe, comfort and reduce the noise of anxiety, you will be able to see life clearer and step out of the fear.

So, let’s look at my top 3 self-care tips for anxiety.

Self-Care Tips for Anxiety

Looking at the 5 types of self-care, here are 3 self-care tips for anxiety.

Be present and shake it off (physical & spiritual self-care)

When we are feeling anxious, we’re living in the future or the past.

Let me explain…

Anxious thoughts usually revolve around a future event that hasn’t happened yet (and might not happen) or the thoughts, feelings and expectations from our past that we relive over and over again.

However, it is almost impossible to be anxious when we’re in the present moment. This is because when we are physically present, we are not preoccupied with what might be happening.

We are here, in the moment.

A way to bring yourself into the present moment is to become aware of your body, and your physical presence.

One way you can do this is when you feel your anxiety increasing, maybe your palms are beginning to sweat and your inner critic is getting louder, shake it off.

Yep, physically shake your entire body.

This shaking not only releases built-up tension, it also helps to regulate our nervous system.

Aka our flight or fight response.

Our nervous system was designed to protect us from danger. And this works great when we are facing physical danger.

But it can also be triggered by anxiety. When you get anxious, your adrenalin builds, and your heart rate speeds up to fight off an attacker.

Except with anxiety, there is no attacker.

So, by literally shaking off this excess adrenaline, we can regulate our nervous system and calm our body.

This practice takes our awareness away from the anxiety, the future or the past, and back to the present. We become aware of our physical presence as we shake off the anxiety.

Write it out (mental self-care)

So, we’ve established that being present in our body is a large part of self-care for anxiety.

The thing is, it’s not always easy to be present in our bodies when our minds are on overdrive.

Are you familiar with that feeling when your thoughts are racing, too fast to even really recognise them? It’s like your mind is speeding through every possible worst-case scenario without you really being able to process what’s going on.

You’re just left with this crippling feeling of impending doom.

However, in order to slow down these thoughts, and make them more manageable and feel more physically present, take some time to write out these thoughts.

Set aside some time every day to write. The act of writing will bring your focus from the racing thoughts and allow you to get them out of your head and onto paper. From there, it becomes easier to spot patterns and identify what triggering you.

Writing out your anxious thoughts gives them a place to go, instead of being stuck in your head going round and round on a never-ending loop.

Here are some prompts to help you get started:

  • What has been causing me anxiety today?
  • What thoughts have been on repeat today?
  • If I can’t identify the thoughts, how have I felt today? Where have I felt the anxiety in my body?
  • Are there any common themes my anxiety usually centres around?

Remember to approach this exercise with curiosity and compassion. There is no judgment for these thoughts, we’re simply trying to understand what your anxiety is trying to tell you.

Recommended reading: Self Compassion for Anxiety: The benefits

Talk it out (emotional & social self-care)

You’ve heard it before, I know you have, but talking to people about how you are feeling helps with anxious feelings.

Similar to the act of writing it out, talking to people gets your anxious thoughts out of your head and allows a different perspective.

Anxiety lives in silence, talking it out breaks this cycle.

So, how can you identify someone you trust enough to open up about your anxiety to?

Whether it is a friend, a partner or a family member, it is important to choose someone you feel safe with.

If you’re struggling to think of anyone you’d be happy opening up to, talking to a counsellor is another option.

Talking to a counsellor who specialises in working with anxiety is a form of emotional self-care and will help you understand how you’re feeling and work with your anxiety rather than against it.

Working with a counsellor who specialises in anxiety will allow you the space to explore these anxious thoughts and feelings, understand them, and develop your self-compassion naturally.

If you’re interested in learning more about counselling for anxiety, I offer a free initial 20-minute consultation call. This is a free call that will allow you to ask any questions you might have about counselling and to see if I’m the right counsellor for you. I offer online counselling sessions (and face-to-face in the Pickering, North Yorkshire area).

Click here to send an enquiry today.

References

  1. Mental Health Foundation. (2022). Explore Mental Health Topics: Anxiety.
  2. Mind In Bradford. (2022). 5 Self Care Tips to Help Anxiety.
  3. Healthline. (2021). Can Shaking Your Body Help Heal Stress and Trauma? Some Experts Say Yes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *