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12 Things That Help Manage My Anxiety

I've been struggling with anxiety for a while now. It got so bad that every reflection startled me. And I wondered why we need floor tiles that are so shiny the store fronts can be seen in them! 

Some things that have helped include:

1. Turning off message notifications on Facebook. I use a number of alarms and notifications throughout the day as part of my time management strategy and I was having too many distracting ones drown out the more critical ones. When they're all the same level of importance, they become overwhelming and meaningless. I learned that I could turn off notification dots only if I had notifications left on. I was really happy to learn this for messenger as I check multiple times a day anyway and I really don't need to check my business page that often. The links between Instagram and Facebook don't update correctly, so it was constantly putting up notification dots and there was nothing to action. I've learned there is such a thing as being too available anyway.

2. Choosing less stressful options like shopping at smaller stores rather than shiny malls filled with hundreds of people. This was an especially good tactic for holiday shopping, but I think I want to do it more often than that. Sure, some are further from my home, but less people everywhere is nice. Unless the weather is bad or it's rush hour, I don't mind driving the extra distance at all.

3. Tweaking my calendar. My colour scheme wasn't thoroughly thought out last year. Some of it was good. I have a colour for health related items. But the items that were for chores, fun, and other goals were not set up well. I've fixed this. I've also made it more stable, so that I should be better able to remember what I'm doing from day to day. When I get through this big decluttering push and can get back to a routine anyway.

4. Having packages delivered to the post office rather than my door. I didn't realize how much it was stressing me out, but packages often end up left at the wrong door and people in my building would rather send something back or keep it instead of bringing it to the person who actually ordered it. This takes a couple of days longer to get things and I have to leave home, but I usually need some other items like food and I actually get my packages. Now and then, an item can't be sent to the post office, but most can and I've noticed I'm less stressed out because I don't feel like I have to be home to have a better chance at getting my items.

5. Buying a set of Loops ear plugs. Sometimes noise gets to be too much and these let me hear while turning down the world a bit. They actually also help me focus better on conversations or what I need to be engaged in like when I'm at curling. Just having them with me makes me feel more relaxed.

6. Pitching old unfinished projects has been a good thing as well. I've found old knitting efforts for things I don't want to own. I took them off the needles and donated them. Someone else can salvage that bit of acrylic yarn if they want to. I want to switch to more natural yarns these days anyway. I've also changed a number of plans around my house. Like I was trying to keep part of my DIY loveseat, but I really don't have the space for it and I had a chair I could be using for reading instead that didn't involve a bunch of work. I am going to disassemble the loveseat parts though as the wood is useful for me to use for other things. But for now, it's tucked away under my daybed, so I can focus on more critical things.

7. Making changes that reduce regular annoyances. I had this set of cutlery I bought online that was weighted poorly. Because of this, most of the pieces would constantly fall off my plates and onto my floor or my foot. I got some much lighter cutlery from IKEA and donated the too heavy cutlery. I liked them so much that I got another set.

8. Purging items that weren't right for the me I am now. I had these beautiful crystal wine glasses that I selected when I was married. They not only didn't fit in my dishwasher, but left me connected to a time and a version of me that is long gone. I figured someone else would love and cherish them in a way I couldn't. I asked and received stemless wine glasses for Christmas. I don't drink a lot of wine, but I do like to indulge now and then. Now I can without any ill feelings connected to the past.

9. Having a therapist. Yeah, this one isn't a cheap option, but it has been helpful to vent about certain things with a professional. I've learned to worry a touch less and that I'm probably trying to do too much. So that's part of why January was about just the decluttering and though other things were in my schedule, I didn't get upset at myself for focusing on this large task and getting much less done on other goals. This decluttering effort will reach a regular maintenance level and not impact my other goals forever.

10. Reframing things. Yes, it's my busy time of the year at work. No, I don't have to run around like I'm being chased by Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers. I've been doing this year end thing for awhile now and I know I've got this.

11. Making time for things I love. Even though my focus is on decluttering, I need breaks. I have been doing a little bit of editing during these, some gaming, some music stuff, some knitting, some drawing, and some reading. Is it as much as I want to be doing? Not yet, but I don't have to go from 0-100! Actually, I should stop trying to do all the things all the time anyway 😂

12. Taking more me time. I love seeing my loved ones, but between work, sports, and everything else, I need downtime. I wasn't giving myself enough of that. I was just trying to be everywhere all the time and it was too much.


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