Self-care is the practice of taking action to improve your health. More specifically, self care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and improve your energy. Anxiety, on the other hand, is a mental disorder characterised by a chronic state of uneasiness and nervousness which manifests itself in compulsive behaviour or panic attacks. Here are some self-care tips that can effectively manage anxiety.
Get regular exercise. In addition to the physical health benefits of exercise, physical activity can give you the opportunity to form a new hobby. This introduces you to a community of people with similar interests, promotes self-efficacy, and gives you something meaningful to do in your free time outside of work and family.
Focus on your sleep schedule. Make sure to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep and to sleep around 8-10 pm. Try to limit your exposure to blue light before bed as it can negatively impact your sleep quality. Check out Jason’s blog for more information about blue light and sleep.
Try breathing exercises. Breathing exercises can improve anxiety by enabling you to become more aware of your physical and mental states. Try breathing in through your nose for 3 seconds and breathing out through your mouth for another 3 seconds. During this time, direct your attention to your breath and let all other distractions pass through your field of awareness. Start off by performing this exercise for 1 minute and gradually increase this time.
Keep a photo diary. This entails taking pictures of moments in your day that make you calm and others that trigger your anxiety. This allows you to be more mindful of things that trigger your anxiety. You can start by taking a picture of your breakfast or places you visit each day.
Practicing these self-care tips will make a significant impact on your mental health! What do you do to manage your anxiety?
NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/guides-tools-and-activities/breathing-exercises-for-stress/.
“Caring for Your Mental Health.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/caring-for-your-mental-health#part_8445.
“Self-Care for Anxiety.” Mind, www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/self-care/.