5 Self-Care Tips to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Disorder
These days, anxiety is plaguing us all. It’s no wonder. We’ve all had a rough couple of years full of curveballs, unexpected changes, and new routines to adjust to. Nothing is “normal” anymore, and sometimes it can start to feel overwhelming.
The good news is you’re not alone. And you can easily learn how to reduce stress and anxiety and manage symptoms of them both through intentional and simple acts of self-care!
Self-Care: It’s Not All Bubble Baths and Face Masks
Self-care has been defined as a million different things over the year. What you need to know about self-care is this simple, relieving fact: There are no rules!
Self-care is about taking the time and space to focus on caring for yourself – spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Some days practicing self-care means focusing on your mental health, and some days it’s as simple as an excuse to use one of your favorite self-care products.
While a daily self-care management plan can be helpful, sometimes you still need self-care in specific moments – like when you’re feeling particularly stressed and need to press pause, or if you're feeling like anxiety disorder is having a flare-up.
Whatever it is, practicing self-care is one of the best ways to manage stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to turn.
5 Self-Care Practices to Ward Off Anxiety & Stress
While there are many types of self-care practices to reduce anxiety disorder and improve relaxation, here are 5 practices and helpful tips that are specially meant to help reduce stress.
Alternate Nostril Breathing to Reset Find Total Relaxation
One of the best self-care tips is Alternate Nostril Breathing. It is an ancient breathing technique practiced in yoga to bring peace and stillness to the mind and body.
To try it, begin by sitting in a comfortable, open position on the floor. Take your thumb and place it over your nostril. Breathe in and pause, arranging your hand to cover the opposite nostril (you can use your ring finger and thumb). Continue this deep, rhythmic breathing for 10-20 breaths. Can you already feel the relaxation? Because, same.
This self-care technique provides some pretty incredible health benefits:
- Lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate
- Combats stress and anxiety
- Regulates the nervous system
- Increase breath awareness
- Improved neurocognitive function to keep your brain sharp
Who knew self-care to help curb anxiety disorder could be as easy as breathing? Heck yeah!
Reduce Your Caffeine Intake to Stay Focused and Calm
One of the best and easiest ways to practice self-care and curb anxiety disorder for your mind (and wallet), is to scale back those daily Starbucks runs.
Caffeine can cause jitters and worsen anxiety disorder and stress, especially if you’re drinking on an empty stomach. While one cup of coffee is probably okay, it’s best to lay off the extra energy drinks and your mid-day coffee.
Reducing caffeine is one of the best ways to practice daily self-care, manage stress, and help control anxiety disorder. When you’re stressed your body is already in a heightened state so you don’t want to put it in overdrive.
It may be challenging at first, but don’t give up! Your body will adjust to less caffeine over time. Try swapping your afternoon coffee for green tea – you’ll gain added antioxidant benefits and take in far less caffeine.
Don’t forget caffeine also can keep you awake, so caffeine late in the day could impact your sleep schedule – which in turn, could heighten stress and anxiety the next day. Setting boundaries for when you drink caffeine is always a good idea, especially when you're trying to make self-care a priority and get enough sleep every night!
Follow a Routine to Manage Anxiety Disorder
As beings who follow the cycle of the sun, rhythms naturally soothe us -- in a way, those rhythms are a form of self-care that happens naturally. Pretty cool, right?
Finding ways to incorporate regular, familiar actions into your day is one of the best methods of self-care and to improve your mental health overall.
One of our all-time favorite self-care strategies to help manage stress and anxiety disorder?
Skincare, all the way!
Healthy, happy skin = happy, confident you, after all.
Creating a daily self-care routine is done for the same reason you inherently create a special skincare routine: it brings calmness, peace, and life to your skin. You can do the same for your mental health!
There’s a lot of time between the second you wake up and the second your head hits the pillow, so try to plan how you're going to use that time and what self-care activities you can incorporate without feeling too overwhelmed.
Creating routines and opportunities to practice self-care activities within your day provides structure and helps control anxiety one activity at a time. It keeps you grounded and focused on the tasks at hand instead of your anxiety.
Exercise for Your Mental Health
Just as important as caring for your body on the outside with rhythms like a skincare routine, your body NEEDS daily exercise to stay healthy.
Maintaining your physical health with regular exercise is one of the best and easiest ways to manage stress and reduce anxiety. Whether you head to the mat for a yoga flow, lace up your shoes for a run around the block, or head to the gym for a good lift session, any type of exercise you can give your body is beneficial.
Physical exercise is even proven to prevent stress. So next time you ever feel anxious or stressed about a big project coming up, the future of our planet, or just life in general, try embracing your favorite form of exercise as a healthy way to calm the waters.
Plus, your body releases endorphins when you exercise, which creates natural feel-good vibes, to support your mental health and positive mood, as well!
It’s a win-win.
Surround Yourself With Supportive People
We’ve all been there. You’re feeling the pressure on a big project or a new endeavor and you’re majorly stressed. Just when you need support or someone to listen, you’re told to “calm down.”
Great advice, right?
Hearing the wrong words from someone in a moment of stress only makes things worse.
One of the best, yet often-overlooked self-care ideas for stress is one of the most profound changes you can make to get yourself out of a rut. Surround yourself with supportive people, like friends and family members.
You know the ones.
The ones who know your triggers and who you can trust for guidance when you need help to find calmness.
The ones who know when you need space and know just what you need to hear.
You’ll bounce back in no time.
Spending time with those friends and family members you can trust and talking to them about your health and well-being in a safe space can help melt stress away and leave you feeling less anxious, more supported, and happier overall.
Support groups can also be extremely helpful resources and places where you can find people you can trust and lean on, especially if you're going through something unique.
Just remember, there IS always someone out there who has you in their corner and who is there to help.
Professional advice from a doctor or counselor is also advised for those suffering from anxiety or severe stress.
How You Practice Self-Care for Anxiety Disorder Is Your Choice
Now that you’ve learned more about how to manage stress and anxiety with these helpful tips and practices, you’re ready to set yourself up for less stress and tools to combat anxiety.
None of us are perfect, and self-care isn’t one size fits all, so remember – how you practice self-care is always up to you! Do what feels right for you and you’ll be golden.
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