It’s getting to be that time in the semester when midterms are here, papers are due and the projects are endless. Amongst all that studying and last-minute scrambling, it’s easy to ignore our stress until it manifests and morphs into anxiety. When that happens, we can quickly feel like we’re spiraling, like nothing is within our control, which is a really scary feeling. Here are a few tips on how to manage feelings of anxiety.
Yoga (or any other light physical activity)
Courtesy: Eneko Uruñuela on Unsplash
Doing some light exercise can help to re-align your mind and body, especially if the exercise has a meditative component to it. Regulating your breathing and taking the time to just be in the moment helps slow down the mental spiral and keep things together for just a little longer. Even if it’s just a five-minute morning yoga routine, doing something to loosen your limbs and get your heart pumping truly helps.
Take the time you need for yourself (even if that means saying “no” to something fun)
It’s always important to understand your limits. When you’re going through a dark patch, it’s vital to remember that your mental health and physical well-being are more important than the loose plans you made with your friends. Sometimes you just need time to yourself, and that’s more than okay. Take the time you need, relax, regroup and do what you need to do to be able to accomplish anything.
Courtesy: Isabel Morrell
I have taken up painting very recently and, although I’m no Picasso, it is really gratifying to see something you’ve created yourself. Paint a phrase or a few words that are encouraging or paint your favorite symbol from Harry Potter (or whatever your favorite series is) and enjoy the fact that even in the midst of all of your anxiety, you can create something beautiful and uplifting. Plus, instant gratification can be helpful in easing your anxiety.
Download a meditation app
Let’s face it, we live in an overly stimulated world. We are on our phones or computers all the time so why not devote some of that screen time to your mental health? There are several reputable apps, each with its own purpose. My personal favorite for sleep/meditation is called Tide. It’s really helpful for my fellow insomniacs, and it also has settings for a guided meditation. Another good one is called Youper, it’s set up like a chat and it’s more personalized.
The most important thing to remember is that whatever you’re feeling is valid and having anxiety does not make you less of a person. Management is key and if you need help to do that, get help. There’s no shame in what you’re feeling. Try new things, talk to new people, go to new places. Mixing up your routine can help your body and mind adapt to the unexpected and it creates some adventure in what may seem like a monotonous life!