Anxiety can be the loneliest experience on earth. Even surrounded by a support system, it can feel like you’re completely isolated in your own thoughts. Being alone with yourself is no longer solace from the chaos of social interactions, but a prison for circular thoughts and feeling completely incapable of being “normal.” At the end of the day, we have to face a difficult reality: the only person who can help us in times of anxiety is ourselves. Sure, we can have people who are there to comfort us and we can see therapists and go to support groups full of people who know exactly what we are going through, and they’re wonderful! But, when you’re alone and and you feel like there isn’t anyone to help, or if you’re someone who needs to be alone when you’re having an episode, you have you.
(THROWBACK PHOTO OMG)
I had the idea to make this post a few months ago. Even fresher to NYC than I am right now, I had just begun to adjust to my new life, with an entirely different schedule, and surrounded by people who were nearly strangers to me. For the first time in my adult life, I was without a job and family nearby in one of the most expensive cities, on the cusp of a breakup, and wondering if I would ever know what I am meant to do with my life (that last one is still painfully relevant). The collision of immediate stress and dull, constant anxiety in the back of my mind all caught up to me: I fainted in the middle of my apartment.
Seeing this new trait of something I’ve dealt with my entire life was a sign to me that I needed to focus more on managing my anxiety and pinpointing exactly what helps me in situations like these. Hence why I have made this post! I want to share my little tips for managing anxiety and I hope they can help you too!
1. Hydrate and drink plenty of water.
I can’t stress enough how important this is! Personally, I am huge on hydration because I lived in the hottest place on earth (Phoenix) before NYC and if you didn’t hydrate more than you think you should, you would easily get heatstroke in the 120-degree summers. Sometimes I even like to cite this video from Marina Abramovic where she instructs you to drink water extremely slowly and focus on how it is hydrating your body. It’s supposed to be her teaching the Abramovic Method, which has a huge emphasis on focusing on being present, and I think it’s extremely useful in this situation.
2. Take any medication or natural regimen that works for you.
Medication is not for everyone (it definitely wasn’t for me — more on that in another post), but if it’s what helps you, take it as instructed at the proper dose with no shame! Other natural remedies can help as well. Personally, I use hemp oil, also known as CBD oil, and it makes an enormous difference in my life. It also keeps my endometriosis pain at bay and regulates my IBS! I would highly recommend it for anyone. Some other options that other people swear by are aromatherapy or meditation!
3. Burn a nice-smelling candle.
I am a firm advocate for the investment candle, and my current favorite is this one from Diptyque! The nice thing about candles that are on the more expensive side is that they burn for forever and they smell incredible and linger in the room. A more affordable option is this one from Target, which I told y’all about on my Instagram last year because it is an exact dupe of one of Anthropologie’s fancy candles!
4. Breathe deeply and remember that this will pass.
No bullshit. It speaks for itself.
5. Allow yourself to feel your emotions. You’re allowed to feel this way.
This statement was the hardest thing for me to swallow as an adult because I wasn’t raised in this mindset. When I told my dad I was gay in high school, it was never talked about in my family. When I was struggling with anxiety and depression as a teenager, there was no conversation. I was plopped down in therapy and given a medication that triggered a lot of problems down the road (again, more on this in another post). And all of this could have panned out differently if there was a conversation and if I knew it was okay to recognize my emotions. So I am here to tell you: you’re allowed to have anxiety. You’re allowed to talk about it and cry about it and tell people about it. In fact, it can be healthier that way.
6. Connect with someone close to you who understands.
This can be family, a friend, your barista (actually don’t do that probably?) — anyone in your life who has saved space for you to express your emotions and are there as a genuine support system. I always find that talking it out with my friends and family helps me feel grounded and validates that I am not alone.
7. Identify your needs and ask for help if you can.
Need people to give you space? Therapy? Quiet? A hug? If you’re able to identify and verbalize your needs, do so! No pressure, of course, as not everyone can do that, but if there is something that you feel would help you, trust your gut. When I was waiting tables at a really big restaurant (I’m talking hundreds of tables, people) and I was panicking under pressure, the most valuable thing I learned was that there is value in asking for help. It benefits you, but then it also benefits people in your life because they can feel like they are helping you and that your relationship is communicative.
And, if none of this is what you were looking for, here’s some of my favorite videos that I watch when I am feeling down that make me feel better!
I hope this post was helpful to you, and of course, I take requests! If there is something you are dying to see me write about or post about on my Instagram, send me a DM or leave a comment below!
Until next post. xx