Does your current self-care help or hinder your anxiety disorder? The way you take care of yourself matters. Try these tips to manage your anxiety.
If you experience anxiety, you’re not alone. In fact, it affects approximately 19% of adults and 32% of adolescents. It can have an impact on activities of daily living and can range from mild to moderate, to severe.
While anxiety or anxiety attacks may not be completely eliminated, providing yourself good self-care can help you reduce the number of days that anxiety interferes with your work or school, relationships and how you interact with your community.
Prayer and Scripture can provide comfort for many people who have an anxiety disorder. That’s why I created a FREE printable with Scripture verses which you can find at the bottom of this article.
Here are 5 self-care tips to follow to best manage and cope with anxiety.
1. Set Up a Consistent Exercise Schedule
A consistent exercise routine not only offers health and wellness benefits it also helps to manage anxiety. Evidence suggests that aerobic exercise (dancing, walking, swimming) can decrease the current state of anxiety, and improve how you feel in regard to anxiety on a daily and ongoing basis.
That means the benefit of exercise is worth the energy to try new activities, even if you don’t like to exercise.
Yoga can also help you focus your thoughts or relieve tension and stress when you are struggling with anxiety.
2. Limit Caffeine Intake to Reduce Anxiety
We’ve all heard caffeine should be limited, but if you have an anxiety disorder, limiting your caffeine intake may help you reduce your anxiety symptoms.
Caffeine will increase your adrenaline levels and can place you in a state of continuous fight-or-flight. Caffeine is in coffee, teas, energy drinks, medications, and chocolate products.
3. Improve Sleep Hygiene
Many people who have an anxiety disorder struggle with getting enough sleep. The disorder itself is associated with poor sleep quality. That said, improving your sleep hygiene, or your habits before you sleep, can help.
Ideas to improve sleep hygiene:
- Quench your thirst & go to the bathroom before you go to bed
- Reduce environmental light and noise in your bedroom
- ‘Turn off your brain’ an hour before you go to bed.
For example, try to stop working on intense homework or projects an hour before going to bed to lower the cognitive activity.
Want to sleep like a baby? Then let your brain decompress and know it is bedtime.
4. Consider Therapy
Everyone with an anxiety disorder experiences a variety of triggers and it affects their life in different severities.
Sometimes life brings stressful seasons that can make coping with anxiety more difficult. A couple of visits with a therapist can be a way to identify unique self-care tips to deal with your anxiety while you are going through changes in your life. A therapist can help you identify strategies to use during a variety of situations or from new or specific triggers.
Be sure to do some research to find a best-fit therapist.
Dealing with an anxiety disorder can make you feel overwhelmed – that’s why my last self-care tip is essential.
5. Meditation, Prayer, and Worship – Self-care Tips to Deal with Your Anxiety
Start meditating. Research has shown meditation can reduce anxiety. And, if you are a person of faith, engaging in prayer is a form of meditation.
Additionally, worship and regular church attendance (even online) have also been found as a way to reduce anxiety and manage stress.
You can use Scripture to help you find the motivation to continue good self-care and manage your anxiety.
If your faith is important to you, I want to encourage you to utilize the truth of God, shared in the Bible.
You can offer your self-care as a living sacrifice!
It is likely you are not just trying to take better care of yourself. You take care of others too. Whether you care for your children, support your spouse, care for aging parents, serve in a ministry, or maybe even all of the above, it takes motivation to make your self-care a priority when you are caring for others.
So consider taking care of yourself as a way to worship and honor the Lord. Find more information here.
Finally, in closing, take the time to identify your personal needs so you can implement the appropriate self-care tips to deal with your anxiety.
Follow your health provider’s medical and mental health advice and implement these 5 self-care tips to deal with your anxiety: exercise regularly, limit your caffeine intake, improve your sleep hygiene, consider going to a trained therapist, and using meditation (including prayer and worship).
Dealing with an anxiety disorder is not always easy, but giving yourself proper self-care you can offer more opportunities for days without interfering with anxiety symptoms.
You matter. I encourage you to take good care of yourself!
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