Many women have shared that they struggle with stress and anxiety within their day-to-day lives. Some days it can fuel just enough to get mass amounts of work done and skyrocket productivity levels. Other days, it can become so crippling that it makes it hard to breathe, eat, or even get out of bed.
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Well, most of anxiety derives from taking on too much and putting on a “strong front” for far too long. Sometimes we neglect taking care of our own needs or asking for help because we want to remain in control. While this perceivable strength can be admirable at times, it can also be self-destructive at others.
Having struggled with stress and anxiety throughout my whole life, I have learned a few helpful, holistic, strategies to tame the crippling affects and channel it into more beneficial avenues.
Clutter can lead to an instant feeling of chaos. This can be physical clutter, mental clutter, emotional clutter- you name it. That feeling of overwhelm can hit fast and hard, usually leading to massive energy depletion. If you struggle with anxiety, managing clutter should be on the top of your list.
Sometimes just jotting down the thoughts running through your head can be an immense relief. I have started leaving packets of post-its all around my apartment—on the table, on my nightstand, in the kitchen. Leaving these notepads around help me to take the clutter of thoughts out of my mind and put it into another space so I can address it later. Sometimes thoughts, tasks, reminders, etc. will come to me unexpectedly and if I try to keep it all in my mind, I will become hyper-focused on them and not attend to other, more important tasks.
As far as physical clutter, I find it helpful to have everything picked up and put away before my head hits the pillow at night. For two reasons- One, you can wake up refreshed with a clean slate, not spending the first waking hours picking up yesterday’s mess. Two, you will get a better night’s sleep when you aren’t thinking about all the mess you have to pick up tomorrow.
Having a clean, organized physical space sends a calming message to the brain and will put it as ease, making it easier to work and do other tasks.
Emotional clutter—this is a more challenging one to navigate. Invest the time to talk to a trusted friend who can help you sort through what you’re going through. If you aren’t comfortable with that, I believe therapy is a beautiful solution and one of strength and privilege. You know yourself best, so always do what makes the most sense for you.
Drink Less Caffeine
I know, I know. Being the coffee lover that I am, this was a hard one to accept. But the days I drink too much caffeine in an attempt to be “more productive,” I end up just grinding my wheels harder and getting overwhelmed. The effects of caffeine on the body closely resemble what one experiences during a panic attack—racing heartrate, shortness of breath, jittery, etc. In small amounts this can help aid productivity, but when drank in mass amounts or in place of adequate water consumption, this can cause the body to drain itself. Be mindful of how much you are drinking and when. Try getting half-caffeinated coffee, or full decaf. I call this the “placebo effect”- your mind will taste the coffee and automatically respond the way it knows how, it will hardly recognize the difference, and you will feel better. Win-win.
Get Out Of Your Head
Most of anxiety comes from living within our own heads. Dwelling too much on the past or future, but not focusing enough on what is happening in the moment. We want so much to feel stability, that we believe the only way to do that is by controlling what has already happened or what has yet to happen. But as we all know, that’s impossible to do. All we can truly manage is what we are experiencing in the moment. So it’s important to spend the time focusing there to set yourself up for greater success.
Try focusing on these three core areas for a month and watch your vitality elevate! Xo
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