4 things everyone with Anxiety should be doing (or start doing) NOW

If you have anxiety, depending on the day everything can slip. A bad day can set you back a week, a bad week a month and so on. Everyone has different triggers and this post isn’t meant to shame anyone. What it is intended to do is to give you 4 things you should be doing every day, even in the throes of a serious bout of anxiety. These aren’t fixes, but what they do is they create consistent actions and routines that will allow you to anchor yourself on the days (weeks or months) where you have crippling anxiety. Every other day these will be natural events, the list is not complicated or exhausted but they are MUST DO’S

  1. The Mouth Routine: No this isn’t perverted… Twice a day, when you wake, and before you got to sleep you should be cleaning your mouth. The health benefits are for another post but how it makes you FEEL is what is important here. A clean fresh mouth is well, refreshing. What should you do for a “Mouth Routine?”
    • Brush
    • Floss
    • Mouthwash
    • Tongue comb or rake – You can brush your tongue as well, trust me on this one.
  2. Vitamin D: I take a lot of Vitamin D. I’ve read a lot online about the importance of this vitamin and this post isn’t intended to be a science piece I did a post here many moons ago click it for an elaboration. If you are uncomfortable with Vitamin D fine, take a multivitamin. This should be done at the same time every day. I take mine at noon.
  3. Consistent Sleep schedule: This is easier than it looks. I’m not saying you have to sleep for 8 hours, I know most people can’t, particularly with anxiety. What I am saying, and you should be doing is going to bed and rising the same time every day. Sleep is how your body repairs. It’s critical for all aspects of your health and you need to create a consistent schedule for it. Mine?
    • Weekdays – Sunday thru Thursday: I am in bed screens off by 10:30PM. Even if I can’t fall asleep, I lay there. I get up between 4:30AM and 7:00AM depending on what days I go to the gym.
    • Weekends – Friday thru Saturday: I am in bed screens off by 1AM. I get up between 7AM and 9AM. I game, watch movies/shows used to go out will again after covid. Friday night and Saturday night I stay up but rarely past 1, and often in bed by midnight.
  4. Human Contact: You need to talk to someone, touch someone, and have human contact (non sexually is the context here, but sex is fine but another post all together). Anxiety can be isolating and even if it’s just some emails or a text you have to talk to someone every day. This may sound silly, but believe it or not there are many of us who can go weeks and not talk to anyone at all. You need human interaction, you need to “feel” and “sense” other people.
Ugh, lists….

Every day do these things. Do not wait, don’t make excuses start working on them. These will help you and give you confidence and self-worth. Anxiety can be crippling, isolating, desperate. Fight back with simple tools. Even if you only do one of the items above it will have a dramatic impact on you for the positive.

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Back to Basics – Get a routine to fight Anxiety

Anxiety sucks, we can all agree on that. The problem in diagnosis and treating anxiety is it’s unique to each individual and that individual’s experience. As an example, driving in the snow causes me to have anxiety, likely you too, but why? The fear of crashing? The fear of getting trapped? A prior accident? We all have different issues and things can get out of hand very quickly.

One of the things we all can do to fight Anxiety is to create or recreate routines. Covid lock downs have created havoc for tens of millions. For those of us with Anxiety it’s even worse because those routines we clung to pre covid were shattered. Sure it wasn’t perfect but routines gave us some semblance of order and some semblance of control which goes a long way to fighting anxiety.

I haven’t worked at my office for nearly a year, it’s disrupted many of my mini routines and there are times when I am at home I feel lost. I get anxious because I have less structure, less focus, less interaction. It’s been challenging for me personally and I know there are many other people out there in a similar situation. Below are a few things you can do to establish (or Reestablish) routines.

Am I contagious?
This guy and his lists….
  • Go to bed and wake up the same time every day. This one is critical because it creates the conditions which your body can be more regulated, particularly your mind.
  • Workout the same 3 days every week. Mon,Wed,Fri or Tues,Thurs,Sat. Whatever it is you do, yoga, stretching, lifting, running, walking get a consistent routine for specific days.
  • 30 minutes a week work on your personal finances. The same time and day every week. My “personal finance day” is Sunday morning. I get coffee and from 10-11AM I look at my investments, balance the check book, pay bills, and look at my budget.
  • Friends & Family time. This one is harder but every week plan a call, plan a walk, plan a meal whatever it is plan something with a friend or family member not spouse and kids but siblings, parents, good friends.
  • Family night. This is the one for kids and spouses. A Netflix night, a movie, a game, a pizza whatever it is at least once a week (preferably every day) you plan one night with your immediate family, like a date night. Ours is Friday night, we get pizza and play cards or board games, and yes that includes occasionally boyfriends and girlfriends.
  • Personal hygiene routine. Now this one might be self evident but since we have all been trapped at home many of us have let this slip. Sure we all still clean up but are you waking, showering, face cream, shave, brush, mouth wash, grooming etc in the same manner as you were before? How about bed time? Get back into a consistent hygiene routine everyday no days off.

These may sound obvious or they may seem simple, they should be and are. The point is routine and structure give us a great tool to combat anxiety. Without it your mind gets to create whatever reality it wants and if your imagination is like mine that might not be the best outcome. Routines require us to focus on the task, and be present. They also create positive outcomes from the effort and that has the residual effect of making you feel better about yourself.

Get back to basics and get your routines (or several) back on track to fight back against Anxiety!

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