Manage my anxiety

Friday Five: Manage My Anxiety with a Few Tools

I’ve written about how I manage my anxiety before. It came back in a big way last week. I’ve had several situations in my life that I cannot control, and saying the Serenity Prayer does little to help. My sleep has been… not good. Here’s what I can share:

  1. I have mixed feelings about the half marathon I’m running on Sunday. This is my first post-injury half marathon. I had planned to do it with a couple of my friends, but they’re not going to run it after all. So it will just be me, my Garmin, and Matthew 17:20.
  2. I have been repeatedly frustrated by people who fail to live up to the basics of human decency.

I’ve been working extra-hard to manage my anxiety. It’s not easy. I hear a lot of people talk about anxiety, but I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. It’s not just feeling nervous sometimes. It is literally being paralyzed with fear. I’ve found five things that work well for my Friday Five:

  1. My Thursday night yoga class with Sean is a huge stress-reliever. If you live in the Houston area, you need to take a Sean D Yoga class. Sean has the most amazing playlists, the most soothing voice, and the best modifications. She does Yoga & Hops classes, for those who would enjoy a craft beer after their asanas.
  2. Running will always be on the list. My long, solo runs have been invaluable. There’s something about just moving forward with my music that helps me clear my head.
  3. The Kindle app on my iPad has a bunch of cheesy romance novels that always help manage my anxiety. Lately, I’ve been reading some nonfiction as well. I just finished The Girls of Atomic City, about the women working in Oak Ridge, Tennessee to build the weapon that would end World War II. I’m now reading Between Breaths, Elizabeth Vargas’s memoir about her struggles with anxiety and addiction.
  4. I’ve revived my cross-stitch hobby. I can stitch and watch TV.
  5. When all else fails, I take a nap. Naps are the best for managing my anxiety, particularly when my sleep has been so poor.

I have other coping methods to manage my anxiety. Making a cup of herbal tea allows me a few minutes to breathe, and the chamomile is very soothing. I also take “cat breaks” and pet my tabby, who purrs happily. She usually lets me pick her up and cuddle her. Taking Pokemon GO walks with my son is also incredibly soothing and fun.

What are your go-tos for managing anxiety?

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