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Coping With Anxiety    

Coping With Anxiety

Artwork by FISK

COPING WITH ANXIETY

There are evidence-based coping and self-care strategies that are proven to reduce anxiety for most of us. Also remember that mental health professionals are trained to help us manage anxiety and cope with a range of mental health challenges. If the DIY techniques aren’t helping you feel better and manage your anxiety, reach out for support.

In the same way that our anxiety presents itself in different ways, we can treat or react to our anxiety in various ways as well. 

1. Relaxation Training

This one goes out to all our physical experiencers of anxiety out there. Learning different relaxation techniques can trick our body into feeling more relaxed when we are anxious. Specific techniques like Progressive Muscle Relaxation or PMR is one such way to do that! PMR involves methodically tensing and relaxing various muscle groups. You can learn a routine that works for you or follow along a guided relaxation video online! 

2. Exercise and Meditation

Since the mind-body connection is so strongly presented in Anxiety, having a consistent practice of exercise and meditation help to target both sides of the coin. We know both of these are some of the most frequently suggested coping skills, and therefore we tend to not do them. However, they are recommended for a reason! They are two of the most research backed and effective ways at mitigating symptoms when they arise and even preventing(!) Anxiety before it starts. 

3. Books and Podcasts that help with Stress and Anxiety

CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and it is one of the most used and effective therapeutic techniques out there for a wide range of mental health challenges. CBT practices and exercises should be done with and by a mental health professional. That being said, you can introduce yourself to some of these topics and theories through self-help books to help kick start your road to recovery. One such book that has been shown to make improvements in individuals experiences with anxiety is Feeling Good by David Burns. A podcast that we love is “Could Be Better, tbh” - a mental health podcast put on by The JED Foundation and The Crisis Text Line (two of our favorite resources!)

4. Digital Detox

Particularly during this time, we are spending even more time on our digital devices than before. With good reason! They are the only way to connect with one another right now. However, pay attention to how being plugged in makes you feel. Allow yourself digital detox breaks, especially from the news. 

Taking care of yourself is an important part of building resilience, and bouncing back from stress, trauma, and burnout. Self-care can help you recognize your emotional responses and develop coping skills to manage them. 

But it isn’t just for the bad times! Practicing self-care can help you sleep better, improve focus, and strengthen relationships. That positive daily routine can support a happier, healthier outlook so you can enjoy the good times, too.