I think anyone who suffers from anxiety knows how essential it is to find ways to lessen the blows.
For me, I’ve made some seemingly simple, but major, lifestyle changes over the last year that have actually cut my anxiety in half. IN HALF.
Well damn, with results like that how could I not commit to making those changes into a lifestyle?!
It really is common sense that if you decrease anxiety, you increase contentment. So I know that implementing these lifestyle changes is the reason that my overall satisfaction in life has increased tremendously.
And I want that for you too!
If you’re in a long time battle with anxiety, or even if you just suffer from an occasional bout of anxiety… check out the changes and habits that I implemented into my lifestyle below. Tailor them to be a part of your lifestyle so that you can experience this insanely good relief too!
Practice routine in the morning or the evening for stability
I guess you could say I’m like a baby — I crave routine…
Routine helps provide stability. Which is essential for me because I get anxious from any type of change. Having daily morning and nighttime routines means that no matter what other changes are going on in my life, I still have a stable routine to fall back on. No matter how small it is.
Really, this can be such a simple thing. My morning routine consists of 3 things that I HAVE to make happen before I can do anything else. 10 minutes relaxing in bed, 5 minutes spent washing my face, brushing my teeth, and fixing my hair. And 15 minutes of couch time with a hot cup of tea. My nighttime routine is even simpler. That’s the beauty of it.
You can make it as simple or as complex as you’d like. Just create a mental list of a few tasks to complete every morning and every night that you think will make you feel good and set good intentions. It will give you something stable to look forward to when starting and ending your day.
Establish somewhat of a sleeping schedule
Falling asleep at 9pm and waking up at 7am one day, and then falling asleep at 4am and waking up at 2pm the next day is a surefire way to create unnecessary anxiety and depression. Whether it’s just from the changes that not having a schedule puts on your body, or the feeling of not having any time in the day to do things. It can take a toll. And trust me — it sucks.
I have a huge problem with this due to my boyfriend’s work schedule. There are 3 nights a week where he works until 5am and I, being the needy girlfriend I am, have a very very hard time falling asleep when he isn’t home.
Naturally, I am a night owl. But his work schedule definitely intensifies it. So I try to find a nice medium between my dream schedule of being in bed by 10pm, and his schedule of being in bed at 6am. I’m usually IN bed by 1am — doesn’t mean I fall asleep at 1am… but sometimes I’ll get lucky. As long as I’m in bed decompressing at that time then I call it a win.
The one thing that helps me out the most with this is setting an alarm. Yes, I set a bedtime alarm… Actually, I set multiple.
If I’m working at night, setting multiple alarms helps to keep me on track without stressing me out or making me feel rushed. I usually set one for midnight (to remind me that I need to finish up whatever I’m working on and find a stopping point) and one for 12:30am (to remind me that it’s time to shut down and get ready for bed). When I make sure that my alarms are set I find it much easier to make sure that I’m in bed by 1am.
So I wouldn’t really call my sleep habits a schedule… but I would call it a rough timeline.
And thats okay! If your bedtime and wake time only vary by a couple hours most days, then you’re on enough of a “schedule” for your body to handle. That is really the important part here — to make sure that your body is getting proper rest and being taken care of. Because if your body isn’t being taken care of, your mind will suffer — cue anxiety. The mind/body connection is real!
So whether you go to bed at 10pm or 5am, try to keep it somewhat consistent throughout the week.
Take care of your body, skin, nails, and hair
I feel a million times better when I’m taking care of myself. Shaving my legs, keeping my nails and toes in prime condition, brushing my hair, doing my makeup and hair when I have to go somewhere. When I go too long without doing these things or let myself slack off, I immediately notice that I start to feel bad about myself — again, cue anxiety.
It’s AMAZING what a little bit of pampering can do. Ideally, taking care of yourself will just be a habit. But if you can’t commit to that, at least commit to the occasional pampering.
When you feel good about yourself on the outside, you’re more likely to feel good on the inside.
Treat yo self
This is important. Whether it be sitting on the couch with some popcorn and ordering a guilty pleasure movie, going out and getting yourself some flowers, or buying yourself a new shirt. Do it.
Treat your self every once in a while. ESPECIALLY if you are always giving or taking care of a family. Allowing yourself the opportunity to put something into yourself will make you feel amazing. And if you feel amazing, then anxiety will have a hard time working its way into your mind.
You’ll end up being a better you if you remember to do things for your self every once in a while. You’ll thank yourself for it, and those around you will thank you.
Make sure you’re not just getting hangry
THIS. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and plenty of snacks in between. If I’m hangry, I’ll often start to feel as though my anxiety is kicking in… when really it isn’t. I just need to eat something and within 5 minutes I’m back to normal. The reason behind this is that low blood sugar and anxiety have a LOT of the same symptoms — dizziness, lack of concentration, nausea, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat and breathing, clammy skin.
So if you’re starting to feel anxious, grab a snack. If you notice this is a reoccurring problem, try to keep granola bars or something light with you at all times — in the car, in your purse, in the nightstand HA. Hanger can strike anywhere at anytime. Be prepared and you’ll avoid a lot of unnecessary trouble and emotions.
Cut out the caffeine and alcohol
I have an entire post about how I quit drinking coffee because it was making my anxiety skyrocket. Check it out.
It’s no secret that caffeine can cause increased heartbeat, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness… sound familiar, anxiety sufferers? Yes, along with normally having these symptoms from anxiety, caffeine can also cause/increase the same exact symptoms.
Alcohol also does this (but I won’t be giving that up… sorry). So drink both in moderation or not at all.
Instead, drink water. This also goes hand in hand with being hangry. If I start to feel dehydrated it can come across as anxiety or depression. So ALWAYS drink water. All day long.
I’m known for always carrying a giant cup of water around with me at all times — in the car, from room to room in the house, to a friend’s place, everywhere.
Get outside for a fresh breeze, a good view, or some activity
Do not EVER go an entire day without leaving the house. I don’t care if you open your front door and stand there in the sun for 2 minutes. Simply feeling the fresh air alone is MAGICAL. So, it doesn’t matter what you do… just do something.
And if there’s one thing that you need to always always always remember… it’s to never underestimate the power of a sunrise or sunset and it’s ability to make everything feel okay.
If I’m feeling particularly anxious one afternoon or evening, I ask my boyfriend to go for a walk with me. We are SO blessed with the amazing views that come with living in Florida. Like I said, sunrises and sunsets = instant solace.
Plus, walking always works wonders on my anxiety levels. It boosts endorphin levels and it gets out some of that unused energy in the body that might manifest as anxiety if left for too long. Walking could be an entire point on its own… But I’ll just leave it at that. Get outside, feel the breeze, and get moving.
Have a hobby to call your own
Yes, Netflix can be a hobby (but only if you watch so much that Netflix has to ask you if you’re still there).
For me, blogging is just that. I didn’t have one for a long time, but now that I have this blog to turn to I look forward to having something that is all mine. Something that I can work on to clear my mind from other things.
Find something that makes you happy and that you’re passionate about and throw yourself into it at least once a week.
Cooking, jogging, painting, reading, writing, yoga. Anything. Did I REALLY just alphabetize that list of hobbies… I am judging myself.
Spend time alone
I have to remind my boyfriend very often that I need alone time. And that’s okay! Remind your family, significant other, kids. For people that suffer from anxiety (for anyone actually), alone time is absolutely essential to refocus and regain control. I often find myself just walking to the bedroom to lay down on the bed for 10-15 minutes. And I almost ALWAYS feel so much better afterwards.
Just taking 5 minutes to sit in a room, or a car, or do some task by yourself will help you stay in control of your emotions and therefore, lessen anxiety levels.
Don’t go too long without spending quality time with a loved one.
There is a major calming power in quality time. Trust me on this one too.
There’s something about a date night with your significant other, a coffee date with friends, or a big family dinner that has the power to just bring you back to what’s important and make you forget about anything and everything that is making you anxious.
Make it a priority.
There you have 10 extremely EASY ways to change your life and cut your anxiety levels in HALF.
While 10 things may seem intimidating, these changes really are so easy to implement into any lifestyle. And they’re so adaptable and open-ended. You can take any of the changes I’ve made and tailor them to fit into your own lifestyle or any habits that you already have in place!
So make some changes! And use mine for inspiration. Let me know if you decide to try any of these and which ones you’ve seen the largest improvement from.
Also, go check out my Pinterest for more lifestyle ideas!