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Old 05-23-22, 08:10 AM  
FirmDancer
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I started with almost-paralyzing anxiety during Covid-shutdown. Here are the things I implemented in order to be able to function (many of which have already been suggested):
  • End the WorkDay and Transition to "Me" Time: at 4pm I logged off (I was teleworking at the time) & would not look at work emails nor talk to anyone about work after that hour.
  • Go Outside: I immediately went outside, usually to a nearby state park. And walked. Usually about an hour. Sometimes going at a fast pace helped. Sometimes I just strolled. I usually went on familiar paths or trails so that my brain could relax. Walking for about an hour usually helped me unwind.
  • Meditate: for 5-15 minutes; either back at home, or somewhere nice along my walk.
  • Stick to a Strict Evening Quiet / Wind-down Routine: After my walk, I'd fix dinner, clean up. I did not listen to any news. I did not scroll / browse internet or social media. Played quiet music. Sometimes diffused essential oil. I would do 10-15 minutes of gentle yoga. I really liked Kassandra's series of short evening routines. Then sometimes I would read for about 30 minutes, usually a self-help book or positive reinforcement. NO SCREENS / DEVICES !!

I hope any or all of those ideas help you. I never experienced anxiety before in my life so it was very unsettling.

-Anita
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Old 05-23-22, 08:11 AM  
Sollamyn
 
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: S. Illinois
Quote:
Originally Posted by donnamp View Post
Donna -

I'm sorry your are dealing w/ anxiety! Aside from hormones, do you think it could be seasonal? (snip)

Also, if you have had an season of stress, I think it takes your body some time to come down from it - if that make sense.

I generally find steady state cardio to be very calming. (snip)

Hope you feel better soon.

(another) Donna
Thanks, Donna! I really don't think it's seasonal. I am, however, in a transition of my own and, perhaps, as you said, it is taking my body some time to come down from it. I had a great deal with stress in the past few months and now that has changed (the reason for my stress is gone) but I just don't know how to deal with it. I can't seem to refocus my energy, I guess. I am walking (outside when I possible) and I'm planning to pump it up as I get more fit. (Fitness has not been a big focus these past few months.)

Donna
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Old 05-23-22, 08:20 AM  
Sollamyn
 
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: S. Illinois
Quote:
Originally Posted by FirmDancer View Post
I started with almost-paralyzing anxiety during Covid-shutdown. Here are the things I implemented in order to be able to function (many of which have already been suggested):
  • End the WorkDay and Transition to "Me" Time: at 4pm I logged off (I was teleworking at the time) & would not look at work emails nor talk to anyone about work after that hour.
  • Go Outside: I immediately went outside, usually to a nearby state park. And walked. Usually about an hour. Sometimes going at a fast pace helped. Sometimes I just strolled. I usually went on familiar paths or trails so that my brain could relax. Walking for about an hour usually helped me unwind.
  • Meditate: for 5-15 minutes; either back at home, or somewhere nice along my walk.
  • Stick to a Strict Evening Quiet / Wind-down Routine: After my walk, I'd fix dinner, clean up. I did not listen to any news. I did not scroll / browse internet or social media. Played quiet music. Sometimes diffused essential oil. I would do 10-15 minutes of gentle yoga. I really liked Kassandra's series of short evening routines. Then sometimes I would read for about 30 minutes, usually a self-help book or positive reinforcement. NO SCREENS / DEVICES !!

I hope any or all of those ideas help you. I never experienced anxiety before in my life so it was very unsettling.

-Anita
Thanks, Anita! I will check out Kassandra's page. I am already doing many of your suggestions and I will definitely keep up with that. I'm retired so at least I don't have a work schedule to get in the way of my recovery.

I definitely want to add meditation and I have been exploring options for quiet, calming music. I love playing it while I'm doing my own yoga practice or writing in my journal.

Donna
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Old 05-23-22, 08:26 AM  
Demeris
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Adam Fields is a chiropractor I follow on YouTube. He suggests that we hold anxiety in our intercostal muscles and suggests stretching the ribcage regularly (which happens in every single Essentrics/CS workout I've ever done).

Anyway, he has a 7-day breathing program (and he's some lovely eye-candy, as well):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjzYzR_9jW8

Also, there has been much research on journaling to relieve anxiety. I would suggest two books, if you're interested:

Journal to the Self, by Kay Adams


And her book Journal Therapy for Calming Anxiety.
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Old 05-23-22, 08:55 AM  
Pat58
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You got so many great suggestions for videos. I just wanted to add that in my personal experience, any meditations or yoga practices for anxiety that start with "visualize every bad thing that happened to you today," "tense up your whole body" etc. as the intro to the practice, make my anxiety worse. The objective is to teach to you relieve the stress and anxiety with the soothing stuff that follows, but it only elevates me to the point of Joni-O-ing it and then feeling worse. I want respite from it, plain and simple.

Just my experience. Good luck to you!
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Old 05-23-22, 09:15 AM  
BunnyHop
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Let me recommend Pauline Mckinnon's Stillness Meditation Therapy.

It's a specific method of meditation, that focuses on creating a sense of ease in the body. Here's a link to a short version on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8AhG9uHGuQ

Her website has downloads available for longer meditations, but they're quite similar. Before I had access to the longer downloads, I'd just pause the meditation recording at a certain point (when she stops talking for a bit) and then set a timer to continue on, and pick up the recording again to finish the meditation with her guidance.

Another issue I cope with is insomnia, and I've found that listening to a guided meditation is helpful when I wake up in the middle of the night.

Another source for guided meditations is Caroline McCready, I really like her Bone Deep sleep meditation. It's designed to be listened to as you fall asleep.

It's on Youtube, but I purchased downloads of a number of her meditations for my MP3 player. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1j2Uhzc08s

In terms of medications and supplements, I do think timing matters. I've recently adjusted a dose of medication, and find that taking it at bedtime isn't helpful. Guess my body doesn't like coping with that as I'm trying to fall asleep.
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Old 05-23-22, 09:24 AM  
Sissy B
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnamp View Post
I generally find steady state cardio to be very calming - when I'm in turmoil I sometimes find yoga to make me more anxious - I know - weird, but I think it is the stillness whereas w/ the steady state the movement and rhythm help calm me - particularly long outdoor walks in nature. Basically, mindless cardio...

Hope you feel better soon.
Iím weird too. I love yoga, but if Iím already feeling anxious or stressed I have found it doesnít really help, it just ends up making me mad.

Sollamyn - I do hope you can find some practices/workouts that work for you.
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Old 05-23-22, 09:59 AM  
Dancing Queen
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Sollamyn, I've dealt with anxiety for decades (and honestly, I work out for my mental health - any physical benefits are secondary for me.)

One thing I try to do regularly is a Brain Dump - first, make a list of everything you are worried about or need to do. This doesn't have to be in any kind of order. (This list can be surprising long - when I'm going through a stressful situation, I go into survival mode and a lot of little things start to slip through the cracks and eventually start to create anxiety. All those things go on this list.)

On a fresh piece of paper, separate everything into Deadlines, ASAP Items, Action Items, and Things I Can't Do Anything About. (You might have other categories as well.)

Then, write the Deadlines on your Calendar, add any tasks associated with your Deadlines to your Action Items list, and start to work through the ASAP and Action Items. It's okay to start with the easiest things. You might want to do one thing and celebrate, or you might spend an hour trying to do as many things as you can.

I find that getting everything out of my head, seeing what I need to do written in one place, and doing what I can makes me feel empowered and less anxious. Also, seeing a list of Things I Can't Do Anything About is surprisingly reassuring - it's a way of acknowledging my stress is real AND a focal point for meditation, journaling, and any other "letting go" practices.

Anxiety is no joke, so I'm glad you're looking for ways to take care of yourself.
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Old 05-23-22, 10:07 AM  
Vantreesta
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by Dancing Queen View Post
Sollamyn, I've dealt with anxiety for decades (and honestly, I work out for my mental health - any physical benefits are secondary for me.)

One thing I try to do regularly is a Brain Dump - first, make a list of everything you are worried about or need to do. This doesn't have to be in any kind of order. (This list can be surprising long - when I'm going through a stressful situation, I go into survival mode and a lot of little things start to slip through the cracks and eventually start to create anxiety. All those things go on this list.)

On a fresh piece of paper, separate everything into Deadlines, ASAP Items, Action Items, and Things I Can't Do Anything About. (You might have other categories as well.)

Then, write the Deadlines on your Calendar, add any tasks associated with your Deadlines to your Action Items list, and start to work through the ASAP and Action Items. It's okay to start with the easiest things. You might want to do one thing and celebrate, or you might spend an hour trying to do as many things as you can.

I find that getting everything out of my head, seeing what I need to do written in one place, and doing what I can makes me feel empowered and less anxious. Also, seeing a list of I Things I Can't Do Anything About is surprisingly reassuring - it's a way of acknowledging my stress is real AND a focal point for meditation, journaling, and any other "letting go" practices.

Anxiety is no joke, so I'm glad you're looking for ways to take care of yourself.
Thank you for posting this! I briefly tried doing a brain dump but didn't stick with it. All I was doing was writing the list really, though. I like your approach with the next steps. I have never managed to journal either even though it interests me. I note my accomplishments for the day and events but I don't really know how to journal, I guess. Or maybe just what the difference is between journaling and doing a brain dump.
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Old 05-23-22, 10:29 AM  
BunnyHop
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vantreesta View Post
Thank you for posting this! I briefly tried doing a brain dump but didn't stick with it. All I was doing was writing the list really, though. I like your approach with the next steps. I have never managed to journal either even though it interests me. I note my accomplishments for the day and events but I don't really know how to journal, I guess. Or maybe just what the difference is between journaling and doing a brain dump.
Have you tried the Bullet Journal Method?? Check your library for a copy of Ryder Carroll's book, or the website. https://bulletjournal.com/ or, on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/bulletjournal
All you need is something to write with, and something to write on. Keep it simple, or embellish it to your heart's content.

Another useful source I've learned from is Struthless on Youtube. Here's one of his videos on journaling techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dArgOrm98Bk

I'm currently in some awkward place where I'm getting along without journaling, but realizing that journaling makes it all better. Awhile ago, I'd gone completely overboard with decorating and playing with my journal, and took a break to see what I actually need to use my journal for. (It can become an endless distraction, and that I do not need.)


One thing I've found very helpful, is that the bullet journaling method helps me make note of important stuff in my life even before I realize it's important. That matters, because a year later I can check my notes and understand what was happening, or just notice the anniversary. Being able to realize exactly how much time has passed since whichever event has been very helpful to me.
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