I have been reading articles and blogs about anxiety and what helps people stay afloat when it gets difficult to live through a regular routine. And so I thought, today’s blog post will be about the things that help me handle my anxiety better. So here it goes.
- Writing is my savior. I have been writing since I was 8 years old. A shy quiet girl comfortably growing at her own pace in her world of words and stories. In some ways I am still there in those stories. I find my comfort my voice my reasons in those stories. I am no expert writer what I have is, diligence. The will to be who I want to be as a writer. And that strength comes from the world of stories I weave.
- Reading is my escape. No book is a waste of time. Every book I have ever read has left a piece of itself with me. Or even made me realize what I did not know I had in me. The passion to write. The hunger to learn more. Only a reader can understand the feeling of abandon when a book finishes. And only a fellow reader understands the exaggerated excitement of starting a new one. I am lucky to be a part of a book club where I get to meet (virtually) all such readers.
- Dancing it out. My sister introduced me to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and I can proudly say there has been no turning back. I watch that show at random hours picking up my favorite episodes. Laughing and crying into my headphones for my daughters to truly believe that there mother is crazy. And there I picked this habit of dancing when I am low, lost, tired of crying, angry or confused. And trust me with my anxiety I am all of those at any given point. So there is either music playing in the background while I get through the day or I am dancing it out of me literally with my girls. No song is too much. We dance on anything as long as it is loud.
- My people help me breathe. I have been lucky to have not just one person but a few in my life. Ranting out my outbursts without the fear of judgment is something a person living with self-doubt will say is the priority in a relationship. If I cannot be my worse in front of you, really, is there even a point at all. And I have these people who not only tolerate and listen to my outbursts but actually help find ‘me’ in those moments. I am not alone when I am feeling lonely is what I have try to remember. Or remind myself to pick up that phone and call just one of them. Thanks to the different time zones, someone is always available.
- Yoga keeps me afloat, in true sense. I have always loved doing yoga but in the last 5 years it has become a part of my calming routine. I plan my day around it. I wake up early to do yoga before the daily hustle starts. Taking up short YouTube challenges has become a part of my routine now. I am constantly reminding myself that it is not about being motivated enough to pursue something. But truly about being disciplined.
- Going on long walks rejuvenates my senses. With my music, taking random roads admiring the beauty around me, is truly a gift. I try to take walks as often as I can, for they freshen up the clogged mind when nothing else helps.
- Repeating affirmations to myself. Anytime I find myself going in that dark place, I start repeating the affirmations that honestly talk to me. “I don’t chase, I attract. What is mine will find me.” “It is not about motivation, but about discipline.” “Everything I ever wanted is right outside my comfort zone.” “Today was good, tomorrow will be better.” “Trust the process.” In fact, my daughters too repeat their favorite ones now before bedtime. A few simple reminders to themselves.
- Cleaning my house is another chore that has helped me many times calm my anxious mind. Scrubbing, dusting, laundry; all the mundane tasks of a daily routine. When I am helplessly lost in one thought, unable to turn away from it. Mostly because I am overthinking about something that might happen, cleaning comes to the rescue.
- Coffee & Maggi might be the most unhealthy for a person who is already anxious. But not for me. I don’t know how it works. I cannot start or get through middle of the day without a nice big cup of black coffee. My only reasoning to myself for black coffee is that I don’t take sugar or milk in it so it is comparatively healthier than other sugary drinks. Also I don’t take alcohol or smoke, so I allow myself this one habit to stay afloat. Maggi to me is comfort food. It is a reminder of childhood mostly. The times when life was simpler, less cruel and chaotic.
- FRIENDS, Schitt’s Creek, The Office, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, Grey’s Anatomy are my go to TV shows that are part of my daily routine. Along with these there are some old Bollywood and Hollywood movies that I just love rewatching. I am big fan of horror/ supernatural thriller shows too. So, if nothing else, those shows/movies turn off that little voice in the head pretty well.
- I love writing down my goals and dreams I want to achieve in this lifetime. I have diaries filled with such lists. I may not have achieved those yet, but it always helps to write them down to remind myself that I still have time. And that I can fulfil those dreams one day.
- My favorite corner in the house has to be my desk. Luckily the location of my desk gives me the perfect view of the whole house and works as my hiding spot. It is truly a mystery that no one can find me easily if I am at my desk, reading, writing or making endless to-do lists. That is my area where I truly feel like I can let go and just relax my tired brain.
- I know this should be the top one, but it is truly a special one, my daughters zone me out. In the most precious way. I laugh like it is my first time laughing. It is that real. Their zillion times told jokes are funnier than anything in this world. My girls are vibrant, full of hope and passion. Their imagination is vibrant with stories and songs. One of them recites self-written poems for me at odd hours while the other one makes up songs like my in-house ‘phoebe buffay’. They laugh at almost all my jokes. They are my saviours and honest critics. Turns out I did not ever needed a knight in shining armor to save me, all I needed to do was create my own little minions to keep me afloat. A job well done!
Do share what keeps you guys going.
Keep breathing for there is a lot to be seen, heard and danced to.