by Vineeta Sathiamoorthy
Overcome with worry and just want to escape? The demands of daily life can be overwhelming, especially for women. Juggling a career, study, children and a plethora of other demands can take its toll. If you are wondering whether relief is possible, the answer is “yes”.
Studies show by doing a task that combines both your mental and physical strength can help ease anxiety.
So why not try one of these practical ideas the next time you need a break!
- Organise anything
Keep telling yourself that one-day you will sort out that overfilling box in your room you call a wardrobe? Now’s the time to de-clutter and embrace the chaos! By putting your effort into deciding whether you want to keep that straw hat you never wear or to throw away that top that should have stayed in the 80’s, you’ll find that whatever you were anxious about, will disappear for a while. Throw away your anxiety with the other rubbish clogging up your life.
- Do a little D.I.Y
Nothing combines mental and physical focus more than building flat-pack furniture. Deciding where each piece goes pulls your mind into the task at hand. This releases you of the pressures you had on your mind. Then again, if the struggle of building something will just increase your anxiety, why not try out a simple jigsaw set, puzzle or crossword. The finished product will guarantee a smile on your face and the feeling you have accomplished something.
- Listen to music a little louder
Not so loud, that your local enforcement officer comes knocking on your door. Music played a little louder than usual helps you focus on the music rather than being in a quiet room with the sound of nothing but your thoughts. The music will raise your endorphins and by having a cheeky dance, you’ll be able to shake out your anxiety. Make sure to listen to up-tempo rather than gentle music otherwise it will have the reverse effect.
- Have a go at a few recipes
Longing to try out one of those many pasta recipes you’ve collected over the years? Seize the day and try them out. The attention on measuring, boiling and seasoning the dish will focus your attention away from your worries. If the thought of not getting it quite right only increases your anxiety, why not try a dish you know you can perfect? This way you can remind yourself that you are good at something.
- Do some writing
If the last time you wrote a sentence not related to business plans or your job, know is the time to channel your inner Shakespeare and do some creative writing. Writing out physically how you feel (no computers or tablets!) on paper can free your head of the worries as they tumble out of your head. By looking back at what you’ve written, you can confront your emotions rather than brushing them off like the many times you have done before.
- Look at some inspiring quotes
It doesn’t matter if it’s from Beyoncé or your granddad, a memorable quote can put things in perspective and help deal with anxiety. By reminding yourself of a quote every time an anxious situation arises, it will help change your mood and increase confidence to conquer the problem ahead.
- Go and do some window shopping
Whether you have money to spare or not, going out and just looking at anything other than your four walls, is a good way to clear your mind. If you’re looking to improve your health, why not go to the supermarket and see if you can find healthier alternatives to your usual food. You can see if there is anything in your life that you can cut back on and save yourself some money, as well as your health.
- Draw anything
There’s a reason why toddlers love drawing. Drawing is a way of expressing yourself without writing or speaking a word. If you’re frustrated or nervous, take it out on some crayons. Make it fun and pretend to guests that it’s a masterpiece from an anonymous artist.
- Clean your worries away
Get your latex gloves and duster out. Clearing out your home can help clear out your mind as well. With studies showing you can burn more calories doing household chores than going to the gym, it’s a great way of getting fitness levels up while keeping those dusty bookshelves happy.
- Appreciate the present
If all else fails, remember you are not a time-traveller who can go back in the past to change things or step into the future to make things happen. Live in the present and worry about tomorrow when it comes. Remind yourself of the things you have that others don’t.
Worry and anxiety need not control you. Concentrating on other things changes your physical and mental energy which can help ease your worry and anxiety.
How do you try to ease your anxiety and worry? What works for you?
Vineeta Sathiamoorthy is studying journalism at City University, London. She believes that life doesn’t owe us anything but we owe life everything.
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