Coping with anxiety

I didn’t know what anxiety meant. For a long time, I thought that anxiety had to be where you see someone feel short of breath, where they were paralyzed by anxiety so much that they felt the walls closing in. I didn’t experience this, and I thought that I didn’t have anxiety. I think anxiety happens and manifests differently for everyone. Also, for a long time, I didn’t want to think about anxiety. Just the thought of anxiety made me nervous. I didn’t want people to see me differently. But people live with anxiety everyday, and the ways that they are able to cope with anxiety makes them all the more stronger. Anxiety happens. Panic attacks happen. Stress happens. And it may manifest differently in everyone. For me, sometimes I don’t know when or how I come to feel anxious… but here are a few ways that I use to cope with my anxiety.

  1.  Acknowledge and tell someone about it. For me this really helps to say it out loud. It is very cathartic to talk to someone about my problems. Tell a friend, write in a journal… talk to a therapist or counselor. My university has free mental health counseling for students. Maybe yours does too?
  2.  If you can identify why you feel anxious, that’s a start. Sometimes for me, it’s about feeling inadequate or feeling like I’ve failed…
  3.  Once I identify why I feel anxious, I can try to alleviate those feelings, by acceptance. It’s okay to feel like you failed, it’s okay to feel like you didn’t do a good job… it happens! And that’s okay! Let yourself have those feelings…for me when I let myself feel those emotions then I can accept it and it will feel like a huge weight has lifted.
  4.  Take a deep breathe and remember that everything will be OK. Maybe take that break. Don’t beat yourself up about not accomplishing your goals today! You got this!

Remember that everyone can be affected by mental health and that these can manifest and look different for everyone. Your mental health is unique to you. Embrace it. It feels good to talk about it.

These are things that have helped me and I hope they help you as well.

Post interview reflections

Let’s talk about post interview stress.

I don’t know about you, but for me I stressed out after my interviews. I kept thinking about all the different ways that I could have answered the questions. I ran through all of the scenarios in my mind again and thought about all the places that I could have answered the questions better. While it is good to have some post interview reflections, it’s bad when you start having nightmares about your interview after the fact.

Write down your post interviews reflections, but try not to think and rehash the interview day over and over again. The interview is already over. Whatever happens now is out of your control!

To try to stop thinking about post interview since I will not find our the results of the interview until May-June…To mitigate my post interview stress I am tracking 5 habits this month to better my self care. I am tracking:

  1. Water intake (8 cups/day),
  2. Yoga (or any exercise),
  3. Vitamins,
  4. Sleep (7-8 hours),
  5. Celebrate the little wins (any success that I have had).

I picked these 5 because I found that in the past few months trying different things, these 5 help my physical and mental health the most. Water intake helped me skin feel much better and staying hydrated helped with my chronic headaches. Yoga and exercise release endorphins that help with my physical and mental health. Also, getting up and stretching after sitting at the computer for an extended period of time has helped a lot with my back and neck pain. I tracked my sleep in December, and found that my optimal amount of sleep that I need was 7-8 hours to feel rested the next day. The amount of sleep that you need definitely varies between individuals. To find out how much sleep you need to feel rested, the best way is to track how many hours you sleep and track it for a few days (minimum 3 days). For the days you are tracking your sleep, do not set any alarm clocks and sleep until you naturally wake up. You need a few days for tracking your sleep because you need an average number and also the first night that you track your sleep, sometimes if you have been sleep deprived for a few days prior, you tend to sleep more. Use the last two days of your sleep tracking and take the average. This will be how much sleep your body needs. If this number fluctuates quite drastically over the three days you are tracking your sleep or you still do not feel rested when you wake up, test and try sleep tracking again. Try it out! Let me know how it goes. Hope this helps you!

Things to do to fall asleep

Things to do to relax and fall asleep:

Do you ever have trouble falling asleep after a long day?

Sometimes I can’t fall asleep because I’m going through the day over in my mind thinking what I should have done or what I need to do tomorrow.

Here’s a few things I try when I can’t fall asleep:

  1. Do some sleepy time yoga. ( I love following Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. The bedtime yoga video helps me relax)
  2. Read a book. ( I find reading a book rather than being on your phone helps because the light from your phone may trick your brain and circadian rhythm into thinking that it is day time)
  3. Try to stop looking at your electronics before bed. ( Or I use apps that adjust your phones brightness according to the time of day. I use the f.lux app.)
  4. Drink some warm tea or milk! ( I don’t know why this works. But I’ve tried it a few times and something about the warm drink makes me sleep better. Camomile tea with a tiny bit of honey is the best for me).
  5. Try meditation? ( Focusing on something else really helps you to relax. I was recommended these apps: Calm and Headspace. I have been trying out insight timer. Lynn (@createyourdailyflow on instagram) had made a mediation group! I really like all the guided meditations on there and the customizable meditation timers as well.)
  6. Write it down. ( Journaling helps before bed to go through what has happened during the day or help you write down what you are unhappy with. Or if journaling is not something that is in your routine, try writing down whatever is bothering you and there is always tomorrow to figure it out!)

Hope this helps!