Everyone has different ways of coping with their anxiety. There is no right way to cope. The things in this list are random things that specifically help me to calm down or distract me from all of my stressors. Maybe some things on this list will help you too or maybe you have other random things that help you. I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
This list of things is in no particular order, but they all help me in some way:
Driving and Listening to Music
I love to drive. Since the moment I got behind the wheel, I have been hooked. I was nervous at first because I had car anxiety after the accident in seventh grade, but when I’m in the driver’s seat I don’t feel anxious. It probably has to do with the fact that I am in control of the car and not just a passenger. The main point is that I feel calm in the drivers seat. When life starts to feel particularly overwhelming, I get in my car, hit shuffle on the songs on my phone, and drive aimlessly. I never have a destination in mind. I never know how long I’ll drive for. Could be ten minutes. Could be over an hour. I drive until I feel some of the stress start to melt away. Sometimes I do this alone and sometimes friends join me, but it always makes me feel better.
I feel like this might seem strange to most people, but it truly is something I do when I start to feel my anxiety increasing. When my headaches were super bad during my junior year of high school and I was put on homebound status, I couldn’t do a lot. I couldn’t focus on anything for very long without my headache pain increasing. During that time, I had a deck of cards that I put by my chair and I got really good at shuffling cards. I tried to teach myself magic tricks and played card games, but shuffling is something that became soothing. The sound of the cards and the motion itself were calming to me. I still keep cards with me in my room and sometimes when I’m at work for those times that I start to feel increased anxiety. It’s a weird habit, but it is something that works for me.
Slime and Stress Balls
I was given a stress ball by my therapist when I was telling her about feeling fidgety when my anxiety worsened, and after I started using it, it really helped. My roommates and I also have a weird fascination with slime and putty and that does the same thing for me. It gives me something to do with my hands. My favorite thing like this that I have was part of a Secret Santa gift from my roommate. It’s called a Sqwooz. It’s basically a really squishy stress ball that kind of feels like there is foam inside. It’s hard to describe, but it has come in handy many times when I started to feel overwhelmed.
We recently got a Wii for our apartment and therefore have played a lot of Mario Kart. It’s a great game and I’ve gotten better the more I’ve played. It’s a game that requires attention and therefore is a welcome distraction from my overwhelming school life on occasion. It’s important to me that I play as Luigi on a Mach Bike and would feel off my game if that wasn’t the case. So clearly I’ve played my fair share since I have such strong opinions. Anything that can take my mind off my worries for a while is a win for me. It’s also important that I continue to play until I don’t fall off of Rainbow Road anymore. I will do it one day.
These are a few things that I notice help me when I’m feeling particularly anxious, and I thought I’d pass them along. They may or may not help you, but it’s always good to try different ways to cope so that you know how to handle the increasing anxiousness when it appears. I’m always looking to try new things as well, so leave a comment telling me what random things help you!
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