My top tip for addressing anxiety is downtime. Scheduling time out in your diary to do things that positively benefit your physical, mental and spiritual health is a must irrespective of why you experience anxiety.
Being overstimulated by family pressures, work demands, health conditions, technology such as TV, computer and mobile phone screens and dealing with external events such as the economic climate, war or adverse weather - all has a physical and mental impact on our wellbeing.
It was an important learning for me that I am not a robot. Whilst the Industrial Revolution increased productivity through inanimate machines, I am still a human being that requires care, nurture and support in order for me to function at my best. I am also prone to having some days where I function better than others; sometimes for obvious reasons and sometimes for no apparent reason. I therefore cannot operate at the same pace or consistency as a machine, that requires little or no downtime, nor should I try.
As a person that has experienced burnout and anxiety I have learnt to schedule downtime into my working week to allow time for positive activities that renew my energy and improve my productivity. By knowing I have a morning each week that I can do something I enjoy like a Reiki treatment, a trip into town or time with my horses, I know I have a mid-week breather and pause to restore balance.
Whilst in principal this seems like a simple and easy activity to implement, it's amazing how many people feel that they cannot do this. External and internal pressures to keep going and perform, particularly with the need to bring in an income and/or support family, means many say this is a "nice idea that simply wouldn't work".
However, if you wish to experience less anxiety and more serenity, calm and wellbeing you must prioritise serenity, calm and wellbeing over pleasing others. You also have to trust that living in a balanced way - free of anxiety, is possible for you and others, even if it feels impossible right now.
Anxiety invites us to grow.
It is a brave and courageous journey to prioritise your wellbeing over the wellbeing of others. Often we have been taught to put the needs of others before our own to receive love or income. This conditioning causes us to share time, money and energy needed for ourselves to be spent outwards, resulting in us feeling depleted and like we're constantly running on empty.
That running on empty makes us, understandably, feel anxious. This kind of anxiety is the body's way of telling us something isn't right, acting like a warning signal and inviting us to make a new strategy.
When we are experiencing anxiety due to chronic overgiving and overstimulation (that can be amplified by high caffeine and carbohydrate intake - both stimulants than can help us go beyond our usual reserves), we benefit from a pattern break that disrupts our usual coping mechanisms. Rather than wait for life to create one for us (which you probably wouldn't enjoy), we can create our own pattern-break by going on holiday or better still a wellbeing retreat, starting a new hobby or wellbeing related course or working with a therapist or coach.
Coaching (my specialism) helps an individual or team to acknowledge where anxiety is present and formulate a strategy or plan unique to the client to address the cause. This can include acknowledging and healing traumatic events that have led to the creation of anxiety, as well as postive wellbeing strategies to build resilience for the future.
Coaching is a positive, goal-oriented approach, that leverages your innate talents and skills to solve your challenges to restore harmony, and grow through the process. It can be done individually or as a group, in-person or online, in a room or outdoors in nature.
If you or someone you know is affected by anxiety, talk to them about their wellbeing hopes and goals and let them know there are people out there, like myself with experience of addressing anxiety, and the training and resources to coach and guide them through their journey.
You can find out more about the services I offer, including coaching sessions in nature, wellbeing events and the Peace Project online support group, on my website - or reach out via the contact page and ask me your questions direct.