One of the best ways to combat anxiety is to create a schedule and stick to it. You can be flexible and accommodating to change, but it helps to know what is coming next. Plus, when you recognize the types of things that make you nervous, you can build a schedule that is both constructive and protective.
Having a consistent routine is especially important over the holiday season when things are more stressful and unpredictable. Below are some tips to help you fight back from the anxiety you may be feeling.
Get Enough Sleep
People don’t put enough importance on sleep, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your health and stress levels. It’s recommended to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Without adequate rest, you can experience greater levels of stress and anxiety. To encourage a restful night, there are a few things you can do.
Create a relaxing environment in your bedroom
Put away digital devices at least one hour before bed
Take a relaxing shower or bath
Try meditation, yoga or visualizing positive images
Read a good book or write in a journal
Use soothing lighting and scents, such as lavender
Improve Your Diet
Your diet is linked to your recovery. By eating the right foods, you help heal your body and replenish it with vitamins and minerals. This will give you energy to get through your days and also fight off food cravings, which can be mistaken for drug cravings.
A diet that is high in protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables is best. Here are a few foods that are known for reducing stress: green leafy veggies, green tea, chamomile tea, berries, cashews and dark chocolate. Keep them on hand!
Make Time for Exercise
There is something for everyone to enjoy in the exercise category. The key is finding it! If you don’t like traditional exercises (running, biking, weight lifting), try something different. Physical activity releases feel-good endorphins in the brain and can improve sleep. Some of our favorite exercises include dancing, yoga, tai chi, martial arts, pilates and swimming. Even a walk around the neighborhood pushes you to be outdoors, meeting other people and boosting self-confidence.
Clean Up Clutter
If you’re in a messy place, it’s hard to feel calm. Take some time to get your space in order. You can do this for 15 minutes each day. This way, your home can be a relaxing place for you to retreat to. Some tips for getting started are:
Get rid of the things you don’t use/need (always start with non-sentimental items).
Make a list of the areas in the home you want de-cluttered and cross them off when you’re done. This creates a sense of accomplishment.
Create bins that are marked with save, throw away and donate. You can easily drop items into their respective bins.
Donate items to a non-profit organization. Finding your purpose is important, and it all starts by helping others.
Designate spots to place items that easily build up, such as incoming papers and bills.
Schedules are helpful for everyone, especially those in recovery. You’ll feel more at ease knowing what comes next in your day and how to prepare. For more information on how to build a healthy routine, visit Recovery.org.