I might have touched on this topic before however if I haven’t I’ll discuss it now. I suffer from anxiety, mainly social and large crowd anxiety (particularly large crowds of small children; nothing puts me into a panic more than a pack of unruly, shouting children). I have developed coping methods for my anxiety as I travel a lot and need to make sure I can cope with packed airports, trains, buses etc. Read on if you want to know more about how I cope on a daily basis with anxiety.
My anxiety can manifest itself at the most unwanted times; when I’m working at a museum and a large tour group comes in, when I’m in unfamiliar social situations and particularly the dreaded icebreaker games when you start a new job. I hate icebreaker games with a passion and avoid these like the plague. That might make me look awkward and weird when you first meet me but trust me it’s better for my mental health if I don’t particpate. So how do I cope in stressful stituations? Well I will do yoga and meditate before going to work each day or in general to help my mind focus for the day and not panic. I’ll listen to relaxing music and read a book so that I’m calm and relaxed before facing a stressful situation such as presenting a conference paper or meeting new people for the first time.
I make sure I breath in and out properly as there is nothing worse than breathing improperly when you have anxiety issues; it makes the stressful situation ten times worse! I also start to notice my surroundings and verbally in my head say what I’m seeing to get my breathing down to normal. This trick is wonderful and really helps me focus and stay calm.
I exercise a lot as I like the release from stress it gives me. It also helps my anxiety as I’m focused on doing one thing for half an hour to an hour which really gives me mental clarity elsewhere in my life. If I’m focused on a task I can make sure that I remember how I feel when I’m working out and apply that to the task at hand. How do you cope when your stressed/anxious/not feeling great mentally? Comment below as I’m always open to new tips and tricks!