Anxiety is like the girl who consistently shows up to your parties uninvited. No one ever asks her to come, but you know she’ll always turn up. For me, that uninvited anxiety is a daily party crasher in my life. Joy. And if you’re anything like me, every living person who learns you have anxiety offers some kind of tip to help reduce anxiety. “I’ve heard weighted blankets really help” or “have you tried drinking more water?” While these all (usually) tend to be genuine tips, the overload of information to help reduce anxiety is, well, anxiety-inducing. So from one anxious person to another, here are some tips that I have found help me, that aren’t just the deep breathing and counting to 10.
I know. This one can be super difficult to achieve because your mind probably races at night with the million and one things you need to do (or said three years ago that you’re still embarrassed by). While I try to fall asleep, I make checklists of what I need to do, plan my outfits for the week, and/or revisit the status of my dreams and accomplishments. But I’ve found a miracle worker. I’ve been obsessed with the “Sleep with Me” podcast. It’s essentially a dude telling you a bedtime story in a super monotone voice, but he just rambles and goes off into tangents so you don’t actually need to pay attention. I couldn’t even tell you what the stories are about, because I am never awake long enough to know. It sounds dumb, but every time I put it on, I’m asleep within five minutes.
2. Try Some Essential Oils
While I don’t swear by essential oils, I do feel like they can help. Smelling essential oils initiates an almost immediate response in your brain of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine (aka the feel-good chemicals). This one from Saje is my personal favorite because it doesn’t need a diffuser so it can be used pretty much anywhere. This mist combines hints of lavender for relaxation, orange to brighten your mood, and bergamot to relieve stress. I love spraying this on my pillow before going to bed for an extra boost of anxiety-reducing power.
You know the jitters you get from having too much caffeine? Since coffee is a stimulant, it can trigger your “fight-or-flight” response which can be bad news for anyone with anxiety. Additionally, too much coffee can make you moody, hyper-aware, and nervous, and it can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Aka all things that someone with anxiety does not need help with.
4. Get Moving
I hate myself for including this one on the list, but it really is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a workout class feeling anxious af and leaving feeling so much better. It increases endorphins (aka nature’s Xanax) which boosts your mood and helps you sleep better. Go to a workout class or the gym, take the stairs, or just walk more. Whatever you do, the more you move, the better you feel.
Blame It On Limit The Alcohol
Having a nice
bottle glass of wine after work or a cold beer to unwind is sometimes a necessity. I get it. We’ve all been there. But in reality, alcohol can wreak havoc on your anxiety. Alcohol is a depressant, which lowers your mood and can temporarily make you forget about your stress. While this may be effective in the short term, once the alcohol wears off, you’ll be worse off. Headaches, nausea, dizziness, and low blood sugar are just some symptoms you may experience, which we have all probably experienced at one point, but did you know there’s such thing as an emotional hangover too? Yeah, turns out alcohol can make you anxious once it wears off. Great.
6. Avoid Sugar
If you are an emotional eater like I am, this one might be the hardest tip to help reduce anxiety, but I swear it helps. Although the copious amounts of ice cream may feel like just what you need in the moment, it’ll make you feel a hell of a lot worse in about 15 minutes (not unlike our good friend alcohol). The crash you experience after eating a ton of sugar is worse than Brit’s breakdown when she shaved her head. The drastic swing in your blood sugar increases cortisol and adrenal levels—aka you feel tired, lightheaded, and sick. Sound like similar symptoms to a panic attack?
Remember, what helps me might not help you. Sometimes, all you need is a good cry or an episode of Keeping Up to remind you that things could be a lot worse for you.
Images: Kinga Cichewicz / Unsplash; Giphy (3); Saje
It takes a lot of patience, effort, and internal seething to act as heartless as Kourtney Kardashian. I know this because I try like, really fucking hard to only provide one-word answers to any question and mask any sign of emotion at all times. I give her so much credit for perfecting this act despite having three kids with a mentally unstable and alcoholic ex-boyfriend sleeps with Insta thots on the regular. All hail Kourtney Kardashian.
Regardless of how much I put on this little public façade, the second I’m behind closed doors, I am 1,000% Britney Spears circa 2007. Being in your 20s means becoming a workaholic (possibly also an alcoholic) while remembering to eat solid food before five consecutive tequila shots and turning off your straightener before leaving the house. Anxious is basically my middle name at this point, and if you didn’t know that, all you’d need to do is take one look at my face to figure it out. At least my outside matches my inside, right? Some rich smart CEOs probs know of this struggle all too well, so here are fab skincare products to help hide your stress so you don’t fuck up your ex’s car with an umbrella.
1. Glossier Super Pure Niacinamide Serum
For skin that manages to fuck up when all shit hits the fan, this serum calms down redness and swelling to prevent future breakouts. Glossier understands that junk food and that unpleasant moment right before our time of month are literally sabotage, and this serum is specifically formulated to stop your skin’s biggest triggers. The super lightweight water-to-gel formula gets rid of excess oil and absorbs into your skin to drastically strengthen your cells.
2. Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream
The bags under my eyes will def be the death of me, literally. I look like a corpse if I’m not layering a shit ton of eye cream, especially after all the sleepless Saturday nights I’ve had
in the past seven years lately. This is an instant brightening and hydrating eye cream that has a cooling effect and leaves you feeling wide awake. It de-puffs your eyes so you look refreshed and smoothes your eye area for makeup application. The formula is also free of oil and fragrance, and full of peptides that counteract against stress and lack of sleep.
3. Kiehl’s Since 1851 Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimizing Daily Hydrator
The intense moisturizer is clinically proven to reduce signs of stress, including fatigue, dehydration, and blotchiness. Honestly, anytime something says it’s clinically proven, I’m sold. I won’t ask questions. This product is infused with roses and some other good-smelling stuff that detect signs of stress before they happen and help promote immediate recovery so you don’t break out.
4. Estée Lauder Stress-Relief Eye Mask
For a super quick and relaxing remedy after a long night of drowning your sorrows in wine, apply these pre-soaked moisturizing pads onto your eyes for about 10 minutes. They’re composed of anti-stress and anti-fatigue ingredients to help soothe, hydrate, and massage your under eye area. Turn off your phone and listen to like, Mozart or whatever before taking them off and gently rubbing the excess serum in.
5. Origins Peace Of Mind On-The-Spot Relief
This is like, meditation in a bottle tbh. The product promotes sensory therapy, which is supposed to work wonders after a light application on your pressure points. When you’re two seconds away from throwing your computer against the wall at work, apply two drops of this on the back of your neck, inner wrists, temples, and earlobes. A tingling sensation will occur (so, no, you’re not going crazy) and soon, your bottled-up tension and stress will evaporate. This also works as a sleep aid and helps with migraines, so who the hell needs yoga when you’ve got this?
Images: Katerina Radvanska / Unsplash; Giphy; Glossier.com; Sephora (2); Nordstrom; Estée Lauder;