We were hoping all this terrible shit in the world would end after 2016, but so far, 2017 is looking just as fucking depressing. With Trump’s executive orders piling up and Corinne’s ability to stick around The Bachelor week after week, it’s hard not to go insane and reach for your bottle of Xanax for some help. But as much as you want to pop a pill every time you get stressed, we found out there are some pretty legit natural ways to reduce your anxiety. Stop leaving voicemails for your doctor and try out some of these natural solutions. I mean, it’s either that or angrily scrolling through Kellyanne Conway memes for the next four years.
1. Get Some Exercise
In the words of Elle Woods, “Endorphins make you happy and happy people don’t shoot their husbands.” Need we say more? There’s legit scientific proof that people who work out regularly are happier and more relaxed than people who sit on their asses all day. I mean, there’s a reason you feel so good after a SoulCycle class, no matter how many times you mouthed “fuck you” to the instructor every time she called you out for not getting out of the saddle. Get sweaty. You’ll thank us later.
2. Take L-theanine Supplements
We’re not particularly into downing supplements, but L-Theanine is a game changer when it comes to chilling the fuck out. I mean, there’s a reason the Real Housewives can tolerate cameras following them to meetings with their divorce lawyers. They take a handful of supplements with their morning coffee and it keeps them from going (completely) batshit. L-Theanine is an amino acid that’s found in green tea, and its properties promote relaxation, reduce stress, and help you sleep better. You’ll swear by them.
3. Download Meditation Apps
We used to make fun of people who meditated, but then celebs like Lena Dunham and Jennifer Aniston started preaching mindfulness and we were like, okay let’s rethink this. It turns out meditation is SO much more chill than we thought, and doesn’t actually involve praying to the Buddha or chanting Om in a dark cave in Thailand. Apps like Headspace and Calm will guide you through short meditations that will calm you down and relax your mind. Think 2017’s Eat, Pray Love.
4. See People You Like
When life sucks, you don’t want to surround yourself with people you hate, and considering we hate most people, it’s important to specifically hang out with the few people you actually like. That means this isn’t the time to make peace with the girl who vomited on your Halloween costume or try to find closure with your ex. Make plans with friends who are down for a good time and are fucking hilarious, and don’t feel bad for ditching anything you don’t want to attend. You were never planning on going to that birthday dinner anyway.
5. Write Shit Down
The idea of keeping a “thought diary” is one of those things your therapist suggested once and you forgot about it as soon as your session was up. As much as we understand that nothing sounds less betchy than writing down your feelings, writing shit down when you’re stressed is actually insanely helpful. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, write down the top five things that are bothering you, then throw the list out. It sounds stupid but it can help to get things on paper and realize they’re not as bad as you think once you see them in front of you.
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6. Try Aromatherapy
Lighting a scented candle or using essential oils in your room can calm you down and balance out your nervous system. Scents like lavender, geranium, and tangerine have been proven to reduce stress, so it’s time to splurge on that Jo Malone candle you’ve always wanted for your apartment. It’s a game-changer.
7. Take A Social Media Break
We’re not suggesting you pull a Kim Kardashian on your loyal followers, but putting away social media for a bit really helps get your mind off of anything that’s making you anxious. Whether you’re signing out for an hour or a day, make the commitment to take social media breaks and focus on other things. Plus, you’ll be surprised how much faster you’ll get places if you put your phone away for a sec.
8. Cut Down On Sugar
Comfort food is literally the best thing ever, but let’s save that for next weekend when you’re blackout at a diner at 3am. Studies have shown that fructose actually stimulates areas of the brain that trigger stress and anxiety. Put away the Twix bar and try eating low-sugar diet for a few days. It won’t kill you.
9. Chill On The Caffeine
If you’re reading this while you’re in line for your third Venti of the day, you might want to opt for decaf this time around. Cold brew literally runs through our even colder blood, but it turns out when you’re anxious, caffeine only makes it worse. Aside from dehydrating you and making you shaky, caffeine has been proven to worsen anxiety. If you need your caffeine fix, order a matcha green tea, which has less caffeine than coffee does and has a ton of health benefits. I mean, there’s a reason Gwyneth always has that calm, glowing look. It’s the fucking matcha.
10. Get Some Sleep
Taking a nap is usually our answer to basically everything, but in this case, science has our backs. Napping isn’t only a sick way to avoid your responsibilities and/or everything going on in the real world. It turns out getting more sleep makes you worry less during the day, so you should be clocking in at least eight hours on average. It’s simple. Lack of sleep makes your anxiety worse, and getting more sleep makes it better. Lights out.