Written by Amy Grimsey, Sport Development Officer
We have all been guilty of worrying about something or overthinking certain things, whether that be an exam, a job interview or having a medical test. During times like these, feeling worried (anxious) can be perfectly normal, but for some of us, this feeling of worry can take over some of the more positive aspects of our lives.
Whilst living with anxiety can be very difficult, now more so than ever with the presence of COVID, there are some steps you can take that might help to manage that feeling of worry and dread.
Self-Help Tips for Coping With Anxiety
Accept The Things You Cannot Change
A lot of the time, our worries are caused by situations that are beyond our control, for example organising an event and worrying whether or not it will rain, or worrying if we will get accepted for the job. But instead of worrying about it, we can be flexible and have an alternative plan or be at peace with knowing that you have put in your very best work/points forward.
Accepting the fact that you cannot control everything will help to relieve a lot of burden and give you more time to focus on ways to improve your chances (e.g. studying for an exam, practicing interview questions, making a plan B).
Talk to a Friend/Someone You Trust
Talking to somebody about the things that are making you anxious can be a good way of dealing with your emotions and working out a solution to the ‘problem’ – as the saying goes ‘a problem shared, is a problem halved’.
Look After Your Physical Health
Physical Activity: exercise can be really helpful for your mental wellbeing. It boosts endorphins (the ‘feel good’ hormone), gives you a sense of accomplishment and improves your physical health (giving you less to worry about!)
Balanced Diet: Eating a balanced diet regularly and keeping your blood sugar stable, can make a difference to your mood, energy levels and immune system.
Get Enough Sleep: getting a good amount of sleep (around 8 hours) will increase your energy levels, help you cope with difficult feelings and give your mind and body tissues time to rest and recover. Check out our blog post '5 Tips to Improve Your Sleep'.
Write Down Your Worries
Writing in a journal can be good therapy and help to calm your nerves, while possibly providing some solutions along the way. Writing about what makes you anxious can help you to spot patterns in what triggers these feelings for you. It is also good practice to identify things that are going well – be kind to yourself and notice the good things too.
Breathing exercises can help you feel more in control of your emotions by taking time out and focusing on the present moment.
If breathing exercises aren’t for you, you might prefer activities such as yoga or Pilates.
Hopefully some of these self-help methods will help to ease some of those negative emotions, but most importantly, be kind to yourself and talk to someone if you feel like you need help.