This Is My Year
How I managed my anxiety was not easy. What I learned was something that transformed my life and helped me to heal.
This year started off with a bang. I hosted a fantastic Black Business Award Ceremony to showcase local businesses within my community. I attended two primary functions on behalf of my podcast Thyme 4 Tea with Mikita. I received media passes to RVAFW, The Wear RVA Fashion Show, and SWXSW Festival. I interviewed some of the most amazing people. It was mind-blowing. Doors were opening to opportunities that I had never dreamed of.
Yet I was dealing with such anxiety that I could not even explain it to myself. How could I manage my anxiety when I didn’t understand it myself? Professionally at work, things were going great; my job was offering more flexibility for me to travel. I was feeling a new sense of freedom. My youngest daughter was in her senior year in high school and would be heading off to college in the fall.
I Need A Break
Most of all, my time was spent on the road. Touring colleges and attending functions and classes for myself. The only thing that I was missing was time for myself. I had finally hit the point of utter burnout. I am unsure if I saw it coming or prayed it would catch up with me later rather than sooner. The pushing, the never wanting to stop for fear of losing my momentum, was stronger than ever. However, my husband reminded me that I could not talk the talk of self-care and not practice what I preached. I think he was secretly worried I would have a complete breakdown.
Deciding to hit pause from everything was the best thing I did. I started automating my social media posting to limit the amount of time spent on social media platforms. Yet that did not help my anxiety. I am not sure if I can even describe this feeling of dread. It felt like someone had stolen something from me. This feeling of being lost, unable to think clearly, feeling like I was wound up tighter than a drum, and at any moment, the anxiety would bust out of my chest. Most days, I just wanted to cry and hide from the world, but I knew that wouldn’t take away this deep sense of anxiety that had curled up close to me like an old blanket. I went to sleep filled with anxiety and woke up with it like an old lover.
From the Past to the Present
I am not new to anxiety; I have experienced it several times throughout my life. I remember having anxiety before a school test. I remember when my anxiety started to become more frequent and more intense. I was about to drive over a bridge that I had gone over a thousand times, but this time I was gripped with anxiety and crushing fear. When did I become afraid of bridges so much that it caused paralyzing anxiety? My solution was to avoid all tall bridges or at least be the passenger so I could lean my seat back and not look out the window.
Then breathwork became therapy. Something so simple as breathing has brought me such calm and reassurance. Before discovering breathing exercises that worked one night, I got on my knees and prayed. My answer was to get up and rest; all would be clear in the morning. This was the first time I had gone to sleep and felt hope. The next day I woke up refreshed, and relaxed, and somehow, I knew what I needed. This was my solution to the anxiety that held me hostage, curled up to me no matter what, and refused to let go. Before I went to sleep with it, and in the mornings, I woke up with it. Finally, I was learning to manage my anxiety.
Blogging and telling stories of my adventures became my outlet. I have found a balance of peace that allows me to express myself on so many different platforms. I love sharing, inspiring, and daring to live this thing called life on my terms. Find what makes you happy, and go for it. Breathing and trusting help me to continue to heal. What I found most powerful was how resilient we all are.
When you struggle, it feels like there is no way out. Yet each day you get up and decide to keep going, you slowly take back power in your life. My new normal consist of me doing weekly brain dumps so that I can get ideas, thoughts, stress, and whatever else is going on in my head on paper. This is great for helping you put things in perspective. Remember, breathing is free, and you can do it anywhere. Below are 5 tips to help you manage your anxiety.
5 Simple Tips To Manage Your Anxiety Naturally
Walk In Nature -Taking nature walks is an easy, accessible way to give your mind and body a break from stress. Studies have consistently shown that immersing yourself in nature can be therapeutic and calming, helping to reduce anxiety levels. Whether you find yourself walking through a park or forest, listening to the birds chirping, and taking in the sights around you – it’s amazing how nature can affect your mood. Taking nature walks can quickly become a relaxing pastime, giving you time outside of work or home where your focus can be on nature and away from stressful situations.
Coloring – Who knew that the activity we did as children to pass the time could turn out to be one of the best ways to help us manage our anxiety? Coloring has numerous benefits, including reducing stress and increasing focus. Not only is it fun and calming, but it also helps promote creativity and mindfulness, further enhancing our ability to relax. Whether you use coloring books, pages you’ve designed yourself, or even an app on your phone, coloring can be an effective tool in your anxiety management repertoire. Give this easy yet powerful de-stressor a try today and you’ll see why so many adults are picking up their crayons again!
Meditation – Meditating can be a great way to refocus your energy and find solace in uncertain times. It’s a powerful tool that gives us the power to mediate, both our spiritual and physical internal energies. Through meditation, we can really hone in on the present moment and recognize our inner self and what truly matters. Taking time out of our day to meditate doesn’t just benefit us emotionally, but it’ll also help you manage anxiety levels in ways unimaginable!
Silence – Silence can bring meaningful depth to our lives. When we take time to be still, quiet time has the potential to become a powerful and restorative ally in our fight against anxiety. It creates the opportunity for self-reflection and helps us process our thoughts and emotions. Everyone should make a more conscious effort to experience regular quiet time each day; it is essential for cultivating inner peace and reducing anxiety. After all, being still with ourselves will allow us to discover the greater depths of who we are and how we respond to challenges; allowing us access to creative problem-solving strategies and improved mental health.
Aroma Therapy – Aromatherapy is an easy and effective way to help manage anxiety. Using essential oils, such as lavender or jasmine, can be essential for providing calming relief when dealing with anxiety. Research has shown that essential oils have the ability to reduce stress and boost the immune system, aiding in relaxation when trying to cope with anxious thoughts or stressful situations. A few drops of essential oil on a cloth or in an oil diffuser can be a simple yet powerful addition to your anxiety management toolbox.
Everyone experiences anxiety in different ways, but there are some helpful tips that can be used to manage it. Taking a walk in nature, coloring, and meditating are all great ways to relax and de-stress. If you find yourself feeling anxious, try one of these techniques and see how it helps. Today, take a moment to focus on your breath and let go of any anxious thoughts. Did using this tip make a difference in how you felt? Try incorporating some of these stress-relieving tips into your daily routine and see how they help reduce your anxiety levels.
Managing anxiety requires listening to your body and what it needs. Hitting pause is hard but necessary. Sometimes all you need is a mini-eat pray love retreat. Find out how you can create your own mini retreat so you can hit reset.