I get this question a lot in my sessions from clients. While we are exploring to understand the deeply rooted causes of your anxiety, we want to make sure to manage your anxiety on a day to day basis.
I recommend having a self-care routine of your choosing to tame the anxious thoughts and feelings.
This maybe in the morning or any time in the day. You want to have at least 5-10 minutes to yourself or longer if you are lucky.
I used to have a morning routine myself of journaling and meditation to start my day feeling grounded. However, after having a kid, mornings are difficult. You are up when the kid is up, and you are lucky if you get to wash your face! My self-care routine is usually after school drop-off or before bedtime. When you think about your day, find a time that is realistic and will work for you. By no means, we are trying to add pressure or one more “to do” on your list to make you even more anxious!
When you find that ideal time, I suggest journaling. This is not your cheesy grade school days of “Dear Dairy!” There is no set format you need to follow. You can type on your computer or phone if you are more comfortable typing than writing on an actual journal. The purpose is to get all your thoughts and feelings on the page so that they are not taking as much precious real estate within you.
You can write about anything that worries you and lingering feelings of discomfort, sadness, anger…etc.
You can even start writing how you do not know what to write about but just keep writing and do not stop.
Many people will see that the page fills quickly with the day’s “to do list” as well as all the other stuff that bothers you. You may be writing about work troubles, how your partner or roommate annoyed you. Try and focus on how you are feeling when you are writing.
An example could go like this:
I am feeling frustrated to see my colleague, Emily (sorry to all Emilies) whom I don’t love seeing. She is going to ask me about my project and my progress. What will I tell her? I am working on it. She should leave me alone. I am feeling angry. I can say I made good progress but need to work on it longer and will get back to her by next Tuesday.
The goal is to get anything that is making you anxious out on the paper, so you do not feel blocked. You may find that there are scenarios or situations that are making you worried and uneasy. You could write and think about a plan and ways to handle them. The end goal is that you feel more prepared to face the day, the situation, and the people. That way, you can have access to your calm self that has always been there but been blocked or muted by all the anxiety!
I wish you the best with your journey to your calm and joyful self!