Tips For the Stressed and Anxious [en]

[fr] Une série de conseils (basés sur mon expérience personnelle!) pour les stressés et anxieux. Top de la liste: s'assurer qu'on dort, mange, et bouge assez (c'est la base). Boire des tisanes de fleur d'oranger. Prendre un bain chaud. Méditer.

Twice a month I write up an article chosen by my readers. This is the second. Vote for the next one!

After years of learning to deal with my stressed and anxious self, here are a few ideas and tips I’ve found help me get through those moments. It won’t replace therapy of course, but it can help!

  • Make sure you have your basics covered (this is your top priority): enough sleep, enough food (preferably more or less balanced), and physical exercise (go for a walk!) — regular hours if possible.
  • Drink orange blossom infusions (“fleur d’oranger”). It’s a relaxing infusion — 4-5 cups a day, and one 30 minutes before going to bed if you have trouble sleeping. I’m a fan ever since drinking those saved one of my exam sessions.
  • Take a warm bath.
  • Lie down, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing for 10-20 minutes, without falling asleep, and without starting to think about stuff. When thoughts show up, just let them fly by as you concentrate on your breathing. (This is kind of basic meditation.) Once or twice a day.
  • When stressed, identify the main stressor (if it’s procrastination-related stress) and get it done with. Things usually get better after that.
  • If anxious/down, go for stuff that makes you laugh (it helps the brain switch gears): lolcats, comedy movie, fun friends, comics — whatever does it for you.
  • Sometimes (specially if you’re more down than anxious), watching a scary movie / thriller can do the trick. Anxiety is often something we do to ourselves (need that adrenalin-drug!) so getting a shot through artifical means (the movie) can actually help relax about other stuff.
  • Head out to the countryside/lake/mountains. Look at nature around you — it helps regain a sense of proportion.
  • Watch the Eight Irresistable Principles of Fun video (a few minutes).

Of course, these are very general tips. They are not magic recipes, either: sometimes we’re stressed or anxious for very good reasons, and it’s normal to be uncomfortable. But these ideas might help make things a little bit better or bearable when it’s rough.

Got any tips that work for you when you’re stressed or anxious, and that you’d like to share? The comments are yours.