Mental and Emotional HealthRelationships

How to Combat Anxiety Through Self-Care

Author: Rachel Jones, LMFT

Often when we hear “self-care” we think of bubble baths and chocolate; while those are wonderful, it only encapsulates a fraction of what self-care can offer those who experience anxiety. It is not about escaping or avoiding responsibilities, but integrating healthy habits in your daily life. When self-care is appropriately utilized it can be a powerful tool to combat anxiety.

  1. Genuine Self Assessment: Take your emotional and relational temperature. How are you, really? How is your energy level, sleep, and appetite? What are you thinking and feeling? Taking a minute to conduct a genuine self-assessment is a powerful regulation tool and brings you into a deeper awareness of what is going on and what you may be needing. This gives you an opportunity to be intentional and productive in managing your self-care.
  2. Hydration, Nutrition, and Movement: These three are big factors when it comes to taking care of ourselves. They are also wonderful places to start when you begin being intentional about caring for your body and mood. Being mindful about what you’re putting in your body will have a direct influence on your mood. As for movement, when struggling with anxiety, your brain and body can feel disconnected. Intentional movement can help bring your mind some ease and while also helping you work through built up stress.
  3. Taking Care of Business: This is an extremely important, but not so glamorous aspect of genuine self care. Very often I see procrastination as a response to anxiety. Avoiding responsibilities often can be like putting gasoline on a fire for your anxiety. We want to address what needs to be prioritized so that we can decrease avoidance tendencies and increase genuine rest.
  4. Relational Care: Our brains need connection and relationship. This is something that doesn’t happen accidentally. It is important to be deliberate about what relationships we invest in and how this impacts our emotional health. Prioritizing a good meaningful conversation with a loved one can do wonders for managing anxiety.