This happened to me last month. It was a tough time for me with changes at work, side jobs, everything seemed to be changing. And I wasn’t happy about a lot of the changes.
With a lot of change, comes a lot of over thinking for me. Do you my new co-workers think I can handle this job? Am I doing a good job in this new role? Am I doing everything right?
Making a huge life change, like getting your finances in order, is bound to cause some overwhelming feelings. I’ve been on this journey for almost 3 years and have been budgeting for 4 years. I still am facing anxiety over my finances.
It usually creeps up out of no where for me and leaves me with knots in my stomach, my thoughts going a million miles a minute, and usually is accompanied by nausea and not being able to sleep.
Luckily, I have found some strategies that have worked for me to handle anxiety when it gets to be too much.
1. Stop the anxiety before it really starts.
This can’t always be done, but when I have been able to get myself before I really nose dive, it is very helpful. If I notice myself over thinking about something or fixating about a situation, I will do my best to get my mind off of it.
Find things that are distracting to you. For me, it depends on the situation. Sometimes, I need to go do something active, sometimes I need to just zone out with a movie or TV show, sometimes I need a book to get lost in.
It’s always different for me and it usually depends on how far gone I’ve let myself go into overthinking. Sometimes this doesn’t work at all. This strategy has been less effective for me recently and I think it’s because I do a lot in my day to day to help with my mental health and my personal development.
In the long run, this is good, but when I find myself fixating on something, it usually takes much more to get me out of it now.
2. Invest your time into personal development.
This has been wonderful for me. I can’t speak highly enough about the importance of personal development and spending time to do it every single day. This could be through a book, audiobook, video, whatever interests you and you think you need to work on.
This has helped me so much in my day to day and I really don’t find myself with a lot of anxiety inducing thoughts anymore. It usually takes much more for me to get into the pits now, which is good overall.
I didn’t think I had the time in my day to devote to this, but I found that I could make my commute time more productive. Whenever I’m going to be in the car more than 15 minutes, I put on the audiobook that I’m listening to. This has helped me so much and almost always boosts my mood and gets me ready to tackle the day.
3. Prioritize your health every day.
I find that when I am regularly being active, getting a good amount of sleep, and eating healthy, I’m generally in a better head space and can handle the stress that gets thrown my way. When any of these things don’t happen, I find it harder to manage my emotions and stress on the daily basis.
By making it a regular priority, it helps in the long run to manage your anxiety, and it helps you save money on medical expenses. Win!
4. Complete a daily mental dump.
Every day I start off and end my day by completing a mental dump. What I mean by this is that I write down all the things that are bogging down on my thoughts. Usually they are things I need to do, those things are kept for me to cross off throughout the day or week. For things that I am overthinking about, which is pretty regular for me, I write those down and then throw them out.
It may sound corny, but getting all of my thoughts down on paper and doing something with it, really helps me manage it all.
5. Step away.
Something I really struggle with is knowing when to take a break. When my anxiety starts up I do one of two things, tackle everything head on, or completely shut down. When I can’t use the above strategies to manage it, I usually shut down. However, when I manage my anxiety on the day to day basis, I am usually able to be productive, especially if I first step away from the things that are triggering my anxiety.
It’s important to know when you need a break to reorganize your thoughts. A quick walk with nothing to interrupt me does wonders for my productive when I’m feeling my anxiety creeping in.
6. Avoid caffeine after a certain time.
This is one that I never thought about doing. I’m a teacher, I practically survive off of caffeine some days. But, the reality is that when I’m feeling anxious about things, I’m overthinking. Overthinking doesn’t just stop because I’m tired and sometimes it can be really hard to shut my mind off at night. During the week, when my anxiety is usually at the worst, I don’t drink caffeine after breakfast.
Of course, there are some days when I’ll have tea because I just can’t make it to my side jobs, but overall, I don’t drink it after breakfast. This means I’m typically completely exhausted by the time my head hits the pillow.
Paying off debt can be very overwhelming and if you’re someone that struggles with anxiety, it can seem impossible. I hope these strategies help you, like they have helped me over the years. Overall, these strategies have helped me so much in managing my anxiety on the daily basis. Of course, sometimes these strategies won’t work, I’ve been there. But, these strategies have helped me gain better control of my daily life. How have you managed your anxiety?