5 Little Things That Could Help With Anxiety

    They helped mine; maybe they'll help yours, too.

    Hey team! I'm Alanna, and I am a fairly anxious person.

    1. Pacifica, an anxiety-regulating app for iOS and Android — free to download with additional in-app purchases

    2. Acquiring a pet.

    3. Stress Doctor, another app available on both iOS and Android — $4.99

    4. Puzzles 'n' games, preferably pocket-sized.

    There is always a right answer, or at least a way through to the other side. Just like life! Hahahahahahha!!

    My favorite phone game right now is this fairly good free cribbage app; I say "fairly" because either I am dumb or you can't listen to music/podcasts while the app is open, which is annoying when I have to choose which mindless activity I would rather indulge in while the subway is stuck underground and I am trying to crowd out thoughts of my own impending death/inexcusable lateness. But I suppose that does make me focus on the game (which, whether you are a fan of already or not, you should read about in this lovely Hairpin essay) and above all, it provides me with a collection of miniature obstacles and bite-size triumphs. It's a welcome pattern and set of rules to follow for a minute when the rest of the world feels chaotic.

    The same goes for more narrative games (the Zelda and Pokémon franchises will forever have my heart and wallet), which I play on a red Nintendo 3DS, and which let me feel, if only for a few minutes, like I get to be the protagonist in my own life.

    5. Making stuff.

    I always love to hear about what's helped other people with their own anxiety — feel free to leave a comment, and maybe we'll feature it in an upcoming post.

    And to learn more about depression and anxiety, check out the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health here and here.