Skip To Content

    8 Tiny (But Effective) Habits I Turn To When I'm Feeling Stressed Or Anxious

    Here's what works for me.

    Everything's been pretty overwhelming lately.

    As someone who's generally kind of anxious, I've been feeling a lot of tension and unease lately. It's been tough to deal with.

    To ground myself, I've been turning to a few habits and tips that I've mostly picked up through trial and error.

    But before getting into them, I just want to say that if you're feeling guilty about allowing yourself some time for self-care right now, again, you're not alone.

    Remember that by taking care of your own mental health, you're helping all the other causes you're trying to pour yourself into right now, too.

    I know anxiety and fear can feel all-encompassing. But when you don't take care of your own mental health first, it can feel like you're climbing a never-ending hill, fighting multiple battles at the same time.

    Think of the safety message announced at the beginning of flights: Should an emergency occur, put on your own oxygen mask first before helping anyone else. Likewise, you can help others best when you've helped yourself first.

    With that in mind, here are eight ways I calm my emotions when I'm feeling overwhelmed:

    1. Write something — whether that's full-on journaling, jotting down half-thoughts, or penning a letter to a friend.

    2. Do a five senses exercise.

    3. Splash your face with cold water or pop an ice cube in your mouth.

    4. Change your environment — go for a walk, sit on the porch, or just move from the bed to the kitchen table.

    5. Describe the objective facts of your current reality.

    6. Be kind to yourself — and define what that means for you.

    7. Give your eyes (and screens) a break and listen to something instead — like an audio book or a podcast.

    8. Figure out a day in the not-too-distant future when you know you'll feel better, and make it your light at the end of the tunnel.

    And if all these things feel like work on top of all the other emotional labor you're already doing? Remember that like the best lasagnas, the work is WORTH IT and will yield leftovers for days.

    One last thing? Just doing ONE of these things is OK.

    Do you have any favorite self-care tips for when you're feeling overwhelmed? Share them in the comments below.✨