Here at SHAREing & CAREing we are very familiar with anxiety. However, you don’t have to be struggling with a cancer diagnosis to be impacted. Anxiety triggers exist in our everyday lives. Whether you’re preparing to take the high school equivalency exam or dealing with a difficult family situation over the holidays, grappling with unemployment or feeling less safe in the outside world, here are some tips that can help:
- First, know that it is normal to feel anxious sometimes. If you are out of your comfort zone, chances are you will feel some anxiety. Try to reframe that nervous energy as a power source you can draw on to do what you need to.
- Some anxiety symptoms can be frightening. People rush to the hospital with panic attacks thinking they are having a heart attack. If you are experiencing some intense anxiety symptoms—nausea, accelerated heartbeat, tension in your head, neck or shoulders—reassure yourself that while this is upsetting, it is just anxiety and will pass. Anxiety feels worse than it is.
- One accessible way to deal with anxiety is to focus on your breathing. Try to make your inhales and exhales equal. Start with two seconds to breathe in, two seconds to breathe out, and tell yourself you are calming down. This can take a little time to work, so be patient.
- The basics! Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods and exercising regularly to help you manage stress in general. Taking care of yourself, especially during stressful times, can help you feel less vulnerable and more grounded.
- Sometimes our anxiety is a messenger. Take some time to identify where your anxiety is coming from, what it may be trying to tell you, and address it. If you are feeling anxious doing something you know is good for you, tell yourself this and, as the saying goes, “feel the fear and do it anyway.” If you are facing something that is not in your best interest, let your anxiety stop you. In either case, you may need to talk things out with someone you trust. Get the support you need.
- If anxiety is taking over your life, know that you are not alone and can feel better. Call or email us at S&C for more assistance. If you need immediate help, call 911 or a 24 hotline at 1-800-273-8255.