blogtober 17, Health

Relaxation Techniques | Blogtober17 Day 18

I’ve been an anxiety sufferer for literally as long as I can remember. As a child I was labelled “shy” but given the chance, I loved to sing and dance around – even though I was genuinely afraid of putting my hand up in class.

As an adult, I have some coping mechanisms that mean outwardly I appear to be coping just fine, but my heart is going a million miles an hour and I’m overanalysing literally everything that is happening. I also have a good memory for the little details, which means of course that I overthink everything that has ever happened!

Earlier in the year, when I somehow found myself acting with an am-dram group, I researched means of handling Stage Fright, even though it’s not something I’d ever struggled with before, but the fear of it happening was hanging over me. Now my anxiety is different as I’m involved in the production from both sides – as a performer and part of the production team – so I spend a lot of time stressing about people not replying to emails and drumming up marketing plans to boost ticket sales.

So I’ve been researching ways to find a bit of calm in what’s proving to be an enjoyable but stressful time.

 

Relaxation Techniques for Stress and Anxiety

1. Turn Off The Computer / Phone / Tablet
This is the biggest, and hardest, one for me. I’m always connected and have been since I got my first Blackberry 9 years ago. I don’t know what I’d do without my smartphone, and there are very few moments out of my day where I’m not holding something connected to the internet. But it’s hard always being in demand – and I’ve found it getting very trying. That’s why I have taken to putting my phone on silent and sitting quietly for a short amount of time whenever it starts getting too much. But I can’t stay away for long, as I get even more stressed that I’m not on top of things! It’s all about the balance.

relaxation techniques

 

2. Deep Breaths.
It’s a boring one, that we’ve all heard before, but rhythmical calming breaths can make a huge difference. I have a Fitbit Blaze which has a Relax setting, where you can close your eyes and it takes you through some slow gentle breathing. I find this really useful before bedtime. Initially, it can feel a bit silly, but once you get the hang of it, you find yourself relaxing your whole body as well as your mind by focusing on the breaths.

relaxation techniques

 

Relaxation Techniques for Stress and Anxiety

3. Writing A To Do List
Things getting on top of me scares me. I want to be in control of what’s going on around me, so I get a panicky feeling wash over me when I realise there’s a lot of things piling up. The best relaxation technique for me is to visually make a list of everything that needs to be done. If I can do this in my bullet journal then all the better! Which links in to my next technique…

relaxation techniques

4. Journaling
Now I don’t do anything fancy, but spending an hour or so with my washi tape, ruler and felt pens is an amazing way to switch off. It’s no tech, so it’s a rest for my eyes too. It also helps me to get on top of all the things that are worrying me. Anything that channels my anxious thoughts and makes something creative is going to be beneficial, but also it’s amazing to look at something you’ve made and can be proud of.

relaxation techniques

5. Listen to Music
This is my favourite relaxation technique. Headphones in. Spotify on. Sorted. Music is amazing – I have pretty eclectic tastes, so I have playlists filled with shouty music with loud guitars, playlists with 90’s cheesy pop, playlists filled with Broadway standards to sing when I’m washing up, and playlists of Classical music for when I just want to lie in the dark and feel the melodies. Life is nothing without music, I don’t know what I’d do without it.

relaxation techniques

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