Anxiety is a very common mental health issue affecting most of us to different degrees. While anxiety is oftentimes a natural response to stress, too much anxiety can negatively impact our quality of life. A little self-care can go a long way when it comes to keep anxiety in check.
The concept of self-care covers a wide range of activities and practices, which tend to place a greater priority on our level of physical, emotional, and psychological health. Self-care is the intentional act of taking time to look out for oneself; nurturing the mind and body, and taking part in activities that recharge our emotional battery.
While it may not come to mind first, self-care works behind the scenes to help us build up resilience. Daily life can be chaotic and our self-care routines help to provide a buffer against the stress that the day brings. Activities such as meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga give us the opportunity to relax and to better manage anxious thoughts and feelings. Such opportunities to break the cycle during the day are important to keep overall levels of anxiety in check.
When we have dedicated time periods of relaxation and reflection, we see ourselves and life a bit differently. Self-care routines can foster this type of self-awareness. When we quiet our minds we’re better able to identify triggers, patterns, and sources associated with our anxieties. Some find the practice of journaling to be a simple way to track our emotions, identify recurring issues, and capture positive steps we’d like to work into the day’s routine.
Self-care can also work to improve our self-esteem and self-worth. When we are working to improve ourselves, we tend to feel better about ourselves. Plus, engaging in activities that provide joy gets those positive chemicals flowing. Feeling better about ourselves, along with an improvement in our daily level of joy, help to counteract the negative self-perception issues oftentimes associated with anxiety.
Self-care activities tend to encourage a healthier lifestyle. Eating better, getting exercise, and proper sleep are fundamental components of self-care. And, together, are a powerful ally when it comes to regulating our mood and reducing symptoms of anxiety.
Seasons of Strength provides effective and compassionate mental health therapy to adults, couples, and families. We specialize in treating PTSD, depression, anxiety, and trauma with an emphasis on EMDR. We help clients across the DMV area.