Everyone has bad days, and we all feel anxious and restless at multiple times during our lives. There is so much going on all the time, even when nothing is happening, your mind can be racing with thoughts that aren’t good for you. So whether you’re in a stressful or busy time or you’re more of a naturally anxious person, here are some tips for staying relaxed on a day-to-day basis.
1. Go to ‘your place’
A place that is just for you!
Everyone needs a ‘me place’ in my humble opinion. This can be a room in your house, maybe its where you practise, it can even be a local park or a favourite coffee shop. A place that you feel comfortable in that you can go to when things feel a little overwhelming. A place where you can take a step back, even if its just for a few minutes.
My place is my bedroom: it’s quiet, I have my guitars and my keyboard, all of my favourite books and movies, candles, fairy lights and sometimes my cat if she’s feeling affectionate! I like the colours in the room and there’s nice pictures on the walls. When I enter that room I just get a feeling of peace, its a space that’s just mine. Being there allows me to bring my anxious thoughts from a swirling mess back to a more calm and rational way of dealing with things, sometimes it works instantly, other times it takes a bit longer. However that space for me creates a feeling of ‘its all going to be alright’, and that’s all I really need.
If you don’t have this space that is yours, I recommend that you find it, or create it!
2. A warm cuppa
You’ve had a long and stressful day, or maybe you have one ahead of you…put the kettle on and grab your favourite mug! Whatever your sin is, tea, coffee, or if you’re on a caffine break, try a green or berry tea. There’s nothing like a hot drink that feels like a big hug when you’re feeling down. Trust me, its the simple things in life!
3. Get some fresh air
Exercise is absolutely essential for keeping a healthy mind, so if you’re feeling down, get outside! Try to ground yourself and become aware of your senses, focus on what you hear, see, smell and feel…
The birds tweeting, the sound of a soft breeze, maybe there’s the sound of traffic nearby…
Tall trees or a winding trail, the clouds moving slowly across the sky…
Feel the sensation of your feet touching the ground…get the idea?
And throughout all of this, remember to breathe. Be sure to bring yourself back to your centre and feel present in the moment, this is the key to feeling calm.
4. Listen to music
If you’re a musician then this is a no-brainer, but everybody loves music! There’s nothing like an uplifting tune to lift our spirits, and we all know the songs that make us happy. For me it can range from Robben Ford’s Talk To Your Daughter to When Will My Life Begin from Tangled, but I guarantee you’ve already thought of a song that gets your foot tapping and your mood lifted as you’re reading this!
5. Drink some water
This might sound weird but when you think about it, water is extremely calming. Visualize this with me for a second:
You’re standing on a quiet beach…not a sound can be heard only the soft crashing of the small waves rolling in and rolling out. It mimics your breathing, and you’re at one with the ocean. You feel the soft warm sand as you wriggle your toes…
Water is about as natural as it gets, and I now find it so calming to be around. So drink up! Its important to keep hydrated too and your skin will thank you for it.
6. Try not to take things personally
Okay look, let’s be honest…we’ve all said things we didn’t mean or said stupid things, maybe our minds are just on something else. If someone bumps into you in public and doesn’t say sorry or if a customer is rude to you while you’re working, just let it roll off your back! I know its easier said than done in any given moment, but it just takes practise.
You might have unintentionally been rude or seemed unfriendly to someone not because you think less of them or are simply out to get them and ONLY them, you just had something else on your mind that might have been bothering you at that time. So try and empathise to help calm your mind if someone has upset you or made you anxious, they’re probably just stressed too and having a bad day.
Also try to remember that ‘the world does not revolve around me’. I don’t mean this in a selfish way but in a way that allows you to take the pressure off yourself. If you’re anxious because of another person then just think, ‘they’re not giving any thought to the fact that they made me anxious, so why would I keep thinking about it any longer?’
And if somebody is just a nasty person, then just find peace in the fact that you are so much better than that type of being and you would never treat people that way!
Okay I might get some hate for this one, but seriously…cleaning! It’s a great de-stresser, so grab yourself some antibacterial surface wipes and get moving, give your sinks, tables and your work space a good wipe down. My mind tends to be distracted from what I’m anxious about while I’m cleaning, there’s something theraputic about wiping away the bad, and you’ll make the people around you happy too!
8. Take inspiration from the people in your life
I certainly have people in my life that seem to deal with things in a way that I wish I could. You probably feel this way too! It may be a parent, a sibling, a friend or another family member…it could even be a famous person that you look up to or a fictional character? I think of them in a situation that I might find myself in and try to ‘channel’ them, I ask myself…
‘What would <insert name> do right now?’
‘How would <insert name> deal with this situation?’
This has definitely worked for me in the more recent past, and I have secretly thanked those people that have no idea how much they’ve helped me!
Also it’s a good idea to take some inspiration from yourself. Maybe you’ve read a quote somewhere that has stuck with you, or a sort of ‘life motto’ that helps give you positive feelings such as happiness, peace or motivation. Write it down and keep it in a place where you’ll see it. ‘Plus est en vous’ is a saying that I heard recently, translated literally from French means: ‘There is more in you.’ This has stuck with me for the last while as it reminds me in certain moments that I am so much more than just this anxious person, and this is why it is written on my little blackboard!
9. Self Care
If I’m having a particularly anxious day, I always take some time to do something nice for my body. All of that love and happiness that you project to other people and things, take a piece of it and bring it back towards yourself. Self love is so important for your mental and physical well-being.
When you’re feeling anxious, take a step back and do something nice for your body. This can be anything that makes you feel good such as brushing your teeth and hair, washing and moisturising your face, painting your nails or taking a bubble bath. Anything that makes you feel good. Take a quick shower to freshen up, no need to wet your hair if it’s too time consuming. When you feel clean, you feel good.
Self care is so important regardless of anxiety, but it definitely is a must. Eat a healthy and balanced diet, exercise regularly and be kind to your body…it’s the greatest tool you’ll ever own.
10. Everything will be okay
Trust me. Maybe something didn’t go well for you or you have stressful things in your life right now, but things just have a way of being okay after some time, it might not be in the way you think, but just don’t worry.
And remember that its okay to feel anxious, it’s a natural and instinctive feeling, just embrace it and practise dealing with it, and keep being your awesome self!
Rome wasn’t built in a day, you’ll be okay 🙂
I hope you liked these tips and I hoped they work for you! Please let me know in the comments what you’re favourites are, and if you have any tips of your own that you could share with me?