Five self-care tips to help you get a hold on your anxious thoughts

With a global pandemic, war, political upheaval and a cost of living crisis, It’s difficult to imagine someone who hasn’t struggled with their mental health and increased anxiety over the last few years. 

When it comes to your emotional wellbeing it is important to be proactive and install good habits, rather than simply wait until things get bad. So we asked GP and media medic Dr Sarah Jarvis for her advice on managing anxious thoughts on a daily basis. 

The mental health sector has seen a huge surge in demand since the pandemic, with approximately 1.6 million people in England currently on the NHS waiting list for specialised treatment, and a further eight million people would benefit from the NHS mental health services support.

Apprehension to treat anxiety with medication, due to risks of addition or reliance, can cause anxious feelings to further develop and can trigger our bodies ‘fight or flight’ response, releasing stress hormones such as adrenaline. 

Dr Sarah Jarvis says that some people feel an uncontrollable sense of dread or recurring worries about the future. Some have difficulty concentrating or an inability to relax. Others feel tense and have difficulty sleeping. Whatever your symptoms may be, there is a general feeling of tension, nervousness, panic, and worry that cause you to feel anxious. 

Five self-care tips to help you get a hold on your anxious thoughts

While you cannot make your fears and anxieties just disappear, there are simple and effective ways to manage them. Many are essential ingredients for a healthy lifestyle, and adopting them can improve your overall emotional and physical wellbeing.

1) Work it out

Whether it’s a brisk walk around the block, or a virtual workout, exercise encourages the body to release endorphins which counteract the release of cortisol. Getting outside in the fresh air not only clears the airways, but a daily dose of vitamin D supports the body’s natural mood regulating system.

2) Avoid dwelling on things you cannot control and focus on what you can

When uncertainty strikes, many people immediately imagine the worst-case scenario. Get out of the habit of ruminating on negative thoughts. Instead, focus on the things that are within your control, even if it’s as simple as weekly meal planning, this can give your days and weeks some comforting structure.

Read a simple technique here to help you ignore your ‘circle of concern’ and instead focus on your ‘circle of influence’.

3) Establish a routine

It’s difficult to control things that are out of hands, having a stable routine that works for you can help you to feel secure and safe and can benefit our overall wellbeing.

It’s great to include some down time where you can priorities your needs and check in with yourself – why not try journaling, writing down your thoughts can help to release your worries and concerns and keep you on track with your progress.

4) Try a traditional herbal remedy

Lavender oil has a long-standing association with relieving symptoms of mild anxiety, such as stress and nervousness. Over 15 clinical trials have shown that a daily capsule of uniquely prepared lavender oil can relieve the symptoms of anxiety in just one to two weeks. Benefits are comparable to commonly used anti-anxiety medications without problems such as sedation, addiction, or interaction with other medications.

5) Seek support

It’s normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless during uncertain times. Remember: it is okay to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead. 

Are you tired, stressed or depressed? Find out when you should see your doctor, and what you can do to help yourself feel better.

Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of the symptoms of mild anxiety such as stress and nervousness.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik