So I wanted to post a fourteen day anxiety challenge that I created and did… which really worked well! I created it while keeping in mind that many people still have busy schedules and a lot happening in their lives. These are just some small changes to do, one a day, to help focus and maintain mindfulness in whatever situation you may find yourself in.
Please comment if you are doing this challenge, or let me know how it is working for you!
Day 1: Create art that makes you feel good. Whether it’s painting, drawing, collage, diy, find something that you can get excited about. Extra points if it’s something that resonates personally to you (about me collage, personality painting, things I love about myself, things I struggle with, etc).
Day 2: Try a yoga video! There are so many cool youtubers that share cool yoga videos… they even offer full classes! The best part is you can choose what you want to focus on (yoga for mindfulness, anxiety, arms, legs, backbends, digestion, breathing, etc).
Day 3: Take a bath. Proven to help stress. It also gives you time to focus on yourself when you normally wouldn’t. I know sometimes for me, showering can feel like a chore, but turning it into a relaxing bath can really turn it into something more enjoyable. There are so many cool bath bombs and diffusers that you can use to really enhance the experience!
Day 4: Practice breathing exercises! Side note: When I am out with my mom and experience anxiety, the first thing she asks me is, “Are you breathing properly?” Most times I find that I am not! I am scared, worrying, and it is affecting how I’m breathing. My breathes are short, I feel like it’s hard to breath, my chest feels heavy. If I take a few minutes to focus my breathing, it makes a lot more sense to me and calms me down very well.
Day 5: Go Outside! Whether you choose to walk, run, bike, jog, hike, go to a dog park, a state park, whatever. Being outside is proven to make people naturally happier. Even if it’s raining, I am always reminded of when I was younger and it was fun to go out and dance in the rain. Why should we ever give that up? Who says there is an age limit to dancing in rain and just letting go of what is considered responsible or normal?
Day 6: Create a list of goals or aspirations that you have. Have a happy mix of both short term goals that are easily attainable, and also some long term goals that you will need to work towards. This can really help steer you in a direction that you want to go in, and it can also help you to feel more organized and sure of yourself! I love making lists and organizing, not only because I am somewhat forgetful, but for what it does to help me feel more structured!
Day 7: After a week of this challenge, Day 7 challenges you to go out and do something out of your comfort zone. For all of us that means something different. For some, it may mean going to the grocery store and successfully shopping without having a panic attack. For others, it could be going out with some friends and allowing yourself to let go and have fun. It could be going to a new class at the gym, taking an art class, learning something new. It could be going to a new place that you typically wouldn’t go to. The important thing to note on this day, is that no matter how successful you were, track your progress! Go home and write down how you felt. Were you proud of accomplishing that task? Did you forget to practice breathing?
Day 8: Consider things that help you stay focused, remain less anxious, and feel better. These could be very small things. For example, I almost always carry a bottle of water with me. If my throat feels dry, or I begin to get anxiety, drinking water is something that helps me. Knowing I have water with me makes me feel safe. I also always carrying lavender oil with me. I apply it to my wrists and the scent of it helps me stay calm. There are also apps for your phone that help you if you are having a panic attack. Feel free to post if there is something that you find works too!
Day 9: Volunteer! Every Sunday, my mom, my aunt and I go to volunteer at a cat shelter near our house. It gets us out of the house: we go to lunch together, and then we spend an hour in a room full of kittens and cats. Not only is it completely therapeutic and fun, but it also makes me feel really good to go in there and play with cats. Many of them are antisocial and by playing with them each week, they become more friendly, which can help them get adopted! There are plenty of other opportunities at shelters, with dogs, food kitchens, nursing homes, etc.
Day 10: Treat Yourself! You’re doing such a great job at this point, and you need to do something great for yourself. Whether you go out for ice cream, buy yourself some new shoes, have a movie night in with friends, whatever it is, do something to celebrate you and all of your progress. So often we tend to get so caught up in the busyness of everyday life, but stop and think that life is something that is meant to be ENJOYED! So enjoy it!
Day 11: Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in awhile. Catch up, either in person, through Skype, or over the phone. Catching up and telling someone your thoughts out loud can be extremely helpful. A lot of times we don’t really consider something or how greatly it affects us until we say it out late. I know that I recently went over to a friend’s house and had a heart to heart with her sister, who I actually have a ton in common with! Talking to her made me feel a lot better and made me realize I’m not so crazy after all.
Day 12: Look up a new recipe to make! I say recipe because it could either be a new dinner, snack, dessert, anything you have been wanting to try to make but haven’t had time to make. I love going to Pinterest for ideas. I have one board for food and desserts (this is my regular food board, filled with awesome filling dinners, yummy desserts, etc). I also have a clean eating blog (when I’m trying to be healthy. Side note, as much as I’d like to say I use this board more, I don’t). Try out a new recipe! If successful, it can become a new favorite that you use on a regular basis. Here are the links to my two boards, feel free to follow!
Please feel free to follow my boards! Also, if you tried a recipe that I pinned, let me know how you liked it!
Day 13: Book Therapy! I am an avid reader, and a lot of times I like to pick out books that are relatable to things I am dealing with. Do some research and choose a couple books that you feel would help you. I usually go to Amazon and check reviews.
Day 14: Plan a future endeavor! If you have a long weekend or a break coming up, plan something! Whether you get on a plane, or just drive somewhere for a day or two, plan something fun. Include family or friends, or make it a solo adventure! Planning things in advance helps us to step outside of our comfort zone and to continue doing things for ourselves.
Good luck to you all! Let me know how this challenge works for you! 🙂