2:52 PM

How is everyone doing? Still snowed in? Still experiencing a lockdown maybe? 

It feels like time is not moving really sometimes, but then you realize that Valentine's Day is around soon - where does time go? 

I find myself in a country that still has a lockdown in full effect and I can't really tell how I feel. I take each day and investigate how my vibes are and what I can do to feel better. I know that there are many people out there who suffer a lot right now. The anxiety of not having control over everything is making many loosing their minds, and I get that. This is the new normal. 

I experienced some panic attacks in the beginning of this, because I didn't know how to deal with this whole situation. Gosh, I still don't understand how to deal with all of this... 

That's why it's not a secret that anxiety is also my true companion during this pandemic. Pre-pandemic, it has been my buddy as well, but I guess it shows up more and more during times like this right now.

Anxiety is nothing to feel bad about. It's actually a great sign from the body that tells us that something might not be okay, or we need to dedicate some extra TLC moments for ourselves. Again, this is not punishment, this is a pure moment of well-being and bliss. 

If you read this, being new to the topic of anxiety or panic attacks, and you wonder why I talk so positively about this, well, this is a training that I have been doing for years. My way of dealing with my anxieties is to see it in a more positive light. 

I don't see anxiety as the enemy, I rather learned, and connected with this stranger.

I am not the biggest fan of anxieties, but I am glad that I am making this journey, because this is how I got to understand how to deal with so many other life situations. Anxiety is my teacher for a happy and zen life. Period. 

Reaching this point might take a little or maybe you don't agree with me and shake your head right now. I don't want to be insensitive here, but I want to show you other perspectives. 
Also, I want to be a little hug or helping hand for you, if you happen to struggle with anxiety and you don't know how to heal and move on. 

That's why I want to share some tips with you on how to relieve anxiety and feel a little better. 

1. Acknowledge your anxiety. This is one of the biggest steps which brings you a lot of calm and freedom. I remember when I understood that I suffer from anxiety... I was upset and I was crying a lot, because I didn't understand why I needed to experience this. I simply wanted to fight this whole thing which made my anxiety even worse. You've read it above, once I became friends with my anxiety, everything got better. It doesn't make sense to stress about anxiety. You can't fully beat it, so be friends with it, acknowledge it, and you'll be prepared and much more relieved when it comes back next time. 

2. When anxiety hits you out of the blue, make sure to not stress and turn this into a panic attack. Slow down and take some deep breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Do this little breathing exercise: Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and release for another 4 seconds. Repeat this a couple of times and calm down. 

3. Call someone you care about or text a friend. Speaking about your anxiety is a big step to deal with it better and work on the emotions you are feeling. Releasing everything that you carry on your heart or mind will definitely make your anxiety go away for a little bit.

4. If you want to work longterm on your anxiety and experiencing less of it, it is very handy to also consider changing your lifestyle. What we don't know or learn in school is that anxiety is heavily created through our environment and food. If you eat a lot of sugar and processed food, anxiety feels more than welcomed, and will annoy you many times. This means, the healthier your lifestyle is, the less you will struggle with anxieties. Sounds funny to you? Well, always remember the happy hormones are not made in the brain (or fully in the brain), but in the gut. People say they eat cookies, because then the brain gets the message of "oh, I am doing much better now". Truth is that the gut says please not and then your result might be increased anxiety. This doesn't happen after a cookie, but if you happen to experience a week or more of only eating bad things, you might notice some changes in your mood... just saying. 

5. Time to slow down and pamper yourself. Yes, now you can have a cookie or chocolate - it's about moderation. Get yourself a cup of hot tea, your favorite treat, and cuddle with your favorite blanket. Comfort and a feeling of warmth will definitely help reducing your anxiety. 

6. Sometimes you feel super anxious and you don't kow why. You might feel happy a lot and all of a sudden anxiety hits you... what's happening here? Well, if you don't know what's wrong or why you feel a certain way, it's good to sit down and just journal your heart out. Sometimes we just oversee little things and when writing about it, we can definitely process through it, and understand what we need to focus on right now. 

7. Let's fight the bad vibes with some good vibes. Easy peasy, exercising or just being outside walking and breathing some fresh air will make your anxiety become less. Feed your system with healthy vibes and create happy hormones through a lot of sweat. It always works!

8. For the heavy times where you don't want to deal with anything, it's always good to have a playlist on Spotify or somewhere which can pick you up and help you being in a better mood again. 

9. Here's something I connect with a lot. When I feel anxious, I love to clean. I take care of my kitchen or I start a deep cleaning my whole apartment. Here's goal setting or to-do list checking a sensation which reduces my anxiety to the max. Set yourself tiny goals, declutter, or go big - you can choose, but this type of distraction is the best to forget about anxiety and actually have a moment of success and happy brain vibes afterwards. 

10. One problem which causes anxiety a lot nowadays is also social media and media in general. Especially now during Covid, we tend to watch a lot of news, reading about horrible stories, and relying on social media chanels to stay updated or at least entertained. No matter how we use social media and the media, we definitely do a little too much. As soon as you feel an anxiety out of your media consumption, please be fair to you and yourself and disconnect for a little. Less news, less TV, less Instagram, less everything. Go offline - it's not that bad. 

I hope some of the above tips can help you fight your anxiety or at least help reducing some symptoms! Don't forget that every human being is different and I think that there are many different types of anxieties. I am not a doctor and I actually just share how I feel and what helps me during my very emotional days. 
I want us to connect with this and I am always open to hear feedback. I want to hear your story, too. 

These ideas above might not work after 5 seconds, so please be patient when becoming friends with your anxiety! It took me a long time to get me where I am today and as I've mentioned in the beginning, I am still experiencing more or less new anxiety vibes here and then. 

Covid changed a lot when it comes to my friendship with anxiety. There's a lot of new input I am getting this last year, but I am more than confident that this will make us stronger than ever. 

Since I don't know when I will have a next big moment of anxiety, I always love to keep a post-it in my journal, right on the first page, which has a little message on. 
As soon as I get an anxiety attack and I am a little overwhelmed, because I might feel some new symptoms, I take out my journal, and read this post-it. 
It has a check list which helps me identify my symptoms and feelings. I ask at the very last check point if I am eating well, it has a special breathing exercise explained, and I finish the note with a little self-love dedication, because during any kind of anxiety attack, I shouldn't forget that I have a lot of love for myself and I am so proud that I continue to heal and be a better person.

You should be proud of yourself, too. 
Don't hate yourself, because you feel anxious. Don't take this as your flaw - it's your superpower.