I've struggled with anxiety, sometimes severe, for my entire adult life. Clients and friends often mention having debilitating anxiety, or even low-level anxiety, that prevents them from doing the things they need or want to do.
Here are some tips and resources I've compiled that I hope are helpful!
Learn nervous system regulation tools. I recently did an incredibly helpful course by my amazing friend Tia Ma called "Navigating Anxiety: Practical Tools for Everyday Life" that I HIGHLY recommend. I'll drop the link in the comments.
I also highly recommend following her and others on Instagram. Here are a few my favorite accounts:
@Mz.TiaMa @OurEmbodiedHealing @SomaticExperiencingInt @JonathanMead @Journey_to_Wellness_ @KateNorthrup
Eat whole, nutrient-dense foods with plenty of healthy fats. Many important nutrients are fat soluble, so "healthy fats" like avocado, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, ghee, and animal fats like grass-fed lard/tallow are important to include with every meal.
If you're used to eating convenience foods and processed foods, start with small changes like cooking one simple meal at home once or twice a week. Grass-fed beef sausage (which is precooked) or grass-fed ground beef from one of the butchers at the farmers markets, wild-caught fish (including easy things like canned mackerel), and occasionally organic tempeh or tofu are my go-to proteins, in addition to pastured eggs. One of those proteins with two sides of veggies (organic and local are ideal, but I also buy frozen organic veggies to save prep time) and you've got a relatively easy, nutrient-dense meal!
I had a Functional Health Coaching client once say to me: "Angela, I thought that I was depressed but really I just needed to eat more veggies."
She was eventually able to get off of her anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds (under her doctor's supervision, of course) by changing her diet. Stories like hers fill me with awe and hope!
Start your day with movement. It can certainly be "exercise" but any movement that you enjoy definitely counts, and even five minutes can have a major impact on your entire day. I've experienced more healing from somatic practices than I have in years of therapy (though therapy has also been integral to my healing journey!). Feeling connected to your body and getting your blood flowing feels like a shortcut to happiness for me, especially if this involves dancing. Find what works for you, and then find someone to lovingly hold you accountable for sticking with whatever movement practice you choose.
Spend time in nature every single day. I feel like we all kinda know this one, but I struggle with getting enough time outdoors, and I make my own schedule! So I know this is a challenge for many of us. Practices like Grounding - simply putting your feet on bare Earth - are shown to boost your immune system and discharge stress and anxiety. This is totally free - we simply have to commit to this practice and make time for it. We all know that "simple" doesn't equal "easy", though, so if you want support with this or any other behavior changes, that's my specialty as a Functional Health & Happiness Coach.
What other tools or resources have helped with your anxiety?
Please share in the comments so we can all support each other with our collective wisdom!