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By now some (or many) of you know that I have been battling anxiety for the better part of the year. I've been using a variety of resources and techniques, and I'm about to share them with you in the hopes that they may help you as well.
*Please note: I am not a medical professional, and recommend that you please see one before trying to treat yourself, especially if you are currently taking any medication for any reason. Everyone is different and may have different reasons for going through anxiety, so what works for me might not work for everyone. I don't recommend supplements or diet changes until you've seen or talked to a medical professional.*
One of the biggest things that has helped has been to listen to the Rosary on Youtube. The songs are very soothing, and the repetition gives me something to focus on. When I was going through the worst part of my anxiety, I fell asleep to the Rosary every night for almost a month. Most of the time I'd fall asleep before it was over, but sometimes I'd play it two or three times before falling asleep. Their accents definitely help as well.
Bible journaling has also been helping a lot. I highly recommend the Blessed is She liturgical journals and, while I haven't received my copy yet, I know for a fact that anything Elizabeth Foss produces is absolute gold and is definitely worth buying. She just started a new ministry with an incredibly gifted group of writers and artists, and I am so excited to see everything they come up with. I worked through the Lent journal she wrote for Blessed is She, and it was a huge blessing. I also like the journals and studies that Heart of Mary produces.
Essential oils have been a huge help as well. I used to be a distributor for doTERRA but have switched to Plant Therapy because their prices are much more reasonable, and they have an incredible kid-safe line. I diffuse them in my room while I work and sleep, apply them on my wrists and neck (diluted with a carrier oil), and also wear a diffuser necklace from Happy Nest Home Goods. Blending Plant Therapy's "Self Esteem" and "Worry Free" creates a blend called "Liquid Ambien" that is amazingly calming.
Oddly enough, listening to Skillet on Spotify has been helping as well. They are a Christian Emo band, and their music is amazing. I've been a fan of theirs since high school, and was privileged to see them four times live. Their new album that just came out last year has some great songs - my favorite two are "Not Gonna Die Tonight" and "Stars."
A few books have been helping as well:
1) Fearless - By Sonja Corbitt
2) On The Other Side of Fear - By Hallie Lord
3) When Panic Attacks - By David D. Burns, MD
4) The Agoraphobia Workbook - By C. Alec Pollard, PhD
5) 50 Things To Do Before Seeing A Psychiatrist - By Joe Baldizzone
Changing my diet has been a huge help. I noticed that no matter what I ate, I was constantly sick to my stomach and steadily losing weight. After cutting out wheat and dairy, the cramps, pain, and sickness went away and I feel so much better. I'm still slowly losing unneeded weight but in a healthy way, not from being sick multiple times a day. I've always had problems with wheat and dairy, but ignored them because I enjoy pizza and ice cream and donuts. But it got to where it wasn't worth it to be sick multiple times every single day and lose 10 pounds in less than a month. I also had ulcer symptoms, which I was able to get rid of through diet change as well. I don't know if I actually had an ulcer, but it made sense and changing my diet made the symptoms go away, so either way it was a win. *I have seen a primary care physician and a gastroenterologist for digestive issues.*
Drinking tea and soaking my feet in epsom salts at night became a favorite routine. I bought Tension Tamer tea from the grocery store, and Lavender epsom salts from Walmart. I have a pink bucket that I brought home from the hospital during one of my many stays, and I fill it with hot water and 1/4 cup of epsom salts. Then I just put it on the floor in front of my bed and soak my feet for 30-45 minutes while watching something on Netflix and sipping on tea :) The epsom salt is good for detoxing and also for increasing magnesium, which is known to ease anxiety.
Staying hydrated and taking a few supplements has helped a great deal as well. I take a liquid multivitamin high in b-vitamins, magnesium, an anxiety blend, and a probiotic. I also drink homemade kombucha daily. If you research kombucha and anxiety, it's amazing. There is a link between gut health and anxiety+depression. Here are the links to the supplements that I've been taking:
1) Anti Anxiety Formula
2) Natural Calm Magnesium Drink
3) Liquid Multivitamin - I give this to my kids as well
5) Rescue Remedy - This never leaves my purse.
One last thing that I've noticed really helps when I'm feeling anxious and can't stop my hands from shaking: silly putty. It was such a last minute thing that I tried, but it's amazing how much it helped. I had to go to an appointment last week, and was shaking before I even left the house. When I got to the appointment, I pulled out the silly putty from my bag and started squeezing it, and after about 10 minutes, the shaking stopped. I kept squeezing it for the remainder of the appointment, and later on at church. It now stays in my purse, because that was a lifesaver. It gave me something to focus on, and slowly squeezing it made my hands stop shaking.
Again, please see a medical professional before making changes, but I hope some of what I talked about can help you.
Comment below with things that help your anxiety. I'd love to learn new techniques!
28 year old Catholic divorced mom to three kiddos with special needs and/or chronic illnesses. I am the owner of My Little Felt Friends on Etsy, and also write and take pictures for Heart of Mary Women's Fellowship. I love mugs, blankets, hoodies, and books. Oh, and art supplies. And coffee. And teen dramas on Netflix.
For these and other items, please visit my Etsy shop. If you don't see what you are looking for, feel free to send me a message and I'll see what I can do. I love custom orders, and can even create bookish and tv characters.
I cannot say enough good things about Audible. My nonverbal son has improved so much because of two things: speech therapy at school, and audiobooks from Audible. Two years ago he barely had 5 words, and now he corrects my vocabulary daily. The kids listen to audiobooks throughout the day and every night to fall asleep, and I love listening while I work. I highly recommend signing up and seeing how it changes your family. To start your free trial of Audible, click here.