ANXIETY 101: Cleaning Your Space

If you've ever had an anxiety attack, you're familiar with the feeling of impending doom. You know the feeling of helplessness all too well. 

Personally, my attacks come in the form of hysterical tears and isolation. From the outside looking in, my anxiety attacks seem exaggerated and blown out of proportion - from the inside, they feel like a personal hell. One semester in college, my friends and I decided to go to Miami for Easter break. About a day or two before the trip, I decided that I wasn't going. I didn't have enough money, I wouldn't be able to do any work, and I wouldn't be comfortable in the car we rented. That's what my mind told me.

In reality, the trip had been paid for and I had plenty of spending money. There was also no work to do. I literally had two finals to study for, and I was already doing really well in both classes. In my mind, I was a burden to my family because I had to ask for money to take the trip. And somehow, my grades were going to suffer terribly if I left and went to the beach for a few days. 

I was to the point of tears. If I went, my mother would be forced to work as a janitor at a local gas station to make the money back. If I didn't go, my friends would turn their backs on me for flaking at the last minute.

It sounds ridiculous to me now, but at the time, these were all very real fears.

Anxiety sucks. 

Since then, I've learned to control the things that trigger attacks. With a few counseling sessions, a new morning routine and an amazing tribe (squad) I've been able curb my anxiety.

We all cope differently, but here are a few tips on how to seriously reduce anxiety.

 

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The space around you is often a reflection of what's going on in your mind. You can't find peace in the midst of chaos. Clean up. The act of cleaning up is helpful and the results will surprise you. But getting things in order around you will help tremendously. All those receipts you've collected over the past few weeks? Toss em! That bag of clothes that have been in the same spot since March?? Sale em or donate em. Turn your space into your happy place!

We consume so much in a 24- hour span. Be careful! Social media is so much fun but it can also send you messages that don't align with your energy. If you find yourself relying heavily on social platforms it may be time to unplug. Clearing space on your phone/computer is also super important. When was the last time you went through your contact list and got rid of old numbers? And emails?? Emails are a big one! One way that I deal with anxiety is shopping. It's an expensive habit and it's really ineffective. To help me, I unsubscribed from every retail list that I'm on! Bye bye 7 for $27 and the seasonal shoe sales! 

Lastly, I want to challenge you to change your habits. A new morning routine helped me out a lot. I'm not a morning person at all, but setting my alarm earlier so that I'll have time to pray and do morning yoga works wonders. Find what works for you and stick to it!