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The Unique Way I Cope With My Anxiety

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When I’m anxious, it’s easy to forget about all the coping methods I’ve ever learned. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I lose sight of how to calm myself down. My chest feels tight, my mind is racing and I feel unable to move as I panic inside. In those moments, it feels impossible to help myself.

For times like this, I’ve created a unique way to cope with my anxiety. When I feel frozen and overwhelmed, it forces me to use the methods I’ve learned to calm myself down.

First, I got a jar and some popsicle sticks. Then I started writing all the coping methods I’ve ever learned on them. I put the popsicle sticks in the jar and I keep it in my living room as a reminder I can overcome my anxiety. All the tools I need are right in that jar so there’s no need for me to panic. When I’m feeling overwhelmed and I don’t know what to do with myself, I pull out the jar and pick a popsicle stick. Whatever the popsicle stick says, I have to do.

Sometimes it’s as simple as reminding myself to take deep breaths, holding a count until I feel at ease. Other times it’s a writing prompt so I can get out all the anxious thoughts in my head. I have several tactics written on the popsicle sticks that get me moving and out of my own head. If the first one doesn’t work, I keep picking a new one until the anxiety fades away.

This has been a huge asset for me and my journey with anxiety. At certain times, I need that simple reminder. Sometimes I just need to look at the jar and I know what do to help myself. Other times, I go through a few popsicle sticks before I can finally calm down. I don’t feel so trapped anymore when I get that anxious feeling. It puts me at ease just knowing I have the tools I need.

Photo by Carol Oliver on Unsplash

Originally published: June 28, 2018
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