The first years after college are tough. From trying to establish your career to keeping up with friends and dating, there’s a lot going on. On top of it all, there’s a global pandemic to grapple with these days! Needless to say, it’s understandable if you’re feeling anxious. However, you don’t want that anxiety to get out of control to the point that you experience anxiety attacks. Here’s how to stay on top of your mental health so that doesn’t happen.
Identify and tackle your anxiety triggers
If certain things in your life are contributing to your anxiety, see if you can eliminate them. Your job is one great example. If you dread going to work every morning, it may be time to make a change. You can enroll in an online degree program to get the credentials you need to transition to a new field. The University of Phoenix lets you study online to earn a bachelor’s degree in anything from business to criminal justice and education.
Incorporate exercise into your everyday life
Exercise isn’t just good for your physical health. Regular physical activity also alleviates anxiety, according to Harvard Health. If you have trouble motivating yourself to get moving, consider switching up your workout routine. For example, if you hate running, don’t force yourself onto the treadmill. Instead, look for other ways to get your cardio in, like Zumba, kickboxing, or swimming. There are many fun options available.
Use technology to help minimize anxiety
These days, there’s an app for pretty much everything—even your anxiety. Healthline provides a handy roundup of the best anxiety apps to get you started, including the mindfulness and meditation app Calm and the adult coloring app Colorfy. With these apps downloaded on your phone, you’ll have an anti-anxiety toolkit ready to go in your pocket at any time of day or night.
Get at least seven hours of sleep per night
According to the Sleep Foundation, insufficient sleep can worsen anxiety. Make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of rest every night. If you have trouble drifting off when you lie down, it’s time to change your bedtime routine. Eliminate the use of screens before bed, as the blue light they emit can interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake schedule. Instead of scrolling on your phone, listen to relaxing music or a podcast.
Restrict your alcohol and caffeine consumption
While your morning cup of coffee may provide much-needed energy at the start of the day, it can also fuel your anxiety. The stimulant of caffeine can exacerbate symptoms like agitation, restlessness, and increased heart rate. Try not to exceed 400 mg of caffeine per day. Alcohol is another substance that can worsen anxiety. While it may make you feel relaxed in the moment, once the depressant effect wears off, you’re likely to feel anxious.
Make time to connect with friends
Taking care of your mental health doesn’t have to feel like work. Case in point: One of the easiest things you can do to alleviate anxiety is to socialize with your friends. Research shows that socializing can reduce stress and anxiety. Make sure to schedule social events in your calendar. If you’re tight on time, you can always combine socializing with other healthy habits. For example, you might grab a friend to work out with.
Anxiety can seriously interfere with your everyday health and happiness if you don’t take control of it. Trust the tips above to keep your mental health in check.