These days, there are a million reasons why you might be anxious. Researchers have determined that even simple things like starting your mornings with caffeine, using a phone, going to college, or just plain old adulting can be enough to overwhelm you. In today’s capitalist world, it’s pretty hard to make a living and survive without a job and it’s understandable why we often worry about our jobs after hours. Even simply prioritizing all the things you need to do on your days off can be a struggle. So what is a black girl to do when she’s overwhelmed by the pressures of the outside world? Draw from within. Here are some non-cliché ways to relieve your stress and anxiety and have you feeling calm and zen.
Start a Self-Love or Affirmative Journal
- Self-love is the first step to relieving the stress that school, work, society and well-meaning friends and family can place on you. Thankfully, keeping a self-love journal will not only give you a place to release all that unwanted emotional baggage, but it will also give your self-esteem a much-needed boost. Meditating often and scheduling in some “me time” will help you start feeling more confident in no time. Practicing self-care, getting enough sleep regularly and eating healthy are great ways to start feeling more confident. For some people, reducing anxiety might be as simple as making a small lifestyle change, but if you’re having problems with persistent low self-esteem or dealing with moderate to severe anxiety, make sure to speak to a professional.
- You might be rolling your eyes right now since everyone already knows that exercise is good for you. However, some things can never be repeated too many times! The truth is, exercise can not only make you look good, it can also help you feel good too, as long as you do it regularly. The best part? You don’t even need to pay for an expensive gym membership. Jogging around your neighborhood with your dog or following along to an online dance tutorial on Youtube is enough to do the trick. If cardio isn’t your thing, try signing up for a yoga class with deep-breathing exercises designed to combat stress and help calm your mind.
Ditch Your Phone/Social Media
You don’t have to give up your phone forever, but it’s a good idea to set aside a short period of time every day for phone use, and then go the rest of the day without browsing social media. Your mind will thank you for it! Social media can be so toxic, and using your phone constantly to check the news, or even just to keep up with celebrity gossip, can be particularly draining in an unhealthy way.
Find A New Hobby
- Not only is detoxing from social media a great way to de-stress, but it also leaves you with plenty of free time for your hobbies. Don’t have a hobby? Try making DIY crafts, playing an instrument, or joining an agility class with your dog. Even if you don’t enjoy traditional hobbies like knitting or reading, simply taking a breather and going for a nature walk and doing some mindfulness meditation can do wonders for your mind.
Set Up Some Boundaries
- Being a people-pleaser is one of the most common diseases and I suffered from it for many years. However, my life changed forever once I learned the power of one simple word — "No." Remember that you have the right to build healthy relationships and are not obligated to constantly say yes to anyone, whether it’s your mother, a friend, your spouse or your boss. Don’t be afraid to set up some limits to your services or company — you deserve it!