July 19, 2023

A few tricks that help me feel less anxious

a view of the poolside help me feel less anxious

A few tricks that help me feel less anxious

For the majority of my life, if someone were to ask me if I struggled with anxiety, my reply would have been no. I’ve never been diagnosed nor did I think that I classified as a particularly anxious person.

In my head I felt that I was rather go-with-the-flow and not particularly stressed out by a lot. And in many ways this is true, but fast forward to two years ago:

I was chatting with a friend about how I always felt like I was in a rush. In a rush to get my work done. In a rush to get a workout in. In a rush to get ready to go somewhere. In a rush to get my kids out the door. Always in a never ending rush.

She looked at me and said “yes, that’s called anxiety” and my mind was blown. 

Excuse me? No. Not me. What do you mean? But the more I thought about it, the more it made so much sense. She was right and that constant state of never having enough time or simply time management, was my biggest nemesis.

Did it happen when I became a parent? I really think so, but it’s hard to say. I know that I’ve never been able to sit still. During all of my years of school, I was that girl who got up to go to “the bathroom” during every single period, college included. Even now, I have such a hard time sitting still for too long. I’ve self diagnosed myself with “mild ADHD” but anxiety? That was a new one.

Nonetheless, once I became a little more aware of what it is, I’ve also learned some things that really help me manage the mental clutter that is my brain. CBD or anything related to that category (which don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of), aside.

Put Five Things Away: 

For me and I’m assuming for a lot of us, anxiety is triggered when I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed or like I have no control. What I started doing that has helped me is a game I call “put five things away.”

For example: if I walk into a room in my home, let’s say the kitchen, and there are things everywhere, that overwhelmed feeling takes over. I take a few deep breaths and say “okay, let’s put five things away.” The five things can be anything and more often, turn into more, but if I minimally put five things away, I start feeling way more in control. In my head, the things I’m putting away also represent me putting away my anxious feelings. It’s a mind game, but it always brings me down to a much cooler and calmer state of mind.

The One Minute Rule:

This is similar to the ‘one minute rule’ I shared years ago. I learned about it from Gretchen Rubin of the Happier Podcast and the rule is that if a task can be performed in one minute or less, to not put it off. By completing tasks that could accumulate to an overwhelming point, this rule really helps in making life less stressful. These things can be from paying a bill, replying to an email, hanging up your coat, putting your jeans away, putting a dish in the dishwasher. From a mental standpoint, it helps the brain in making it feel like you’re in control and not have a bunch of tiny things weighing you down.

Setting a Phone Timer:

Let me elaborate on this. Because so much of what I do revolves around the phone, I’ve really had to put some guidelines in place for my own mental well-being.

While a little mindless scrolling is not a big deal and often, can be a fun way to decompress, there’s definitely a fine line. What I’ve started implanting is setting a timer on my phone to give myself little breaks.

In the past, Ive mentally said “okay, time for a phone break,” but ten minutes later, I find myself picking up the phone and scrolling without even a second thought. Now, I will set an actual 20/30/60 minute timer that will stop me from clicking into it. In that period, I’ll focus on chores, reading a book, my children. ANYTHING else.  If I feel the urge to pick up the phone, that timer will be there like a “Nope! don’t do it. Don’t disappoint yourself and aimlessly click into something right now..”  It’s really helped me so much.

Obviously, if there’s an important call or text, that’s different. This is solely for the purpose of not mindlessly clicking into whatever app at every given opportunity.  Once that timer goes off, I feel like I’m the one in control. It’s also incredible what one can accomplish in that time period, even if it’s something as simple as reading a few chapters from a book or having a dance party with your kids.

Making Lists

This one is quite obvious, but it’s something I was reminded of when I got off my list-making track. I went through a short period where  I stopped being diligent about my morning list. It started when I left my favorite planner in Pennsylvania and instead of using another note-pad or paper, I just stopped. I woke up one morning and felt so mentally run-down by everything floating around in my head, that I had to do a mental dump and write it all down. Once I did, even before I performed any of the tasks on it, I felt so much lighter. It was a good reminder at how much these lists help.

There are certain things that may seem obvious, like working out, which is absolutely crucial for my mental (and physical) health, but that aside, what works for you?! Are there certain life hacks: medication? gummies? weed? meditating?

Whatever it is, please share!



  • venkatesh

    Great reading the post.. Keep posting more and more..
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  • soni

    Amazing Article! thanks for the information. I am an MBA student doing Online MBA in Dubai

  • Aashima

    Here from the gram. Love the list. I was the same, never thought of myself as an anxious person before I had my first ever full blown panic attack at work 3 years ago. Have been in a constant state of ‘rush’ and chasing the feeling of being ‘in control’ ever since.
    The ‘five things away’ rule is new for me and I can imagine, will be really helpful. I’ve recently moved abroad and often find myself overwhelmed with the new added responsibilities of house chores and I can see how this trick can be helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  • Cristi

    I meditate every morning when I wake up before I start doing anything and before I sleep at night. Even 10 minutes helps a lot. This has been my grounding practice for the past 4 years and I cannot tell you how much this has helped me through so many difficult, stressful and challenging situations.

  • Becca

    It wasn’t until the past year that I realized I had anxiety…because I’ve had it my entire life and thought it was normal. It definitely ebbs and flows for me but I do find “unplugging” even for a short time, talking all my worries out with my SO, getting some fresh air while listening to music, and trying to do a few “little” tasks as you mentioned are all super helpful for me! Thanks for sharing your strategies as well!

  • Docdivatraveller

    I love your tips! I am particularly going to adopt the put 5 things away rule. I feel sooo overwhelmed with clutter and my home is 90% of the time untidy, despite my best efforts. I guess this will bring in a positive change!

  • Lauren Salkeld

    Thank you for writing and sharing this. The tips are great but mostly I really appreciate how you describe you experience of anxiety because it’s very similar to how I do and I’ve never heard anyone describe it that way. It was very helpful. Regarding lists and planners, do you have a favorite planner you’d recommend. Thank you again!


    really liked your blog , it was so amazing and helpful
    thank yoi

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    Nice tips to share as a blog I love your experience

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    Helped me a lot, quite useful for people.

  • Megan

    Love these tips! I am also setting a phone timer but last time I forgot to set it, I noticed the angel number 1212 as if it was telling me to slow down again! 🙂

  • PerfectionGeeks

    Excellent post. Thanks

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