For a few years now I have been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks. I know a lot of people struggle with anxiety in their lives, and I know that every type of anxiety is different. I thought that I might make a post about my particular anxiety, and the things that I’ve found to help even the tiniest bit when I feel anxious or am having a panic attack.
My anxiety generally stems from not feeling safe- even if the environment I am in is perfectly safe and accepting. This anxiety can be triggered by things ranging from social situations, to driving in the dark or in storms. Obviously this is obviously just the very basic, tip of the iceberg description of my anxiety. It’s hard to explain, to put into words this feeling that has been such a large part of my life.
Lately I’ve been working very hard to make anxiety something that doesn’t define me, and doesn’t control any aspects of my life. I’ve found a few things that help and kind of make up my little ‘anxiety kit’. If you have anxiety, you may feel that there really isn’t anything that truly makes a difference when you are in the middle of a panic attack. In fact, I do feel the same sometimes, but most of the things in my little kit revolve around keeping me calmer from the start.
So this is my general kit. I don’t carry all of this with me all of the time, but when I am home or traveling with a larger bag, I take some variety of this little ‘anxiety kit’.
To start, when I travel I like to take a coloring book and a small art kit. I like coloring books that just have little repeating designs over an entire page. I find that they take my attention and keep me focused on one thing. Sometimes this can help distract me from all of the emotions rolling around in my head. I also just like to take a little art kit on its own because I like to doodle, simple as that.
The next thing that I like to keep with me, and that I generally keep in my purse or bag at all times is a notebook (and a pen). I find writing very helpful, which may not be the case for everyone. I also find that if I have things on my mind that I’m trying to remember, if I’m stressed about something, getting those things written down as a to-do list can take a few things off my mind. I love this notebook, it’s just so beautiful.
The next thing that I take with me when I travel, rather than daily, is a little candle. I love candles, they are just perfect for helping you relax in an unfamiliar place- a little piece of home to bring with you. I don’t take this with me most times, but when I am traveling and will be spending the night somewhere other than my home, I like to keep a little candle with me. This one smells beautiful and is in a tiny tin so it won’t get ruined or anything. Just be careful, fire is dangerous, no self-harming with it, try not to burn candles where you shouldn’t be… but it can definitely add another layer of peace to a space.
The next thing may seem a little weird, but I always like to keep something big and cozy with me that reminds me of a safe place. I generally keep a sweater or a big shirt that I can just throw on if I’m feeling anxious and it can make me feel a little cozier. When I’m at home and feel anxious, I like to just curl up under a blanket, but in public or when traveling, that’s not always an option. I like this big cardigan, it’s like a blanket that is socially acceptable to wear!
I also always try to keep some headphones with me, so that if I’m anxious and I need to shut the world out, I can just put on some music, or do some meditation, or listen to one of the background noises in the Calm app. This is an incredible app that I would highly recommend for anyone with anxiety. I won’t go on and on about it, but I would highly recommend, it helps block out the world around you, and is the best app for helping you stay calm.
The next thing that I always keep with me is my inhaler, I’m not going to show you a picture of it, but if you need an inhaler, or if your asthma is often triggered by anxiety, just keeping it with you at all times is a necessity.
The next two things are things that you may not have thought of, or may not believe actually work. I have found them to be helpful in keeping calm in general or helping with daily anxieties, not necessarily panic attacks. I went to speak to a lovely woman about some essential oils that may be useful for my particular type of anxiety. She made me my own little mix of oils that I can use daily or when I feel anxious. If you think that this may help, seek out someone who specializes in aromatherapy or homeopathy and they can help you find what will be best for you. I also have a small stone that I carry with me that is a healing stone. If you don’t believe in this kind of thing, no worries, just skip this part, but if you do believe in it, then I highly recommend doing some research and finding the perfect stone for you. Just look up “healing stones for anxiety” or go into a little rock shop and ask for a good stone for calming and anxiety. This is the one the woman helped me to pick out, I keep it with me always.
The last thing that I have in my kit is something that I think every person with anxiety should invest in. It’s called Rescue Remedy and it is the best thing for panic attacks and general anxiety. The ones that I have are little chewable pastilles, but it also comes in a liquid form that is also safe for pets and humans alike. It works so quickly and calms any anxious feelings and can shorten panic attacks considerably. It is honestly the only thing that I have found so far that helps my anxiety. It isn’t like most medicines that basically drug you up or knock you out, it just calms. I never feel too tired afterwards- only the exhaustion that follows a panic attack, but taking this still allows me to continue with my day. If you can get a hand on this, I would highly recommend this for everyone at any point, with any type of anxiety.
There you go! Those are the things that I keep in my little ‘anxiety kit’. I hope that you found something that may help you with your own anxiety, or that I’ve given you some ideas for dealing with the daily struggles that anxiety can bring. My biggest piece of advice is to find the things that make it possible for you to leave your life feeling calm and happy- anxiety shouldn’t define you! Don’t forget that.