Photo by Jordan Elliott
Sorry if you’ve heard these all before….
Note from editor: I was randomly looking through my drafts and came across this. No idea when I wrote it. Thought I might as well hit publish in case any part of it is helpful to any reader. xoxox
1. Speak Openly
Anxiety and depression happen to the most extraordinary people. The more you start to talk about, the more you see how unalone you truly are.
2. Tune in
Anxiety alerts me when I am in misalignment — it’s a tell-tale sign that I should get out of my comfort zone. Instead of letting anxiety define me, I use it as a catalyst for growth.
3. Assign Meaning to Suffering
In Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl highlights those who survived the Holocaust were able to assign meaning to their suffering.
We think of ourselves as rational beings, but in reality human beings are driven by emotions. Through working on my anxiety I have been able to understand emotion and suffering on a much deeper level, which has allowed me to build deeper relationships and, ideally, help others who may be going through something similar. It has provided me with so much more fulfillment than anything else I have ever done.
4. Build Your Resilience
Spend some time each day working on your mental fitness. There has been loads of scientific research done on the benefits of mindfulness and meditation on the brain. It can help lower depression and anxiety, but it has also been shown to increase focus, creativity, and happiness.
Even if you have kicked the demons out of the house, they are in the parking lot lifting weights, waiting for you to open the door. This is why it’s vital to continue to work on developing mental resilience.
Here are some exercises I suggest:
Meditate/Priming: Spend 5–30 minutes every morning “clearing the fog”
Journal: Write whatever comes to mind
Set reminders on your phone to go off several times a day that alert you to take 3 deep breathes
Laugh or Play
Keep track of your small “wins” throughout the day and week — I take screegngrabs of wins and put them in a folder on my desktop
Take a long walk without music, podcasts, or a phone
Block time for Innovation — Give yourself a 1–2-hour block of time alone with a journal and no technology. I have gotten some of my best work insights from innovation blocks.
5. Untie Your Self-Worth From Work
Maintain an appropriate amount of responsibility for your work and realize that you cannot control everything that happens. There are forces that can tank a business that have nothing to do with you aptitude or ability. Take an inventory of what you can and cannot control.
6. Remember to Care for Your Body
It’s not always easy, when you start to beat yourself up about your body, try to thank it for all it does for you every day. Then care for it accordingly!
7. Play or Create Daily
Get yourself into a flow state.
Here is an excellent piece on how play and creation can decrease your anxiety and make you more productive.
8. Get Quality Sleep
Protect your sleep like nothing else. Nothing should affect your sleep schedule.
Put a reminder on your phone that will alert you to go to bed about an hour before you want to fall asleep. Then turn off your phone and start to wind down for the night. A consistent nightly routine will help tremendously.