My earliest memories of experiencing anxiety are in my early 20s. I’m pretty sure it surfaced after my lung spontaneously collapsed only a few days post-college graduation. Moving to and living in NYC only magnified my anxiety, so after ten wonderful years, I said goodbye. It was at that point that I decided to create a life that would allow me to thrive. It sounds a bit selfish, but you only have one body and one life on this earth. A year after leaving New York, I also left a pretty stable and lucrative (but stressful) job to go off on my own as a consultant - just another step in building my ideal environment. I know these are two very life-altering and risky moves, so I wanted to share a few realistic rituals and practices that have helped me function with anxiety.
- Journaling - I started the year with a 100-day gratitude journal and it was the most therapeutic way to start and end my day. It simultaneously grounded me and pushed me to reach for the stars. Kind of awesome, right?
- Cleaning - When I was diagnosed with postpartum OCD, cleaning became my outlet, my way to feel productive and check a box. So much of parenting is following your gut and never knowing if you’re doing the right thing, so every night I clean and put the house in order. Before I go upstairs, I scan the room and admire my work. Looking for non-toxic cleaning products? Try Branch Basics.
- Exercise - Nothing beats the high you get after an intense spin class or a grueling ab workout. I much prefer group classes and if the lights are off, even better. I sneak in some gym time after daycare drop-off and it’s another great way to start your morning.
- A Long Shower - I hate to admit this, but at least once a week, I run to the bathroom as soon as my husband comes home from work. I hand over the parenting baton and literally cry over spilt milk in the shower. While you're in there, enjoy this Esker body wash.
- Talking Over Text - I have to come to love catching up with friends over the phone, hearing their voices, laughing out loud and experiencing all the feelings without inserting emojis. I used to freeze when my phone rang, questioning if I should pick up before directing to voicemail and texting to see if it was a butt dial. Now I can’t wait to pick up the phone!
Can you relate? I’d love to hear your tips. DM me over on Instagram (@shopclaramaejames) and we can continue the convo!