I’ve fought anxiety and depression most of my life. Whether because of circumstances growing up, the fact that I had grand mal epilepsy as a kid, or both, I’m not sure.
Panic attacks, sleepless nights, social struggles, excess fear and worry, constant stress, trouble eating, trouble working… You name it.
Here are 10 of my “anxiety medicines” that I often refer to if I need a little (or a huge) pick-me-up on this journey towards living anxiety-free. It will happen, one day! I won’t give up!
My Go-To “Medicine” for Anxiety
If I have too much caffeine, it will make the anxiety much worse. In small amounts, a simple cup of coffee in the morning helps me look forward to getting up. Most mornings I would rather lay in bed and wonder why I even bother with this whole “life thing.” But if the only way to get that cup of coffee is to get up and eat breakfast, then I’ll be willing to make that first step.
Coffee means so much more to me than just the taste and caffeine shot. When I was first introduced to coffee, it was around a table with my family enjoying a scenic drive up from New Mexico to Oregon. Since then it has been a staple icon for relaxed mornings and family hangout nights. Coffee was the second most important item on the grocery list (next to chocolate).
I love that coffee (or tea. I love chai!) is hot, so it cannot be chugged down and then forgotten. To drink it properly, you have to slow down. When anxiety, life, business, or lack of sleep keeps me running at full pace, I appreciate that little reminder to stop and “smell the roses” now and then. Just the act of slowing down to enjoy a cup of coffee is so refreshing! I often imagine that God is sitting next to me with his own cup of coffee.
Fun fact: chocolate and coffee are both sources of your body’s “happiness hormone.” Coffee is also a natural pain-killer.
I even wrote a whole blog post about coffee! Some of the health facts I discovered may surprise you.
This is another one of those things that force you to slow down. The hot water is so relaxing! I make the experience even more pleasant with all-natural fragrant washes. A homemade essential oil body scrub now and then can really hit the spot! Here’s a great recipe!
If you struggle to find time to spend with God, I suggest turning showers into devotion time. Read a few verses from the Bible real quick, turn on some worship music, and talk with God while you shower.
Take advantage of moments like that where time seems to slow down and there’s nothing but just you and God.
Since I can’t drive, I must walk everywhere I want to go. We live in a great area for “walkers” like me. I enjoy walking for many reasons. It is healthy, a great time to pray or listen to music, or just enjoy the birds and the sunshine.
Sunshine is so essential to your happiness! If you’re low on vitamin D (the happiness hormone), sunshine is the cheapest natural source of vitamin D around! It stimulates your body to produce more vitamin D. The exercise boosts happiness and health as well.
I always make sure to have the curtains wide open and put my most used seats near sunlight. Someday soon I will invest in comfortable outdoor furniture.
Reading the Bible
This is the BEST anxiety medicine ever! It is like a cup of coffee for the soul. I try to read at least a little bit every day, taking time to remember who God is and who I am. Feeding my thoughts with pure Truth is the best way to combat anything I’m facing, not just the anxiety.
I’ve found that this can actually go a long way to curing my anxiety. Confessing your deepest, darkest thoughts about life and about yourself to someone you trust is very hard but worth it! Hearing the sources of my anxiety out loud helps me to see the real truth about them. And just knowing that someone was willing to lend a listening ear without rejecting me means the world to me!
Everyone needs a close friend to be honest with, especially if you want to heal and grow. Since I am a verbal processor, being able to voice what’s going on inside is so important.
If you’re just plain low on important vitamins like vitamin D, it may be good to invest in yourself a little and try vitamins. Though be sure to check with your doctor or health practitioner first before starting new supplements.
I’ve had so much more energy and feel perkier than usual. I noticed the difference right away at work!
A Good Book
“Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise, you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.” CS Lewis
Reading encouraging and inspiring fiction is great, but don’t discount the non-fiction. Stories are inspiring and resonate deeply. I don’t know where I’d be without the heroism in Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Nightshade, and DragonKeeper, just to name a few. Stories you love will stick with you even in the darkest times and keep your hope alive.
It’s one thing to read a book that says “You can do it!” It’s another thing to read a story with that statement in action.
I hope our blog is a good read to brighten your day too!
My husband and I cannot afford pets, but I wish we could! We had lots of animals around when I grew up. Before I moved out, I had pet goats of my own. My mom has chickens, fish, dog, and two cats. We used to have a parakeet that I took care of. We even had pet rats at one point.
As you probably guessed, my favorite pet is a cat. Petting our cats and feeling their purr is so soothing! Scientifically, they have proved that having a cat is great for anxiety and your health.
A pet would keep me occupied and smiling, focused on the simple joys of life, so I’d have less time to feel depressed and lonely.
Doing something for someone else is so refreshing! When I help others, I have my mind thinking about the world around me instead of my own little bubble all the time. It also means a lot to me to feel like I have made an impact in life.
Since we don’t have much money, I can help others by just inviting them over and encouraging them. Or do something special for my husband. Or I can go through my things and give some stuff away that I won’t need or don’t use. I can volunteer at a homeless shelter or a church fundraiser.
When life gets crazy, I often neglect to do something nice for myself. It is good to take time for yourself emotionally and physically. I love to take a footbath, long shower with homemade body scrub, teach my husband how to massage, wash my face, put on fancy makeup, do my nails, rub my feet, do back stretches, try a new hairdo, binge-watch a new series or youtube channel (here’s one of my favorite channels!).
I can’t tell you how much anxiety I had over money until Dave Ramsey came along! Before we got married and I lived by myself, I would barely spend anything so much that I neglected to eat.
Although my husband cured both of those issues, we faced the opposite problem: spending too much. We spend nearly $700 on food a month and still felt hungry. We had no budget whatsoever. When I finally crunched the numbers and realized how crazy our habits were, I knew I had to do something.
That’s when I found Dave Ramsey. I tried his budgeting app and instantly fell in love! My husband and I can both track it with our phones, so even when we both work all the time we can still communicate effectively. Everything is all sorted out beforehand. If something goes wrong, we can easily just adjust the budget accordingly.
The best part is that every transaction automatically goes into the app. All I need to do is sort out the transactions into categories. I had tried an app where I recorded every transaction myself. It was a massive headache and would take hours! I’m never doing that again!
We have been able to save money and start the Baby Steps. We are on Baby Step 2 now! This app definitely pays for itself.
I used to have so much anxiety over whether or not I could afford to buy something, but now I can actually have fun shopping. I have permission to buy what I need and I know it will all work out when we’re done.
Do you have anything to add? What’s your go-to for anxiety? Let us know in the comments!
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the links in this article. All opinions are my own. See my full disclaimer here.