How To Feel Less Anxious In 24 Hours: A Schedule
Anxiety can spring up from just about any difficult life situation. Whether you’re stressed by your job, feeling unworthy of abundance or struggling with social anxiety when making friends or finding a partner, it’s easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed. However, there are ways to fight back against anxiety.
Here’s an action plan that will help you take back control…
(By the way, you might also like this Free Printable PDF with tips for beating low mood).
10:30 PM – 8:30 AM: Get Enough Sleep
You might think it doesn’t matter whether you get the suggested 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but studies show that lack of appropriate rest can have significant consequences. It undermines your health, and boosts levels of anxiety and stress.
Here is what you can do:
- Do your best to create a positive environment in your bedroom
- Stop using electronic devices 1-2 hours before bed
- Steer clear of caffeine
- Avoid alcohol
- Take a nice long shower or bath
- Use soothing lighting
- Go to bed early
- Try meditating before sleep
- Visualize positive images
- Try to take as much time to sleep as you need, even if you it is more than 9 hours – you probably just need to catch up on sleep!
- Create a bedtime routine
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Change Your Diet
Take this time to have a healthy breakfast and plan/cook healthy meals for the rest of the day.
Certain foods lower anxiety levels, while others heighten them. To support your body and keep your anxiety in check, you need to ensure that you get the right vitamins and minerals—vitamin B and omega-3s are particularly important here.
The former is associated with generally better mental health, while the latter is a promising treatment for some of the main symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition, although you might be attracted to processed, sugary treats when you’re anxious, scientists believe these types of foods can actually make anxiety worse.
Here are 10 best foods for stress relief:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Chamomile tea
- Chocolate 🙂
- Grass-fed beef
- Green Tea
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Exercise
You can do this in the evening too (exercise can improve sleep, which is often disrupted by stress) – whichever you prefer, as long as you get enough exercise.
Here are just some of the exercises you can try:
- High-energy activities – like dancing or jogging.
- Yoga is an excellent gentle stress-relief exercise.
- Tai Chi. It's a series of self-paced movements are meant to calm the mind.
- Other martial arts are a great way to release any tension or frustration that you might be experiencing.
- Pilates will help you relax, build your strength, and endurance.
Even if you just take a brisk walk around your neighborhood, any type of exercise floods your body with feel-good endorphins. Further, most people find that regular workouts boost self-confidence and increase sociability. The trick is to find a form of exercise that you truly enjoy, so that this part of your action plan isn’t a chore.
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Clean Up Clutter
If you’re in a messy physical space, this often infects your mind and makes your thoughts more chaotic—a real problem if you tend to struggle with anxiety. For example, having an untidy workspace can make you feel like you’ll just never get through your task list.
Take a few hours out of your day and just tidy up the spaces where you spend most time. This will encourage rational thought and calm anxiety.
Here are a few recommendations for you:
- Do it all at once and do it NOW. If you want to feel less stressed quicker, then tackle all the mess at once. Don't leave parts of it for tomorrow or next week.
- Get rid of everything you don't need first. If you don't do this, you will waste too much time thinking about where to put this thing that you actually don't need at all. Here is a list of 150+ things to throw away right now – you will be surprised how much rubbish you're keeping in your house!
- Start with the easy stuff. Yes, it can be difficult at first. And you won't know where to start. Clean out your desk first, then your wardrobe, then move on to books and leave the items of sentimental value for last.
- It'll be easier to sort out stuff if you divide it into different categories. For example, summer clothes, winter clothes etc.
12:30 PM – 13:30 PM: Choose Relaxing Smells
Around this time you may need to pop out to the shops. When you do, consider getting some essential oils.
Basil, chamomile, lavender and anise are all scents that are linked to reducing anxiety. They appear to relax your body, counteracting physical tension, and even boost mental clarity so that you’re better able to plan for the future instead of simply worrying about it.
Here are a few interesting ways you can add essential oils into your life to fight anxiety:
- Freshen your mattress. If you want to climb into bed at night smelling the relaxing scent of lavender, mix 10-12 drops of oil with 1/2 cup of baking soda, then sprinkle you mattress with it, and vacuum up the powder after an hour or two.
- Use a mini crock pot air freshener. Put some water into a small crock pot, add essential oils and let it simmer.
- If you are using a humidifier, add a few drops of oil into the water.
- You can also use essential oils when ironing. Add water and a few drops of oil into a spray bottle to make an excellent ironing mist.
- Read more about essential oils and The Law Of Attraction here.
13:30 PM – 15:30 PM: Seek Physical Comfort
Whether it’s from a friend, a child, a lover or a pet, affectionate physically contact with someone can help to lower your body’s stress response and prompt the release of calming neurotransmitters. Just holding hands, having a cuddle or feeling someone’s arm around you can work wonders, putting you in the right place to use the other strategies on this list.
So take an hour (or longer) out of your day to spend some time with the people you love. Get some lunch with a friend, catch up with your parents or go for a walk with your significant other.
Of course, this isn't just about physical comfort. Social support in general is related to psychological and mental well-being. So stay in touch with your friends and family. At the end of the day, they are the most important people in your life.
It can be hard to laugh when you’re anxious, but research proves that deliberately exposing your mind to amusing material can help to reduce the major symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Try reading a funny article, watching a favorite YouTube video, or even calling up a friend who always know the right tricks to make you smile.
15:30 PM – 16:30 PM: Pick A Self-Help Strategy
If you have some time (this will probably take about 30-60 minutes), go through this Free Interactive Flowchart. It's an initial self-assessment that will help you understand what it is exactly that you’re worried about and how to stop it.
Another thing that you can do is take this FREE test here to discover what ‘one thing' is holding you back. It will help you understand what area of your life you need to focus on.
ALL DAY LONG – Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is a really a lifestyle where you try to control the way you think about the world.
- Aim to live in the present moment. Don't obsess about the past or worry about the future.
- Observe the world around you without judging.
- Also, do not judge yourself. Be kind to yourself and practice self-care.
- Look into deep breathing exercises or try mentally picturing your anxiety flooding out of your body and leaving you calm.
- Challenge your brain. When you start thinking anxious thoughts, try to find a phrase that challenges the underlying beliefs or assumptions. Useful examples include “There’s nothing really wrong here—this is just my anxiety talking” and “I am calm and in control—I will not let anxiety get the best of me.”
- Allow yourself to just do nothing sometimes. Just spend some time alone, sitting quietly in your room and focusing on experiencing the world around you.
- Let go of negative emotions. It is OK to feel them We all do. We're only human. But it is crucial to not lock down on them.
10:00 PM – 10:30 PM: Be Grateful & Write In A Journal
Take half an hour before going to bed to write in a journal about your experiences and all the things you are thankful for.
Sit quietly in a peaceful place and put down your sensations, observations, feeling and emotions on paper.
There are some fascinating new studies that show how expressing gratitude can automatically dampen anxiety. This can be verbal (e.g. when you think a loved one for all they’ve done for you), or can be a private exercise that you complete in a journal. Regardless of how you approach this part of you anxiety action plan, aim to focus your attention on 3-5 things that inspire gratitude every day.
We know that it can be hard to find something to be grateful for, especially when you are stressed and going through some tough times… So we have created a list of 10 best ways to increase gratitude – have a look!
Consider Whether You Need Medication
Finally, it’s important to note that not everyone can get their anxiety under control by simply using techniques. If you’re one of the people who needs medication in order to live a happier life, don’t blame yourself for this.
It relates to imbalances in your neurotransmitters, which means it’s a physical problem just like any other—it’s not a sign of weakness, and seeking help is a productive step towards a happier life.