Imagine this: You wake up each morning, and before you can even savor the taste of a cup of tea and feel grateful for the new day, your mind is already racing with worries. At night, it's no better. You lie in bed, but sleep eludes you as anxious thoughts whirl relentlessly in your head. Recognize yourself in this scenario? If so, you're far from alone. Anxiety disorder is the most common mental illness globally, affecting over 300 million people

From global unrest to the pressures of remote work and the constant bombardment of digital notifications, it's no wonder that so many of us feel on edge. With these top anxiety hacks, Bookimed aims to empower you with actionable and easy ways to keep anxiety at bay both at home and during your wellness travel.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding Your Condition: Crippling vs. High-Functioning Anxiety
  2. 10 Mental Health Tools for At-Home Anxiety Relief
  3. 5 Mental Health Tips for Working from Home
  4. Mental Health and Anxiety Retreats
  5. Digital Tools for Mental Health

Understanding Your Condition: Crippling vs. High-Functioning Anxiety

generalized anxiety disorder: crippling and high-functioning anxiety

There are different types of anxiety, each with its unique challenges and paths for recovery. Crippling anxiety and high-functioning anxiety are two prevalent manifestations of generalized anxiety disorder.

What is crippling anxiety?

Crippling anxiety immobilizes, leaving individuals feeling powerless against persistent feelings of dread. This renders daily activities and decision-making daunting. Crippling anxiety is marked by intense anxiety symptoms such as irrational fear and physical manifestations like an accelerated heart rate. 

How to overcome crippling anxiety?

Combatting this form of anxiety requires a multifaceted approach, including professional treatment and holistic m

ethods to reduce stress and regain control.

Some easy tools to relieve crippling anxiety are:

  • breathing with your belly;
  • any type of exercise, from HIIT to gentle yoga;
  • applying a cold compress to your chest or neck;
  • direct contact with the earth's surface, like walking barefoot on grass;
  • reducing caffeine intake.

What is high-functioning anxiety?

Those with high-functioning anxiety may excel in their careers and personal lives but at the cost of their well-being. High-functioning anxiety might not hinder productivity directly but simmers beneath the surface, affecting energy levels and relationships. The constant internal battle can lead to burnout, chronic stress, and even physical health issues. 

How to overcome high-functioning anxiety?

Managing high-functioning anxiety involves recognizing its subtle effects and balancing productivity with mental health. If you’re dealing with high-functioning anxiety, the following coping strategies can be helpful:

  • Stop measuring yourself against others. Focus on your achievements and progress.
  • Look beyond societal markers of success to identify what truly matters to you.
  • Set boundaries. Learning to say "no" protects your energy, while saying "yes" to new experiences can enrich your life.
  • Don't take criticism personally. Try imagining harsh words as text on a screen or singing them out loud. This technique, known as cognitive defusion, helps you see criticism as just words, reminding you that you have power over how they affect you.

10 Mental Health Tools for At-Home Anxiety Relief

how to cope with a generalized anxiety disorder

There are numerous simple yet effective mental health tools to relieve anxiety symptoms in the comfort of your own home. 

1. Light and darkness

Start your day by soaking in sunlight to signal your body it's time to wake up and stay alert. At night, embrace darkness to encourage melatonin release, aiding in a restful sleep. If you disrupt your internal clock by tightly closing your blackout shades in the morning or scrolling through your ex's Instagram before bedtime, it can negatively impact your sleep and lead to a day full of anxiety. 

2. Prioritize sleep 

We’re sorry to be a wet blanket (no pun intended!), but your mom wasn’t lying each time she urged you to get into bed — going to sleep earlier can significantly improve how you feel the next day. We understand the appeal of revenge bedtime procrastination, but you won’t lose much by nodding off an extra half hour earlier. And the benefits you’ll reap from this decision are astounding. 

3. Make a pause between phone time and sleep

Create a pre-sleep ritual that signals to your mind it's time to rest. Transition to bedtime with activities that separate you from your digital devices. Reading, meditating, or gentle stretching can prepare your mind for sleep much better than hours of scrolling through your newsfeed.

4. Reward yourself

Adopting a lollipop-after-a-shot mentality can boost your motivation to care for your physical well-being. Treat yourself to small delights, like your favorite chocolate bar or a new book, as a reward for accomplishing tasks. This positive reinforcement can make routine chores something to look forward to.

5. Take a shower

When your anxiety is raging, accomplishing even minor tasks can feel daunting. A shower, however, is always beneficial. Just 2 minutes under the warm water spray can lift your spirits, offering a sense of refreshment and cleanliness, even on your lowest days.

anxiety hacks and mental health tools

6. Connect with nature

You don't need to venture far to find solace in nature's embrace. Walking in the park, tending to your garden, or simply sitting by an open window can reconnect you with the world's quiet rhythm, reminding you that you're part of something larger than your anxieties. 

7. Embrace lazy meditation 

Lengthy meditation sessions are not a prerequisite for feeling less anxious. Even 1 to 5 minutes of meditation daily can center your thoughts and alleviate anxiety symptoms. It's about quality, not quantity.

8. Adopt a “So what?” approach

“That's one of my favorite things to say. So what. Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, 'So what.'“ - Andy Warhol

Many of life's troubles lose their power over us when we choose not to be consumed by them. Remind yourself that all feelings and experiences are transient. This perspective can dispel irrational fear during anxious times and enhance appreciation of every joyful moment. Savor the good while it lasts. 

9. Avoid decision paralysis

Don't let indecision eat into your relaxation time. It’s easy to spend your evening endlessly scrolling through Netflix or YouTube, deciding what to watch or listen to. Set a time limit for choosing entertainment options, and stick to it. If you feel like you're not enjoying your choice of entertainment, just switch. Spend more time unwinding and less time overthinking.

10. Reconnect with your inner child

Indulging in nostalgia by revisiting favorite pastimes from your youth can be healing and fulfilling. Rewatch your favorite childhood movies or listen to the music you played on repeat in high school. It's a unique way to rediscover joy and connect with your younger self.

Anxiety Hacks: How to overcome fear and anxiety in 30 seconds?

💪Adopt a power pose. Anxiety often makes us shrink physically, protecting our vital organs. Stand tall, shoulders back, feet firm on the ground, and take a deep breath. This stance signals your body that you're in control, not in danger. Even if you're sitting, straighten up—open your chest and breathe.

🪻Sniff lavender oil. Lavender isn't just for scenting your drawer; it can soothe your nerves, ease your sleep, and even fend off headaches. Keep a bottle handy—on your desk, in your bag. When anxiety flares, take a deep breath or massage it into your temples.

5 Mental Health Tips for Working from Home 

mental health tips for working from home

These days, many of us are adjusting to new work realities triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the benefits of remote work, this sudden shift has blurred the lines between professional and personal spaces, often heightening stress and anxiety. These tips can enhance productivity and support your mental well-being while working from home:

1. Rest as a ritual

Treat rest as you would an important meeting—non-negotiable. Regular breaks can prevent burnout and promote a healthier work-life balance. In this moment of pause, you can find the strength to face your anxieties head-on.

2. Value your hobbies

In the hustle of daily life, especially when working from home, it's easy to sideline the activities that bring us joy. But don't let your hobbies fall by the wayside. They're essential to your joy and mental health. Prioritizing activities you love isn't selfish — it's vital.

3. Create a dedicated workspace

Establish a quiet and distraction-free workspace, even if it's a small or shared area. Gather all necessary items before starting work and make yourself comfortable, opting for a desk or table instead of the sofa. If office furniture is unavailable, use cushions for support or improvise with a box as a footrest.

4. Maintain regular hours

After waking up, don’t rush head-long into work. Instead, dedicate your usual commuting time to reading, listening to music, or practicing yoga. When your workday concludes, disconnect from work-related tasks, shut down your computer, and focus on your home life. Set clear boundaries to prevent work from spilling into personal time.

5. Vent

This tip is a fun one! After work, get a glass of wine, call your friend, and let off some steam. Post-work calls with friends and family can offer a much-needed outlet for your frustrations, reminding you that you're not alone in your struggles.

📞Stressed? Call your mom! A recent study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests an excellent therapy tool for anxiety — calling your mom. People who speak to their mothers in person or over the phone exhibit higher oxytocin and lower stress levels. Just hearing your mom’s voice should do the trick.

Mental Health and Anxiety Retreats

best retreats for mental health

While there are numerous at-home remedies for anxiety, sometimes a more profound experience is needed to truly reset your mental health. If you can carve out a few days from your busy schedule, we recommend going on a mental health healing retreat. 

Here’s why a mental health retreat might be a breath of fresh air you need:

  • Effective practices. Alongside traditional yoga and meditation, you can expect everything from insightful coaching sessions and sound healing to art therapy and nature walks. 
  • Professional guidance. At a wellness retreat, you're not just left to your own devices. Experts can provide personalized advice and strategies tailored to your mental health needs.
  • Community of like-minded individuals. Attending a mental health healing retreat is a unique opportunity to form bonds and share experiences in a supportive environment.
  • Nature’s healing embrace. One of the defining features of an anxiety recovery retreat is a serene natural setting. Imagine meditating by a tranquil lake or practicing yoga against soaring mountains. These breathtaking locations can turbo-charge your healing.
  • Soul and body pampering. Beyond the mental uplift, wellness retreats usually feature top-notch facilities. Spa days, nutritious gourmet meals, and luxurious spaces — it’s about nourishing every part of you.

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Digital Tools for Mental Health

The digital age provides a wealth of mental health therapy tools and resources. From sleep apps and doctor-led podcasts to self-help books you can read online, these tools make managing anxiety accessible to everyone. 

Best Apps for Anxiety Symptoms

bet apps for anxiety and panic disorder

  • Headspaceis renowned for its user-friendly interface and engaging meditation sessions.
  • Calm is a treasure trove of relaxation techniques and anxiety tools, including stories, meditations, and music designed to help you reduce anxiety and get a better night's sleep.
  • Moodnotes is an app designed to track your mood and thoughts, using principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and positive psychology to help you identify emotional patterns and develop healthier thinking habits. Journaling is always a good idea!

Best Self-Help Podcasts for Anxiety

best self-help podcasts for anxiety

  • The Hardcore Self Help Podcast with Duff the Psych is hosted by psychologist Dr. Robert Duff. This podcast series cuts through the psychobabble, offering straightforward advice and therapy tools for anxiety disorders and depression.
  • Social Anxiety Solutions is a podcast by a former social anxiety sufferer turned social self-confidence coach. It offers a supportive space filled with mental health therapy tools, tips, and deep dives into the roots of social anxiety and trauma. 
  • Meditation Minis with Chel Hamilton podcast offers meditation tools for anxiety. It’s a series of short, guided sessions designed to cut through negative thinking and alleviate anxiety. 

Best Self-Help Books for Anxiety and Depression

best self-help books for anxiety and depression

  • "The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression" by Andrew Solomon provides a comprehensive look at depression, combining personal narrative with research.
  • "Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World" by Mark Williams and Danny Penman offers a series of accessible mindfulness practices for anxiety management, supported by robust scientific research and clinical trials.
  • "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by David D. Burns introduces CBT techniques for combating depression, a practical guide with exercises to improve your mental health condition.

Now that you've mastered the techniques for coping with anxiety at home, consider a more profound approach to mental well-being — visiting a mental health retreat. Leave a request at Bookimed, and our dedicated coordinators will organize your transformative journey for you. 💚