Kelli graduated with a Conflict Studies and Mediation degree with a minor in Sustainability.
I have suffered from anxiety disorders for almost 7 years. I've gone through the highs, and I've fought through the lows. As I wrestle with the uncomfortable nature of this mental illness, I continually learn new ways to ease my mind during the ruts. First, you have to grip onto hope like it's the front-row ticket to see your favorite artist.
...remember that there are a multitude of little things you can do to get yourself slightly more grounded and on your way to being back on track. Here are 5 things that most anyone can do:
1. Take the space you need
If you feel caught up and overwhelmed by your current situation, remove yourself as best you can! Even if it's only for a little while, doing this can help immensely in terms of grounding yourself back into a place of peace.
When you take this space, try to leave what is bothering or overwhelming you outside of that space. If you take it with you, your mind will run the entire time. Do something that distracts you in a good way—read, browse Pinterest, read some blogs, water plants, etc. Make it a safe space that outside "problems" cannot penetrate. The more you reinforce this over time, the less energy it will take and the better it will work.
If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.
— Amit Ray
2. Aromatherapy & ambiance
Create a space that is pleasant to all of your senses—this will help you feel at ease. Warm lighting, comfortable seating, serene atmosphere...
Find some candles or incense with smells that you like, or smells that typically calm/ground:
- Lavender - calms nerves, mind, and body
- Vetiver - grounds the mind
- Orange/Lemon - lifts spirits and energy
Another option is to take a bath with some calming/grounding essential oils (all of the above scents come in EO form). All you need is 1-3 drops in your bath. Not only does this take care of aromatherapy, EOs often have benefits for the skin and internal health (lavender is great for skin; lemon is an amazing detox). I have included a link below for a great brand of 100% pure essential oils.
You can often find these sorts of things at your local grocer, health & wellness stores, or online from places like Amazon. I linked my favorite organic brand below through Amazon; they are 100% pure organic and have proven their quality over and over again for various uses from aromatherapy to cleaning and healing. Another brand outside of Amazon I love is Mountain Rose Herbs, an online retailer that carries 100% organic essential oils and other cool things like teas, sprays, candles, herbs, and spices.
3. Talk to friends/family who you know will make you feel better
This doesn't need to be in-person if you are like me and a natural introvert. Just connecting in some way to someone you love can help.
I like to pick up cute cards when I'm shopping, and often when I'm in a rut, writing a little lovin' to a friend and sending it to them makes me feel happier. I also like to send a quick text to someone saying words along the line of "I miss you," or even more bluntly, "tell me something good and/or funny, please?" It usually works for me!
And if you feel you don't have anyone to talk to, head over to really cool sites like 7 Cups of Tea, where they have people waiting to hear what you need to say, or waiting to give you the comforting words you need to hear in hard times. I have worked as a "listener" for 7 Cups for 3 years, and people really seem to get a lot of help from the site.
4. Remember your accomplishments
It's easy to dwell on our failures and blow them out of proportion. This is not only unhealthy, it sets up your mind and future for more failure. Try to recount as many accomplishments you have completed, small or big.
These accomplishments can be in any area—career, relationships, projects, school etc. Wherever you need motivating, or reassurance, think about the times in which you excelled in that area. If you haven't yet excelled, remember that you are capable of getting there because you've accomplished so many other things. You are still alive and breathing, and that's more to accomplish than millions of other people.
When you're in a rut, stuck, not knowing what to do next, looking to your past accomplishments can motivate you and remind you of your inherent strengths. Look for patterns in your successes, try to recognize your "niche" in terms of what you do well, and use that as a building block to go further.
5. Do something that is uniquely you
This one is sometimes harder for me to remember to do, but it can be really effective in motivating, re-energizing, and grounding yourself.
What better way to get back on track than to do something that is unique to your abilities and makes you happy?
For me, I draw a lot of my passion and courage from feeling connected to nature. Therefore, when I feel stuck, it can be really helpful to get outside and away from everything to where it's just me and the trees. Spending time immersed in nature, and letting myself be caressed by the Earth, is like the equivalent of charging a phone for me—except I'm the phone, and nature is the power outlet.
A Final Note
Getting into ruts and feeling stuck is inevitable for literally everybody. Try not to let the feelings that come along with it get to you too much. For those with mental illnesses, this can be a daunting task to take on, but I promise it can and will be worth it.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2016 Kelli
Calvin McDuffie from Lansing on April 28, 2018:
Great article. My wife got me into #2 Aromatherapy and my therapist got me into #4 to remember my accomplishments. I documented my PTSD and GAD at https://www.guideyourhealth.org/single-post/Online... and I have been doing well for about 7 years now. I think it is very important for posts like your to continue to help people by providing methods to fight depression and anxiety. I lost a good friend to suicide and I can't help but wonder if there were more resources would he be alive today.