4 Quick Tips to Manage Low-Grade Anxiety

Trying something different: a shorter post 😉

I’ve had a low humming the past few days. You know the one, where that low-grade anxiety is just lurking underneath the surface—it’s not sharp enough to poke through and let you in on what’s going on, but it’s not so subtle you can ignore it.

When this happens, I usually go through a quick mental checklist: looming deadline? Major task I’ve been putting off? Anniversary of an event upcoming? Financial stressors? Nothing. Dentist appointment I don’t want to make? A house a bit messier than is okay? An outstanding reply to an email? Still nothing….

Then, today, I had an added symptom: this bizarre fuzziness, like my synapses weren’t firing correctly. Normally a total morning-person, this lingered even after breakfast and an appropriate amount of coffee (I can get over-caffeinated easily so have to walk myself right up to that line and then put in a hard stop to the magic juice). I was firmly annoyed.

And when I reach the type of annoyed I was, I decide it’s game time. It’s time to really figure out what is going on because I am not letting the anxiety take away productivity, I’m not letting it rob me of being present when I’m working or around people, and…just no.

My strategy/formula for this type of anxiety is quick and easy and also realistic.

For more persistent anxiety, anxiety that has symptoms that are more severe, and additional strategies when the ones below don’t work, I will write further posts. But for now—for that low-grade humming, and for the mom-on-the-go (is there any other kind?!), follow these fast four interventions:

1) Do a blood sugar body scan. Have you eaten recently? If the answer is no, toss back a handful of mixed nuts, a good protein bar (Larabars are my favorite), or a piece of fruit. Your body can’t function well without fuel, so a small snack and getting that blood sugar up is a fantastic first step.

2) Drink a glass of water. And then drink another. Continue chugging throughout the day. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of water for mood regulation.

3) Move. For 15-20 minutes minimum. Outside if you can---breaking free of a closed-in space, and feeling the fresh air, is a gift. Break a sweat preferably. Getting that heart rate up, and then letting it return to resting rate, is one of the best ways to beat this type of anxiety.

4) A quick stretch. Roll your shoulders. Bend at the waist and let your arms hang. Roll your head from side to side. Just a few minutes! It can be while you’re catching up with your kids after school, standing in the shower, or watching TV. But let those muscles shake it out! They could have been holding onto something from a week or two ago, and giving those muscles the opportunity to feel some release can also release some emotions.

Give it a try! Remember, just four quick tips to regain that control and send that humming packing!

Talk to you soon!