4 Self-Care Tips to Help You Cope With Chronic Anxiety

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If you’re one of the 40 million adults in the U.S. with an anxiety disorder, it’s important to practice good self-care.

Managing chronic anxiety can help improve your mental health as well as supporting your physical wellbeing. Here are four ways to help you cope with anxiety.

 

1. Good Nutrition

It’s common knowledge that what you eat affects your physical health, but did you know that your diet can either harm or help your mental health? Not eating enough of the right foods can contribute to chronic anxiety, while getting a regular dose of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce anxiety symptoms. Omega-3 can be taken as a daily supplement or can be found in certain foods. Excellent sources of omega-3 include:

  • Salmon
  • Halibut
  • Flaxseed
  • Spinach
  • Soybean oil

2. Exercise

If you’ve ever come back from a jog or walk feeling calm and refreshed, you understand how exercise can be a powerful ally in managing chronic anxiety.

Studies have shown that exercise can be just as effective as medication in combatting anxiety. To use exercise to complement your anxiety treatment, researchers recommend 30 to 40 minutes of exercise, three times a week.

3. Adequate Sleep

For people with anxiety disorders, getting a good night’s sleep can be challenging. Yet adequate sleep is what you need to optimally manage chronic anxiety. Seven to nine hours of sleep each night are the recommended guidelines for adults.

If you have difficulty falling asleep, the following tips may help:

  • Avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime
  • Meditation, tai chi or yoga several hours before bed can promote relaxation
  • A cup of chamomile tea can calm nerves

4. Reducing Stress

Any source of stress can contribute to anxiety. Learning to identify potential stressors and better manage them can help you cope with chronic anxiety.