I have anxiety. It's not a once in a while kind of anxiety, or something going on in my personal life (even though there might and usually is). It's kind of always there. Summer months are usually better than winter. But I would say that it's with me much of the time. It always comes in waves. Sometimes the day feels fantastic and I am the king of the world, and others, well, I just want to crawl back in bed and try to start the day over. One of my coping mechanisms is usually doing things. Going out to the ballpark, riding my bicycle, festivals, concerts, other sporting events. I keep my life active... well, kept my life active. Covid kind of killed many of the events I listed above. And while I'll still get a chance to ride my bicycle this summer, I find myself throwing my attention to other tasks like, well, writing blog posts, learning new languages and platforms, playing with new concepts and ideas, and making myself a more well-rounded and more productive person. Why do I bring this up? Well, I don't think I am alone in this community, and I wanted to say that if you have this, you are not alone.
The concept of anxiety can take many forms. I think of imposter syndrome, which is well known in the developer community. One thing I came across today was an article written by Casey Imafidon on 10 things to tell yourself when you think you aren't good enough at all. It kind of reminded me that my current feelings are all temporary and will pass.
So... what are some of my "tools"
- Get things done. I find that there might be things in your life in the background that can cause anxiety that you may not even realize. One example for me was my taxes. Nothing like spending your Friday night doing your yearly taxes. That said, when it was over, I slept great. There can be other things you know you need to do but just haven't gotten to doing them. Sometimes it's better to rip the bandaid right off than let it linger.
- Eat Healthy. This is something I really need to get back to doing, which is really hard lately. What you take in really determines how you feel. Everyone is different, but I find sugar or carb-heavy meal can crank my anxiety to 11. On top of that, the quality of the food you take in determines what vitamins and minerals your body also takes in. a balanced diet and not stress or board eating can do wonders for your anxiety levels.
- Exercise. Similar to your diet, exercise can do wonders in removing the excess anxiety you have.
- Stay busy. As noted above, I try to keep my mind preoccupied with things. It's funny. A friend of mine had the challenge of being within yourself for 10 minutes (meditation). Something I probably could not do on one of my bad days. Meditation may work for some. I did not find it useful.
- Talk to someone. Opening up your problems to others can be a Godsend. It's funny how many people have the same worries, problems, or can relate to your issues. I will note, that not EVERYONE is going to be a good person on this... but worse case, you have a story to now tell about the time you opened up to someone, and they were a complete whatever about it
- Push the excess energy into productive things. As I noted above, try learning a new technology, or something you always wanted to do. Sometimes pushing yourself out of the comfort zone and into something unfamiliar, while in itself is anxiety driving, can make the problems you were dwelling on that less of a big deal.
Those are some of the bigger things that help me with my anxiety. I'd like to know what others think. What types of things do you do to try to kill your anxiety when it likes to flare up. let me know in the comments.