Anxiety, a feeling no one likes to experience. For some, it can be an all-consuming monster that rears its ugly head far too often. It induces stress and is an often unhelpful symptom of a situation that contributes to a decline in positive mental health, especially if recurring frequently in one’s life.
Exercise and self-care have been known to remedy feelings of anxiety. But what form of exercise and self-care are truly effective in these sometimes suffocating moments?
Studies show that cardiovascular exercise can work quickly to improve moods in many people, and “although the effects may be temporary, they demonstrate that a brisk walk or other simple activity can deliver several hours of relief, similar to taking an aspirin for a headache.” On top of this initial relief, powerful chemicals called endorphins are also released during cardiovascular exercise, immediately elevating mood.
Practicing self-care is another worthwhile method to remedy anxiety. Writing a list of your favourite things to do or to enjoy when not experiencing anxiety is key to the effectiveness of self-care. This list can include anything from your favourite movie, book, sport, meal, or any soothing activity such as meditation or drawing, or anything in between. These can make the difference between a painful anxious episode and an experience of growth and ownership of your mental health. You have it in you to heal your body, mind, and soul.
If you’re suffering, please speak out and ask for help. Check out these resources provided by The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.
Written by Julia Abraszko, My Fabulous Self Campaign Ambassador