8 Anxiety Hacks For When You’re Out In Public!
Updated: Jul 7, 2019
Anxiety, as we all know, has many downsides. The main one being that it can often show up without warning and for no reason at all. Kind of like when people turn up at your house before you’ve had chance to shower, clean or remove last night’s dinner from your bedroom. It’s just a very uncomfortable experience.
Even when you think you’ve mastered inner peace and you’re just happily living your life, BAM! It can knock you on your ass. It can be hard to deal with, especially when you’re in public; at work, a social event or using transport.
This is why I’ve put together a few easy and practical calming techniques you can take anywhere. So, if anxiety does turn up unannounced, you can give it the finger and say, ‘good day’!
8 Anxiety Hacks For When You’re Out In Public
Hack 1) Meditation apps – These are always good to have on hand in case you start to feel a little panicky in public. You can take yourself off to a toilet, or just put your headphones in and listen. There will be simple meditations, breathing exercises or calming sounds that you can listen to and ground yourself. Apps I love to use are Calm and Headspace. I use the free version for both.
Hack 2) Smells – Okay, so taking your favourite candle everywhere isn’t realistic, but what you can do, is spray a handkerchief with a calming scent like an essential oil. You can keep this in your bag, or trouser pocket and take it out whenever you need to. To a passer-by, you just look like you’re blowing your nose. My favourite is lavender essential oil. I find it super calming.
Hack 3) Letters – This could be a letter you have received from someone that you treasure, or a letter you have written to yourself, letting you know it will be okay. Positive affirmations can make a huge difference to your mental state and provide real comfort when anxiety strikes. You can keep a paper copy folded up in your bag, or keep an electronic copy in your phone notes, or emails.
Hack 4) Journal – Being able to express your thoughts and feelings can help rationalise any moments of panic. You could use a pocket-sized notebook, your phone notes, or an app like Daylio if you want to be even more discreet.
Hack 5) Happiness folder – Similar to the letter, this is basically a folder on your phone full of screenshots of times people have sent you lovely messages, photos or quotes you like. This can be a great way to make yourself feel loved and valued, whilst distracting your mind. Plus, it’s way better for you than scrolling through social media.
Hack 6) Playlist – Have a playlist downloaded that puts you in a good headspace. It can be uplifting dance music, or just the sound of ocean waves, whatever works best for you. Put in your headphones and no one would ever know.
Hack 7) Something to watch – I find a great way to distract my mind is watching something. Maybe a Youtube video or download an emergency episode of Friends. Anything that makes you feel calm.
Hack 8) Puzzles – You can download an app for any puzzle you can think of. These are perfect for focusing your mind on something other than how you’re feeling. Try apps for crosswords, sudoku’s, word searches, colouring or any gaming apps you’re into. You can play on transport, during your break, or in the loo if you just need 5 minutes to yourself. No one would even know you’re anxious.
I really hope you never need these hacks, but if you do, I hope they help.
Your anxiety isn’t anything to be embarrassed about and you can always reach out to people around you. These hacks are just for the times you’re out in public and talking about it is just too difficult. We’ve all been there.
Just remember, your anxiety has no power over you. You are in control even if you don’t feel like it. You are not alone and there are always people you can talk to.
You are loved and you are bloody brilliant. Never forget it.
Tight squeezes! X
Question of the week: What’s your favourite phone game?
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