It's Hard to Relax When I'm Anxious

May 25, 2023 Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez

Last time, I wrote about setting goals and using tasks to focus on to help channel my anxiety. But what happens when things get less busy in my life, and it is time to relax? How do I relax when you're anxious?

My whole life, this is something I've struggled with. Because of anxiety, I've always looked for something to attribute it to, even when there isn't anything specific to feel stressed about. That's one of the hardest things about anxiety -- you experience symptoms even when there isn't a stressor around. And so, when there isn't a specific stressor that triggered the anxiety in the first place, it is easy to blame it on the closest thing that might make sense.

And when you're constantly feeling anxious, this makes it hard to allow yourself to relax completely. Because of this, I often find myself tense and on edge.

How I Relax When I'm Anxious

Unfortunately, what this means is that, sometimes, it is hard to take the time to relax when it is time. But, taking time for myself is an important part of self-care. So, I have found that it is vital for my wellbeing that I find ways to take the time to relax fully.

I've found the following strategies help me be able to relax when I'm anxious:

  1. I take the time to slow down. When you're really busy, it is easy to get caught up in all of the responsibilities and forget to use coping strategies. The problem is that if this happens, my anxiety can easily slip out of my control. Then, before I know it, I experience symptoms. So, when it is time to take a break, I take the time to slow down instead of jumping from task to task and piling on things that I need to do.
  2. I focus on the moment. Instead of thinking about the past or worrying about the future, I use mindfulness and stay focused on what is happening in the present moment. This helps me to focus on the things that make me happy, the things that I am grateful for, and the things that bring out positive emotions in me instead of things that I'm worried about.
  3. I compartmentalize. When it is time to deal with a task or responsibility, I deal with it. But when it is time to take a break and relax, whether it is a short break or a vacation, I make sure that that is what I am doing in the time I have allotted to it. I do this by scheduling things into my calendar. My calendar is not only important for keeping the things I need to do organized, but it is important for mentally compartmentalizing, which helps reduce my anxiety.
  4. I remind myself that I deserve to take breaks. When you struggle with anxiety, it can be hard to do this when you've set perfectionist standards for yourself. It can get to the point where you feel like you have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders to have self-worth. But I have to remind myself that I am worthy, that I deserve good things, and I deserve to step back once in a while from the busyness of everyday life to relax.

These strategies are helpful for me to take time to relax even though I'm anxious. Are there things you do to allow yourself to relax when you are anxious? If so, share them in the comments below.

APA Reference
Bermio-Gonzalez, R. (2023, May 25). It's Hard to Relax When I'm Anxious, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 25 from

Author: Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez

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