I have been on a journey to naturally manage my anxiety since December 2020. First a disclaimer, these tips are not to replace medication if you are currently on mediation or considering medication.
I have been struggling with anxiety my whole life, but I previously put all of my anxious energy into managing my diet and my body. A few years ago, I didn't have the awareness to see that the binge-restrict cycle stepped partially from unmanaged anxiety.
So here are my top 3 tips that I have been doing this year to help me manage my anxiety:
Stress and anxiety are closely linked
If you are listening to all the noise around you telling you what to eat and what not to eat, that is causing more stress in your body and creating more anxiety. It is important to quiet all the noise and to trust your inner wisdom. One way to do this is to find Food Freedom! When we have that lower stress around food we will find peace about food!
Working with a trauma informed therapist
I have experience physical symptoms related to my anxiety, such as tightness in my chest, dizziness, increased heart rate and fatigue. When anxiety is high - it's really hard for me to function. Talk therapy was an amazing starting place for me, but working with a trauma informed therapist has been really helpful. My advice is to work with a trauma informed therapist who has expertise in somatic therapy if you experience physical symptoms of anxiety. Somatic exercises are simple, natural and effective.
Let's talk movement
As runners, love to go go go go go! My summer was a really hard, stressful season of life - and I can't help but wonder if PART OF IT had something to do with my training for the Chicago Marathon. I have noticed that the post-marathon training of strength & lower mileage weeks has felt way kinder to my nervous system.
Finding the Right Dose of CBD
The last thing that has helped me is cannabidiol, or CBD. This is not a medication, it does NOT get you high and it is totally natural. CBD comes from the hemp plant and does not contain any THC (the part of the marijuana plant that makes you high).
NOW - THIS IS IMPORTANT: CBD is not a cure-all, but in conjunction with talk & trauma therapy, setting boundaries, getting enough sleep, adjusting my exercise - I found it to be an incredible tool for helping to manage my anxiety. It has helped me feel calmer on a day to day basis. It feels like a good way to "maintain" calmness now that I've found strategies that work well for me. I have been using the Soul CBD drops & capsules daily. I highly recommend! And you can use this link to get 15% off your order or the code SERENA at checkout.
If your food and diet stress you out, please remember that it is not serving your anxiety, and it is actually holding you back from finding that place where you can have peace of mind and feel really good in your body. I recommend working with a trauma-informed therapist if talk therapy has not been effective for you and you experience physical symptoms of anxiety. Also I highly recommend experimenting with your exercise, finding ways to balance your running with yoga, strength training, walking, slower paced movement. Lastly CBD has helped me so much! And I have been LOVING Soul CBD - you can use code SERENA at checkout to save 15% off your order. I personally use the drops and capsules!