A couple of years ago someone had asked me if I was a chill person. I remember, to this day, thinking “Are you kidding me? Hell no.” I wouldn’t call myself high-strung but I was somewhere between really passionate and freaking out all the time. It didn’t help that the pressure of doing good, and accomplishing something worthwhile sat on my shoulders like dead weight or that because of this pressure I could be a royal bitch. Still kind of am. I’m not gonna lie, these tricks I’m using aren’t for everyone but they helped me tremendously to clear up most of my anxiety.

My first step is kind of cliche so don’t laugh but candles and incense are the shit. I mean just the act of lighting one or both of them is like burning away your worries. It can be really soothing when you feel a panic attack coming on or your on the verge of crying. Turn out the lights, light some candles or an incense, put on some music, and fucking breathe. It can go a long way to slowing your heart rate and keeping calm. I’ve also read that smelling something delicious or soothing can help to move your mind towards better non-anxiety driven thoughts. Right now I have a million different candles by my bed but my fav is Black Cherry. I also have Hawaiian Mist incense but I only use those occasional because I find that incense can be really strong and I don’t want it to be too overpowering if I’m trying to relax.

My second trick is what I do a majority of the time I’m not working and that’s reading. Reading to me is the definition of relaxing. I used to be one of those people who would watch 30 different television shows at once and be screaming at the t.v. screen at 3 in the morning because they just killed off my favorite character. It didn’t matter that I had a midterm the next day or all my homework from that semester was due and I just wasted a make-up day for a show that doesn’t do anything but make me angry. So, I stopped watching t.v. as much and cut down to about 2 or 3 shows a year. They are usually on Netflix because I like to watch everything all together and not have to wait every week. Cliffhangers make me nauseous. I recently bought an ipad mini, it’s an old version but it was cheap and I can put all my books on it. I have this really cool free app called Bookbub, here’s a link to it. You can basically select your favorite type of books and they will give you a bunch of suggestions of books that are free or at a discounted price. I just download them onto iBooks and start reading.

My 3rd tip is something else just as relaxing as reading and that’s coloring/drawing/painting. I think creating something, no matter what skill level you are is important because it can be a good distraction and it can focus your mind on something other than your troubles. If you are mainly a stick figure person, I recommend investing in an adult coloring book. They are literally the best thing ever. This is one I got at a craft store in Savannah. It’s got art from a bunch of different people but it’s all black and white so you can color it in. I’ll link something similar here from Amazon so you guys can check it out.

My 4th trick is a little bit harder to do depending on how you feel because it requires physical labor. I think exercise is the best key to chilling out because it’s hands on and you’re focus can’t be elsewhere. Exercise produces endorphins and endorphins make you happy. That’s a famous quote by Elle Woods so you should remember it. It’s the truth though, you will feel better about yourself and you’ll have actually contributed to being healthier not just physically but mentally as well. I hate going to the gym with a passion but I like to go for walks or running around my neighborhood or just doing some basic yoga poses in my bedroom. It takes the edge off and it’s good for you.  

I’d like to say my final trick is the easiest but it could be the hardest for some people. You have to learn how to let shit go. Not the sugar coated, Disney princess bullshit either. For real. Let that stupid shit go. The big things, always keep an eye on. Bills to pay, careers to pursue. Those things are important and a part of you should always keep a little pressure on yourself just to move forward. But small stuff, like someone talking shit or being petty. Cut them off. Insecurities about the way you look or dress, throw it out the window. Self-love comes first and it’s damn near liberating when you know your own mind and can trust your own mind to push you towards a better future. Keep these tips in mind, and if you ever just need someone to talk to. I’m always here.  

xoxo Darcy Mae Modica

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