5 Little Things That Have Helped My Anxiety News

5. Making

Making stuff.

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Alanna Okun

Hold up: there’s a strong chance that right now you’re like
“Ugh, Alanna, I am not going to buy a snail nor a Gameboy nor
am I going to sit down and make a CRAFT when the last thing I
made was a half-assed friendship bracelet at Camp
Idontwannadoit.” BUT there are
so many ways creativity can manifest — in photography,
writing, doodling, baking, exploring, and yeah, the craftier
stuff as well. What matters is the physicality, and the
repetition, and the sense that even if you can’t solve the big
snarling problems taking bites out of your brain, you can at
least solve this tiny one right in front of you.
It’s also
a great way to occupy your hands if you’re prone, like I am, to
picking or pulling or any other compulsive behaviors.

And I know these embroideries seem wicked negative, so
backstory from this
Community post: I made them during a heightened period of
anxiety, when I noticed that the same anti-mantras kept
swirling around and around in my head. Usually I would try to
ignore or outrun them, but that usually just made them louder.
To combat this, I decided to try and control them with
embroidery (as one does). Spending an hour or two stitching
a sentence — bringing it into the physical world however you
choose — is one of the most efficient ways to realize how
little power those words really have.
(Not to mention how
contradictory they are — how can I be too much and not enough
at the same time? Anxiety is super dumb.)

This method might not work for everyone but now when one of my
toxic strings of words worms its way back into my head, I can
at least picture it in my own handwriting instead of as a
terrifying shapeless mass.

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