Master your anxiety with these five easy tools!

You’re feeling anxious. You can feel the anticipation building, like the boss music in a video game. Except there’s no boss. The music just keeps building.

DO NOT BE AFRAID! After ample research and personal testing, I’ve discovered five foolproof ways to banish your anxiety for good.

#1. Cut your hair!

Woman with pink hair in front of fan
Darling, you’ve had your hair dyed black for years. Bright pink WILL change everything.

We all know that anxiety cowers in the face of blunt bangs, pixie cuts, and drastic colour changes. When you wake up tomorrow, you’ll absolutely be ready to face the day’s worries – even if you don’t recognize yourself and have no clue how to tame your new ‘do without the hundreds of dollars in product your stylist used.

After all, as Miranda Lambert says, “what doesn’t kill you only makes you blonder.”

Bonus points: Dye your hair, too. Bright pink never looked so good on you, darling.

#2. Buy that new notebook!

Blank notebook on white desk between smartphone and laptop
Confession: Looking at stock photos of blank notebooks was a little bit like looking at porn.

Ah, the proverbial blank page. You can’t begin to reinvent your life without a crisp new notebook with some sort of inspiring-but-ultimately-too-vague-to-be-meaningful saying on the front. Those other notebooks you have, the ones with even just a few pages already used? They’re in the past, baby! You’re a whole new person, now. And a fresh start deserves a fresh trip to Chapters.

Bonus points: Buy a day planner. You’ll DEFINITELY use it. After all, you need somewhere to write down all your new intentions, mantras and lists!

#3. Purge your entire house!

Minimalist wardrobe hanging from the ceiling
I’m all for the minimalist wardrobe (in theory), but seriously, how often do you have to do laundry when you only own this much clothing?

You know that drawer of mismatched socks, belts and padding thingies from inside sports bras? That’s like…a five-star hotel for your anxiety. The reason you’re feeling anxious is DEFINITELY because you haven’t vacuumed out your cutlery drawer in a few weeks. You don’t have time to slow down and take some “you” time! There’s a storage closet to be rearranged!

Bonus points: After you’re done donating half your possessions, go shopping.

#4. Schedule out every minute of the day – and fit MORE into your schedule!

Photo of a tablet displaying a weekly planner template
You know what’s missing from this photo? Colour-coding.

There’s nothing quite like a colour-coded Excel spreadsheet that outlines every last detail of your life, right down to scheduled “relaxation time” (every Monday/Wednesday/Friday from 6:45-7:10pm).

Once you’ve listed all the important things, you’ll likely find out that you can cut another half hour of sleep in order to add something else meaningless into your already-overwhelming schedule.

Bonus points: Post a photo of your new schedule to social media using hashtags like #hustlehard and #sleepisfortheweak to demonstrate just how much you love having no time to breathe properly.

#5. Take up a new, and preferably expensive, hobby!

Woman with red nails knitting a pink scarf with the New Yorker magazine and a latte in the background.
When I took up this particular hobby in an effort to “learn how to relax,” my partner told me that I knit aggressively. I didn’t even know that was possible.

You’ve never had a creative bone in your body before. That doesn’t matter!! Now it’s time to spend $100 on knitting supplies and learn to make a SCARF!

Bonus points: Sign up for a bunch of courses related to said hobby, so that you can’t back out the next day once you’ve come back down to earth.

I hope I don’t have to say this, but if you made it this far, I trust you realize that these are not the things you should do when you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed.

And yet, I’ve done all of them. Sometimes all in the same day. Speaking of which: I am sad to report that dyed my hair last night after writing this. Guess who’s going to the salon tonight to get it fixed?

I guess I should also add that none of these behaviours or actions are inherently bad or unhelpful. I’ve dyed my hair plenty of times for reasons other than anxiety. Some people genuinely enjoy fighting with yarn for hours on end. And others find that they do need to stick to a strict schedule in order to live the kind of life they desire. The point I’m trying to make here is that these behaviours and actions can easily mask what’s really going on inside your head. And that’s what we need to be aware of.

In my next post, I’m going to unpack these five things and try to get to the bottom of why we feel the need to make drastic changes, eliminate clutter or start new projects when we’re already feeling overstimulated or anxious.

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