Coping Mechanisms for Anxiety

BreatheToday, the big event I’ve been planning for the past six months will finally happen here in Chicago.

As is typical with any event, there have been plenty of hiccups along the way, but now I’ve planned all I can at this point and the only thing left is for the event to start.

For as much as I love event planning, there’s always some degree of anxiety when putting an event together–especially when it’s for work.

I try to adapt the carefree “it is what it is” attitude, but it’s not very easy for me to do.  It’s definitely counter-intuitive to my “hardware.”

But I am trying.

Just this week, for example, only a third of the books we ordered so that our keynote speaker (an author)  could sign for our guests arrived from Amazon.com.

Fortunately, I went to the author and he was able to help out — the rest of the books should be arriving directly from his publisher later today. I tried to keep my cool on the outside, but I wear my heart on my sleeve and between you and me, I was definitely a basket-case for a few hours until everything was resolved.

Though I recognize striving for perfection is unrealistic, there’s a part of me that will always want to just do my best and has trouble accepting it when things don’t go smoothly.

So I try to come up with coping mechanisms that are healthier than my old stand-by (i.e., chewing and spitting).

For example, one of the ways I cope with stress/anxiety is by biting my nails. It’s a terrible habit, but fortunately, this weekend I got a manicure before the wedding, so I can’t do it and need to resort to other (healthier!) coping mechanisms.

Another way of coping is spending time with loved ones and/or friends. So I had dinner with a dear friend last night, and just spending time with her alleviated a lot of my anxiety.

Sometimes just stepping away from whatever is at hand is soothing in and of itself.

Exercise is a third coping mechanism–a positive one when not abused. This morning, I went for a nice run along Michigan Ave. and down to the lakefront. Moving always makes me feel so empowered.

A long hot shower and being pampered at the hotel helped calm me, as well.

Ultimately, I know there are some things that are just not in our control, and so the best we can do is just that: the best we can do.

I’ll fill you in on how it went tomorrow! And in the meantime, I’ll remember to breathe.

How about you? What are some of your best coping mechanisms for stress?

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3 thoughts on “Coping Mechanisms for Anxiety

  1. lissa, thank you for listing some positive coping mechanisms. reading psalms is one of mine, along with yoga. a BIG one for me though is cooking. when i get overloaded with stress i like to take a half day and cook and experiment in the kitchen.

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