#1 - Rest
Sounds simple right?! BUT, if you don't make time to rest and step away from the daily grind, it won't happen...ever. As leaders, we get so focused on making things happen that we overlook one of God's first commands--rest. God calls those who don't work lazy, but God calls those who don't rest disobedient. You are the one that is in charge of your schedule. If your schedule is closing in on you, it's your fault...and it's your responsibility as a leader to control your schedule so it doesn't control you.
#2 - Find/invest in wise counsel
I have a few close friends in my life that I can go to about anything, especially if I'm feeling anxious. I also have a counselor who helps me work through difficult seasons or situations. I am SO thankful for their willingness to listen to me and encourage me when I'm feeling anxious.
#3 - Eat right
I love to eat good food...A LOT! But if I belly up to the buffet and eat a bunch of junk, guess what? I'm gonna feel like junk. Don't get me wrong, I love a good buffet, but if you're constantly chowing down on little Debbie's and Mountain Dew, you're fueling for failure. Eating right will help you have more energy which will help you be more positive.
#4 - Exercise regularly
I love interval training! Now I haven't always been disciplined with physical exercise, but I can tell you that hitting the treadmill daily for 30min - 1hr is a great way to stay focused. It helps to release that tension from the anxiety and it helps me rest better later.
#5 - Talk to your doctor
Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication aren't for everyone, but your doctor may advise that you take something to help with a chemical imbalance. I can honestly say that taking an antidepressant during this season of my life has been one of THE BEST decisions I have ever made (I recently wrote a post about that here). It's helped to clarify my thinking, made me way less high strung and allowed me to make better decisions.
#6 - Tell somebody
You can't do life alone! Tell someone you trust. Let them help you.
#7 - Yodel
Ok, not really. But do find a hobby and make time for it.
Anxiety is one of those battles that sneaks up on you. But, if you're well rested, eating right and exercising, and you surround yourself with wise counsel from friends you love and trust, you've got a good foundation prepared to overcome it.
If you're feeling anxious or maybe even depressed, I encourage you to get some help. Talk to a friend, a doctor, or you can even get in touch with someone here at NewSpring. You weren't meant to feel this way. It's ok to not be ok, but it's not ok to stay that way.
I recently wrote a book about my battle with anxiety and depression in my book "Overwhelmed". I can honestly say that during my depression was the darkest time in my life, and there are days that I still battle anxiety. But I am so thankful for all the Lord taught me during that season. My hope for this book is that my story might help people overcome feeling overwhelmed with stress, anxiety, worry or even depression. Maybe that person is you.