The Somewhat Answers to Anxiety

By Samantha Manahan

Anxiety is like lightning: it can strike anyone at any point in their life. I have been living on campus for about a year and have developed ways of coping with anxiety to reduce feelings of being overwhelmed while here at NIU.

Tip # 1 Turn Off Your Cell Phone (Go Social Media Ghost)

Has the idea of not being able to complete every task on your “to do” list given you an anxiety attack? Well for me, it has. I would begin to plan out my week with work, class, assignments and clubs and felt like I wasn’t going to be able to finish—wait, sorry I got a text and I have to respond.–Okay where was I? When I become overwhelmed with what I need to get done, I still always manage to have time to check my texts, update my status or check the new photo the cute boy in my psychology class posted. I am advising you put down your cell or turn it off when you are doing homework, in class, at work or in a meeting so you will always be giving your priorities undivided attention. This will help you conquer your “to do” list!

Tip # 2 Ask Yourself If It’s Worth It

Take a deep breathe and ask yourself, is the anxiety I’m having worth it? In five years, will my future self be affected or anxious by this situation? Most of the time the  answer will be no. And if your answer is no, build the strength and courage to walk away from whatever the situation is and better yourself.  A personal example would be the nights I have a lot of things to accomplish but my brain is not able to focus. During this time I become so frustrated that I begin to cry and I call my mom hysterically claiming, “I can’t do it” or “I’m not smart enough.” My mother always reminds me to ask myself these questions, and my answers are always no. No, in five  years I will not be anxious over this one stressful night. No, my future will not be affected if I am unable to finish every assignment at this time. When I come to the realization I am able to calm down and realize my life is not going to turned upside down because of one moment.

Tip # 3 Take Time for Yourself

The best advice I can give you is to remember you are human and you need time to re-energize yourself. When you’re becoming anxious, don’t continue down the same path; take a step back from the event and “treat yourself.” I always grab my favorite fuzzy blanket with strawberry ice cream and binge watch “Friends” on Netflix. I read my current novel “Honey” and write in my journal. Take time for the things you love to do and enjoy yourself while doing them.

NIU’s Counseling and Consultations Center offers both one on one and group counseling for students who are seeking help with anxiety.