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5 Tips to Relieve Anxiety As We Bid Adieu to January

dealing with anxiety

Anxiety, folks, it’s real.

We live in some crazy times, and if you haven’t felt the sting of anxiety before, Covid has well and truly introduced you to this nasty beast.

I think we’ve all gone through the same varying stages of emotions that’s led us to feel less like ourselves than before.

“What the hell is going on?”

“Oooh, lockdown sounds like the perfect excuse to Netflix and chill.”

“Nope, nope, and nope. I want to leave my house.”

“Wait! When did the government think they could curfew me? 8 pm me hole.”

YOU’RE NOT MY MAM, YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!

So anxiety, or at minimum, anxious feelings, are normal after all this.

If you’re not feeling anything, you must be Marcus Aurelius.

Marcus Aurelius

We’re all looking for ways to reduce our anxiety and bring back those smooth vibes of 2019.

Keep reading because I’ve got five super easy tips for you to help relieve your anxiety as we say goodbye to January. 👋

1. Meditation

Okay, I know.

It’s all rather hippy and, well, fluffy.

But stick with me; it’s about to get temporarily extra-fluffy but for a good reason.

You might think meditation isn’t for you, but you only need 5 minutes.

It’s not like you need to be pulling a tree pose while ohming your way through the first 2 hours of your day (but if you can do this, fair play!)

Just five little minutes of intentional peace can help, or recenter you if you know what I mean.

This can be before you get up for the day.

Yes, you can meditate while still lying in your bed; just try not to nod off again, as can happen!

But perhaps you’re an end-of-the-day meditator.

That’s cool.

You do you.

All you need to do is find a quiet space, close your eyes and focus on your breathing for 5 minutes.

Make sure you’re slooooowing down your breathing though, intentionally slow, feel the breath, my friend.

Breathing like you’ve raced Kipchoge won’t help.

if you don't rule your mind, your mind will rule you

2. Reduce The Booze (& Caffeine)

We all like a glass of wine, or beer, at the end of a hectic day.

But we’re now so used to doing it that we feel like we can’t relax without it.

So what if I told you that booze could exacerbate your anxiety, and if you’re prone to anxiety attacks, it can force these to happen far more often.

I know you probably don’t want to hear it but, for those of us who regularly feel anxiety, alcohol and caffeine heavy beverages are not our friends.

Yup, those monster energy drinks you saw all over TikTok (don’t lie, I know you got hooked on it too, it was lockdown!) those colourful little buggers could be warp speeding your anxiety levels.

Look, I’m not saying quit it altogether, but you need to cut it back a smidge.

Try not to have caffeine a couple of hours before bed.

Take it from 3 glasses of wine down to two.

Don’t stress yourself over your consumption; just try to be a little smarter about when you drink it and how much of it you put away.

Capiche?

Side Effects of Too Much Caffeine Your Story

3. Get Outdoors

Some of us are wary about going out of our homes.

We spent the best part of 2020 fearing that stepping outside for more than our 1 hour of exercise would risk the lives of all our nurses, frontline workers, and even poor auld granny.

Now, almost all of our pre-covid freedom is back, and honestly, I don’t even know how to feel.

But, at the very least, it’s time to get back to the great outdoors.

There’s something to be said about taking a stroll on the beach (blue) or wandering through your local park (green)

Yeah, it’s February, but it’s not brass monkeys like a normal February, so make the most of it – your anxiety will thank you.

Within a few minutes of being in nature, our stress levels reduce and our endorphin levels sky-rocket, along with our happy hormone, dopamine.

That’s about as scientific as I’m getting with you today, but it’s true.

Nature is one big anxiety-reducing pill.

Spend time in blue (water) and green (trees) to be more serene.

Listen to the birds, admire the flowers, it’s all free maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. ✌

Exercise Decision Tree Chart

4. Control the Controllable

We all know someone or know someone who knows someone who has had to take some amount of time off work over the last few years because of stress, depression, or anxiety.

It’s the reality of the new normal we live in.

Hopefully, as things calm down, this can change back, but right now, it can feel like a never-ending carousel that you want to get off.

  • You’re stressed because of work.
  • But you’re stressed because you need to go to work; that mortgage isn’t going to pay itself.
  • And now you feel even more stressed and feel like you can’t go to work.
  • But if you don’t go to work, who’s going to pay the food bill, or the electricity bill, or the rent?

You see where I’m going here. It’s hard to get out once you’re stuck in that cycle.

Having Income Protection Insurance takes a little weight off your back.

If your anxiety becomes crippling and you have to take an extended leave from work, the bills will get paid; the kids will have food in their bellies. You’ve got the financial support that you need.

Sometimes it’s the little things that have the biggest impact.

And it’s better to act early because as soon as your mental health becomes a pre-existing condition that you have discussed with a medical professional, the insurers will exclude it from your cover.

5. Talk To Someone

And last but not least – talk to someone.

Anyone.

Your mate, your mum, or even a professional.

Get those feelings out and feel heard.

Sometimes the feeling alone bit is the part that hurts the most, and talking about how you’re feeling about something helps a great deal.

If you have a policy from Aviva, Irish Life or Royal London, you have access to free counselling.

You’re paying good money every week for this policy. You might as well use all of the benefits.

Thanks for reading and mind yourself.

Nick

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