Functioning with Anxiety: Tips & Tricks


Around 18% of teenagers struggling with anxiety receive the help that they need. There are a variety of reasons why people do not/cannot receive help, but there are still ways they can cope with what they’re dealing with. I have severe anxiety, panic disorder, and social anxiety- so I wanted to give everyone some tips that I use daily. No tip or advice will completely rid you of anxiety, but it can make it easier to handle. 

1. Temperature 

When I’m really anxious, I overheat. I noticed this tends to increase my anxiety. So if you’re feeling anxious, make sure you regulate your temperature. If you’re too hot: remove layers, run cold water over your hands, go outside. If you’re too cold: move around, add layers, and locate warmer areas. I also recommend preparing ahead of time. Wear outfits that can work for warmth, but can be changed to cool you off.

2. Animals

This isn’t exactly a tip everyone can utilize but being around my pets when I’m anxious brings me a sense of comfort. If you happen to see any of the dogs that come visit Nashoba, just give them a quick pat or two and it might bring you a little bit of joy. If you have pets at home, spend time with them! You could go on a walk or play fetch, personally, I love hugging my dog- it’s very grounding. Maybe a friend or family member has a pet, go visit! 

3. Keep your Hands Busy

Anxiety is often a high-energy disorder unless you are dealing with burnout. My hands get shaky and I feel like I might explode. For this, I suggest finding something you like to do with your hands. For me, I play guitar- reading the music brings distraction and my hands are moving and preoccupied which gets rid of some of that bad energy. However, you may not want to learn an instrument. In that case: dance, organize a junk drawer, work out, hit your pillow, etc. 

4. Aromatherapy 

This is less scientific than it seems. It is proven that smells like citrus and spearmint can boost your mood and lavender can calm you down. I just feel happier when my room smells good. I love lighting candles, burning incense, using fun room sprays, or making my room smell like cookies with my wax melter. There are so many options. This doesn’t even have to apply to your room, you could just use some perfume or lotion. 

5. Walk !!! Dance !!!

Moving your body is one of the best pieces of advice I could give for anxiety. Throughout the last year and a half of high school, I have been utilizing walks for my anxiety. I put on some music I like and take a few loops. It burns off energy and the physical effects of walking bring me back to reality. I even do it at home and even if it’s raining I’ll pace in my hallway. It sounds crazy but it works. If you’re not a walker: play Just Dance, start a sport, do yoga, or work out. 


Water is such an important thing for so many aspects of life. Drink water, splash your face with water, wash your face, go swimming, take a shower or a bath, do the dishes, and listen to water sounds. Not only is water completely essential for your physiology, but it’s also essential for your psychology. Even just having water to drink gives you something to do. I bring water to school every day and sometimes I forget about it but it’s a lifesaver when I don’t. Also, if you drink caffeine, you should drink the same amount of water directly after to prevent worse anxiety or caffeine crashes. 

Most of these are in-the-moment tips, but I will leave you with an advance tip. If you know you feel anxious or that you have an anxiety disorder, there are ways to make it just somewhat easier to control. Pay attention to triggers or specific factors that worsen anxiety. For example, certain songs, caffeine, changes of plans, sleep deprivation, empty stomach, etc. Everyone is different so maybe none of these apply to you. However, analyzing your feelings and identifying factors that aggravate your anxiety is one of the greatest tips I could give. I still have severe anxiety, but using all of these tips and beginning to understand it has made a big difference.