In the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling a little more restless than usual. I’m not sure what’s brought on these feelings, but I was able to recognize that they’re something that can be dealt with and managed – just like the symptoms of anxiety and depression that I experience every day. I haven’t discovered my go-to techniques and activities for dealing with restlessness, but I have learned a few things that have helped me overcome these feelings. That said, here are five reminders for when you’re experiencing restlessness.
Acknowledge your feelings and how it’s affecting you physically. It’s difficult to deal with feeling restless if you haven’t acknowledged that’s what’s going on. For me, I know that my body feels different when I’m restless; it’s like my brain wants to do a million different things that my body short circuits because it can’t figure out what to do. If you can recognize how feeling restless affects you physically, you can figure out what to do about it.
Be clear about your goals. If you recognize that you feel restless, what do you do about it? It’s not as simple as ‘calming down’ or ‘relaxing’ (both of which end up feeling vague and unhelpful in situations). There have been many times where I’ve felt restless and uncomfortable but for the time being, I had to sit tight and see it through. If you can get out of the situation you’re in that’s always an optimal choice, but one of the ways to deal with this issue can just be to acknowledge, be real about feeling it, and try to get through it.
Be ready to fail at what you try. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: everyone has different ways of dealing with their mental health. This applies to symptoms of mental illness, mental wellness techniques, and coping mechanisms. Our mental health toolbox is completely our own, which means that sometimes it takes a minute to find our footing in how we process and deal with things. If your friend gives you a suggestion when you feel restless and it doesn’t work for you, that’s okay. You’re narrowing the scope of what works for you, and that’s a big win.
Remember there is more than one way to deal with this issue. Building off the point above, there are so many different ways with feeling restless, and the most important thing is to find what works for you. That being said, it’s also okay to have more than one way to deal with these feelings. I’ve written about this before, but it’s good to have many options in your mental health toolkit. If you try something and you don’t find it helpful, try something else. The only thing that matters is that you find what you need for that moment – nothing more.
Try something that clears your mind. I understand that this sounds like the vague bit of advice I mentioned earlier, but I promise it’s not. There are many ways that people like to clear their minds or reach a level of peace and calmness, and my advice is to have that goal in mind when you’re trying to deal with feeling restless. Years ago, I learned that working on jigsaw puzzles has a way of clearing my head, and so it’s something I turn to when I’m feeling particularly restless, but I’m still finding my way. At the end of the day, it’s about finding what works for you and what you have at your disposal when you feel restless.