I Get Anxious. This Is What Turns My Slow Day Into A Productive One

For those work days where you just can’t seem to shake your anxious thoughts.
Feeling anxious? These products really can help – they do for me.
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Feeling anxious? These products really can help – they do for me.

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You’ve got a deadline. You know you have a list of tasks to be completed by a certain time, and yet you just can’t seem to focus. Your mind is wandering and, for the life of you, you can’t seem to stop other thoughts from taking hold.

At its worst, anxiety can be totally debilitating, and on a day to day basis, it can make focusing at work and in general life more of a challenge. I’ve suffered from anxiety for a long time, so I know first-hand how real the struggle can be.

Living with anxiety is complex. Some days are good, others are bad, and then there are those in between days where you just aren’t sure how you feel.

It doesn’t help that it can feel almost impossible to be productive on days where you’re struggling – but there are products (and practices) that can help. And that includes giving yourself a proper break. In every sense of the word.

There are certain tools I use to make coping on my more difficult days easier as well. These are things that genuinely help me to stay calm and take back some control of my own focus – I hope they might help you, too.

A daily task list and organiser
On anxious days, your to do list can feel impossible, but breaking down tasks into more manageable chunks can seriously help. For this, a daily organiser pad can be a super helpful tool – I have one myself and wouldn't be without it. It helps me to stay on track even when I'm feeling overwhelmed.
Cooling eye and face masks
When you’re feeling anxious, all that stress and tension can often lead to headaches, which can act as another hurdle to your productivity. I find that these reusable cooling eye and face masks are a really great tool for beating anxiety-induced tension headaches.
A white noise machine
If you’re a real over thinker, white noise can be a saviour (or at least, it is for me). When you’re struggling to stop intrusive thoughts, it just makes focusing on the task at hand that much easier. This multi-sound, colour-changing and easily portable machine offers 24 soothing sounds, including nine white noise options.
This anxiety journal
When you can't focus on the task at hand because all you can think about is the thing you're stressing over, an anxiety journal is designed to allow you to let go of negative thoughts. On days where I struggle to work because I'm obsessing over a worry, writing it down and working through it is a real game-changer.
This stress-relieving spray
I was an anxious child and my mum often gave me Rescue Remedy whenever I was feeling especially overwhelmed. This vegan and vegetarian ‘rescue’ spray is formulated using five flower essences that are designed to support emotional wellbeing and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
My trusty Kindle
Reading is super calming and a great way to move your attention away from your anxiety. If you prefer your books hard copy, go for it. But, if you like a more convenient option that holds thousands of titles and you can take anywhere, opt for a Kindle.
A mindful colouring book for clarity and calm
Art therapy is a powerful tool for dealing with anxiety, which is what makes adult colouring such a great option on days where your levels are a little high. Sit and colour for just a few minutes and you'll start to feel better (or at least I always do when I'm struggling.)
An essential oil diffuser
This essential oil diffuser not only looks chic, it’s also a great tool for calming and refocusing your mind. At the touch of a button, it will release your essential oil of choice into the air – and thousands say it helps with their clarity, focus and energy.
Swapping to decaf
Caffeine can cause your anxiety levels to spike, which is why it might be best to swap your go-to coffee for a decaffeinated alternative. This smooth and aromatic coffee might be caffeine-free but it has all the aroma and richness of a velvety dark roast.
A pair of headphones
Over-ear headphones with sound cancelling technology are super handy when you’re feeling anxious, whether you like to listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks. These rechargeable and foldable ones (with up to 14 hours of battery life) are a great buy.
This beginner's guide to meditation
On days where your anxiety levels are high, taking a step back and practising some meditation can be a great way to calm your mind and restore focus. This book will take you through the basics in no time and is definitely worth a try to see if works for you.
An insulated water bottle
Staying hydrated is important. But when you’re feeling anxious, a bottle of cold water can help you to stay focused, too. Taking a few sips of cold water can reset your mind and drive your focus away from your feelings of anxiety. It’s a hack I use a lot, along with sucking on an ice cube.
This pulse point roller
The calming properties of lavender are said to help boost relaxation and relieve those anxious feelings. Apply this lavender, bergamot and patchouli formula to your pulse points (temples, neck, and wrists) and see if helps bring a sense of clarity and calm.
A weighted blanket
It’s already known that sleeping under a weighted blanket can help with anxiety – and being wrapped in one certainly feels a bit like being inside a hug. On anxious days, sitting with this blanket around you may relieve some of the stress and tension you feel.

Help and support:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.
  • CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email help@themix.org.uk
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).