A recent survey named Louisiana as the second worst state in the United States for anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety and could use some help, we've got some tips for you.

How does Louisiana rank against other states when it comes to anxiety?

A new study by Leafwell ranked Louisiana second in the nation for the number of residents suffering from anxiety. Their research shows that the most anxious state is West Virginia, with 40.1% of its population reporting symptoms. Louisiana isn't far behind though with 36.6% of Louisiana residents reporting symptoms. According to KFF.org, in February 2023 alone, 39.1% of adults in Louisiana reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, compared to 32.3% of adults in the U.S.

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FYI, the national average is 28.7%... which underscores the fact that we've got issues when it comes to mental healthcare in Louisiana.

How can you alleviate anxiety?

This has been a lifelong struggle for me, but a friend of mine on Facebook posted a 21-Day Anxiety Challenge from a blog called Love + Marriage and a Baby Carriage and it caught my attention. I liked what it had to say, but I've also made some additions of my own at the end!

21 Day Anxiety Challenge

  1. Spend 20 minutes outside.

  2. Color a page in a coloring book.

  3. Write down five things you are grateful for.

  4. Get hydrated.

  5. Play loud music and dance.

  6. No social media day.

  7. Take a long bubble bath.

  8. Ten minutes of meditation.

  9. Do your favorite cardio exercise for 20 minutes.

  10. Go to bed early.

  11. Start a good vitamin regimen.

  12. Snuggle an animal.

  13. Mediate.

  14. Look up Hygge and learn more about it.

  15. Try a relaxing essential oil blend.

  16. Make a stress ball.

  17. Pick a time of day that will be just for you.

  18. Do something you are good at.

  19. Make a list of your anxieties.

  20. Comment on each anxiety with something you can do to calm it.

  21. Start the happiness challenge!

While I agree with pretty much all of these, even though I had to look up Hygge, I have a few of my own I'd like to add.

  1. Organize something, a drawer, a closet, your pantry. It'll leave you feeling accomplished!
  2. Take a yoga class! I have to get back to this myself. I haven't in a while, but I highly recommend the gentle yoga with meditation class offered at Empower Yoga in Benton.
  3. Read!
  4. Take a nap, just because!
  5. Do something for someone else, whether it's volunteering at a local shelter or just helping out a colleague at work, you gain more when you give.
  6. Foster an attitude of gratefulness and acknowledge your blessings daily. I know that's listed for day three above, but I try to do this daily.
  7. Pray.
  8. Tell your loved ones how much you love them.
  9. Handwrite a personal note.
  10. Get a mani/pedi
  11. Lastly, tend to your relationships. A simple text to tell someone you're thinking of them!

Read More: Hey Singles, Do the Work Before You Start Dating

Will you take the 21-Day Anxiety Challenge with me? Let me know and we can cheer each other on! This exercise is not meant to replace working with a mental health provider. If you ever feel like you need to talk and don't feel like you have anyone to talk to, call 988 or you can text "START" to 741-741 and a live, trained specialist will respond to you. It can be hard, I get it, I really do, but don't give up! YOU ARE WORTH IT! If you decide to join me or if you have some tips of your own, shoot me a message using our free app or send me an email at erin.bristol@townsquaremedia.com.

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