• Soph

Distractions for Anxiety

Sometimes we need to stop focusing on our thoughts and relax for a moment.

Photo by: Milo Nguyen

If you're like me, the things running through your head tend to take control of your mind, when all you need is power over yourself.


When I’m feeling overly stressed or attempting to prevent an anxiety attack, I turn to a few key distractions to ease my headspace.


Here are some of my favorites!


When in doubt, color it out!

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Price: Free with a printer, or around $7.00 – $14 (on average) for books


Art can be a great way to remind yourself there’s a world outside your own mind. Sometimes it’s really therapeutic to just sit by a window, throw some music on, and just go wild with some colored pencils or slather paint on a whole canvas!


If you’re like me and not as artistically inclined, but still want to try your hand at an artistic outlet, these adult coloring books (that I found online at amazon but can be found almost anywhere) have been my go-to for a few years now! And if you’re ballin’ on a budget, find some coloring pages on google to print out for some creative peace.


Try something mentally challenging!


Photo by: Jaron Whelan










Price: $5.99—$19.99 (Prices are listed for the physical games mentioned; subject to change based on what kind of game you get)


Unlike art, the objective isn’t to zen you out, it’s to turn all that anxiety into something productive; sometimes you need something else to focus on.


Games can be a good tool to use when you need a quick reset, plus it gives you an excuse to socialize with others. Try grabbing a board game, like monopoly or uno, or if you don’t have the time for an in-person get-together, apps like Game Pigeon (on Apple products) or Evil Apples (available on most devices) are a great way to keep the connective stimulation going.


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Price: $10.99 (on average)


Another great activity is Sudoku! Playing a few rounds is an awesome way to distract yourself and forget what you’re stressing about. Personally, it gives me a place to put all my focus. Although placing those numbers perfectly can be a lot more taxing than you’d imagine, I promise it’s what makes it such a great mental distraction. You can play it on your computer, but if you need a rest from technology, there are hundreds of amazing gamebooks with the same puzzles.


Meditation is so important.

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Price: Free or Subscription to $5.99 a month (a great investment if you find headspace helps you!)


We all live busy lives and need time to ourselves each day to decompress, the two favorites of mine being guided meditation and “free” meditation.


Guided meditations have a speaker gently leading you through certain exercises. They can be different forms of breathing, various mental strategies to offload stress, or even simple narrations. If you’re interested in guided meditations but don’t know where to start, I highly recommend using “Headspace” (available on the app store, Netflix, and youtube). They have a range of voice actors and activities that have helped my mindset, and “Rainy Day Antiques” has been a go-to one of my friends swears by.


If you find guided meditations to be distracting, you can try “free” meditations. Basically a mix between silence or a favorite background noise on youtube (like ocean waves, or tibetan bowls) and whatever else you’d like: aromatherapy, breathing exercises, etc.


Find your local metaphysical shop and splurge on some crystals! You won’t regret it.


Photo by: Dan Farrell










Price: Typically starting at $3.00 but depending on size and type the price may increase.


My love for shiny rocks goes far deeper than a few sun-catching glows. Many people believe that crystals have healing, soothing energies. While you can buy these magnificent gems online, I recommend going in person in order to truly get a feel for their energy. Sometimes you don’t pick the crystal, the crystal picks you. When you're overwhelmed, grab a stone, like red jasper (to ground) or yellow quartz (to relieve panic). Its energies will transfer to you, giving you great relief.


Grabbing a jewel and setting my worries free has been a great distraction for me. Becoming engulfed with the crystal’s energy helps bring down my anxiety and slow many of my chaotic thoughts.