Nice Girls, Speak Up: Advocating For Yourself

Young woman with arm in the air holding a microphone

Do you find yourself in uncomfortable situations but don’t know what to say? Do you say yes to things that you really want to say no to? Do you feel controlled by other people’s needs rather than your own?

Advocating for yourself can be challenging. It is even more heightened if you have anxiety. Setting boundaries and being your own advocate are essential to maintaining your overall well-being. When you stand up for yourself, you care for your needs, wants and feelings. This can result in better mental health as you regain control of your own life.

Here are some steps you can take to help you advocate for yourself effectively:

1. Know Your Triggers

Understanding what triggers your anxiety can help you better prepare and advocate for yourself when these feelings arise.

2. Engage is self-care

Self-care is crucial for managing anxiety. Take time for yourself to engage in activities that you enjoy, whether it’s reading, hiking, or cooking. Doing things that make you happy can improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress and worry. How does this happen? Self-care boosts feel-good chemicals circulating in your body. These include dopamine and serotonin. Naturally, this can result in reduced stress and an increased feeling of well-being.

3. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is a great way to manage anxiety and depression. Physical activity releases endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals. Exercise can also reduce stress by lowering the levels of a stress hormone called cortisol. This results in reduced anxiety and greater calmness. To integrate exercise into your day-to-day routine, it’s helpful to find activities you enjoy. This does not necessarily mean you have to hit to gym or have a high intensity workout. Instead, incorporate daily walks, play a sport, or engage in other activities that elevate your heart rate and get your body moving.

Although we cannot predict the economic future or control our employment status, having anxiety around an unknown future is to be expected. We combat our worry by managing our unhelpful thoughts to reframing them into helpful ones, which can impact how we feel and what we do.