Everyone deals with anxiety differently. People new to sobriety will probably add their own methods, habits, and lists on combating anxiety, depression and other mental health hurdles.

Physicians can be quick — too quick sometimes — to push pills as a cure often with side effects that can seem worse than the main complain. The last thing someone newly sober wants are MORE.PILLS.

I reached out through HARO to find recovering individuals interested in sharing what they did to combat anxiety and depression. What I came away with was more than one surprising new way to battle depression & anxiety.

I found that often just working with your fingers to refashion a small piece of creation to reflect your desire is what’s needed. Here are a few ideas to do it:


Take care of  some plants. Ashley reports she sits outside with her dog and as she starts seedlings. Taking her time unwinding and concentrating on the small things makes her feel like a fine parent.


Vanessa is a shutterbug, and she has found self-portraiture as a method of dealing with panic and stress. Her photography helps her escape reality — even if just for a brief moment.

Used Into New

Beatrix likes to pick up chairs from the edge of the highway and reconstruct — and re-purpose — them into new and lovely items. She reports that her hobby helps her feet great. One of her aims is to discover a chair, reupholster it and then return it to the place in which she discovered it.

Get Outside

“Going out to jog and reaching the mountaintop is my release,” reports one reader going by the name, Lifebuoy

Change It Into Art

Dana Rae says she enjoys heading outdoors, locating a rounded stone by the riverbank and painting pictures on them. “The freestyle art is very therapeutic,” says Dana.

Body Paint

Charlotte has battled with worry her entire life. Three years ago, she offered to volunteer at a neighborhood carnival and began learning body art. “While I’m not at my best, getting this extra talent has helped change everything,” reports Charlotte.

Where Charlotte used to feel she must hide, designing new styles has changed that.

Scented Candles

When a reader, going by the name Ashro, graduated college and found himself out-of-work and with no schedule, his anxiety returned. “I needed to put my brain and hands occupied,” he said. Ashro found that making scented candles to be curative. “I filled hours creating the candles and a complete day had gone by without being anxious or nervous,” he reports.

Get a New Friend

Charlotte H. rescued a 3-year old Belgian Malinois service dog from a shelter. “When I found her, I was in a deep depression,” reports Charlotte. She credits the pet as the reason she is alive. She went through dog training with her dog, now named ‘Pepper’ and finds that Pepper has become her “teacher, savior and heart.”

Dream House

A reader going by the handle, ‘BeanLoser’ says he has been battling anxiety for four years — maybe longer. A year ago he began creating rooms on RoomStyler and advanced to producing entire houses in Sketchup.

Wrap Arrowheads

Audrey began wire wrapping arrowheads to combat anxiety. “I find having something to do with my hands helps me relax,” she said.


Crochet a blanket for a friend.

Nadine crochets gifts for friends for relief. “It’s not perfect medication, but it helps with my anxiety,” Nadine reports.