You know the feeling; you occasionally feel jumpy or restless, fidgety or jittery; often the feeling comes when you are overtired. The term “antsy” is derived from the longer phrase “ants in your pants” According to www.quora.com, the 1934 Chick Webb recording “I Can’t Dance I have Ants in My Pants”, may have made the term popular, or it may have come from Army General Hugh S. Johnson in the mid-1930s as per www.phrases.org.us, from the Dictionary of Cliques. You may know it as the heebie jeebies or in Yiddish as the spilkes. Whatever the origin of the term, you are looking for constructive uses when nervous energy creeps in, things to do that are not financially stupid such as shopping when you aren’t really looking for something specific to buy.
Physical exercise is the perfect antidote for restlessness. If you have a gym or swim membership, head over to the facility and work out and attend an exercise class such as Zumba or aerobics. You will certainly feel better physically and emotionally as you move around and sweat. Go somewhere where you can hit a bucket of golf balls. Or take a walk either alone or with a friend or neighborhood walking group. If running or jogging or bicycling excites you, do one of those activities to calm yourself. If you have a basket on your bike or a reasonable backpack, you could make the grocery store your destination and pick up a few items for dinner.
Get your house in good order.
There are lots of things that you can do inside and outside your house, relatively mundane tasks to dispel nervous energy. Outside, you can get out in your garden and pull weeds or trim shrubbery, or edge the lawn. If you don’t have a yard that requires that sort of attention, help a friend or neighbor in their backyard, or head over to your church or synagogue, throw some yard tools in the back of your vehicles, and spruce up the grounds there. People will be very appreciative of your efforts and you will likely feel calmer as you beautify the area. Or try vacuuming the inside of your car and then washing it thoroughly will be satisfying, or clean out the glove box or trunk.
Inside the house, you can reorganize a closet or bookshelf and bring items that you no longer need to the nearest resale store or charity. Or dust or vacuum areas that you often miss during routine weekly cleaning, such as underneath furniture or in corners. Step into the kitchen and try cooking or baking something from a new recipe that you got from a friend or that you found online.
Tap into your creative side.
Do you like to make quilts or knit or crochet? Make something for someone in your family or for a gift to a relative. Or make a lap blanket and donate it to your nearby nursing home. The American Heart Association, www.heart.org has their Little Hats, Big Hearts program seeking crocheted little red hats for infants in distress. Or learn to make jewelry. Learn to be a better photographer. Take your point and shoot camera or phone and head outdoors and take pictures.
Try something new.
Do you know anything about your ancestry? Interview a relative about the family tree or search online at family search.org or ancestry.com or some other genealogy website and begin your research. Learn to play a musical instrument. Possibly you have a piano in your home; try to learn to play a new piece of music. Try your hand at writing. Maybe something interesting happened to you in third grade that would make an interesting short story; have fun and embellish it and turn it into fiction.
Take a walk or drive to a new grocery store; leisurely walk up and down each aisle and purchase at least one item that you have never bought before, such as an unusual type of fruit or vegetable or food from the international aisle and take it home and include it in the family dinner. Wander through one of the large home improvement stores or a hardware store and get ideas of somethings you might want to make to for the interior or exterior of your home or for the yard or garden.
You can learn to transform your nervous energy into a friend rather than a demon by channeling it into something that improves your life in some way without breaking the bank.