Wednesday, 20 July 2016

How I Manage My Anxiety

Photo reading Be Peaceful Be Happy Be Whole on a white background

Anxiety has taken over my life in the past few months. I’ve always been an excessive worrier (just ask my parents), but it’s gotten to the point that I’ve taken the big scary step of asking my GP for help with it, because it's starting to get out of control and affect a lot of my life.  While I’m on the waiting list for CBT, I’ve put together a list of things that have helped me try and manage on a daily basis, and I thought I would share them with you, in hopes this could help someone in a similar position. Remember, what works for me may not work for you. If you find that reading doesn’t relax you, that’s okay. Try something else. If you find something else that works better, let me know. I’d love to hear your ideas!


Immerse Yourself
Whether it’s the constant pressure of interacting with friends and family, or running a blog or business, sometimes everyone just needs to switch off. I find that the perfect way to just completely escape everything is to immerse myself in a good book. Get in bed, switch off all music and TV and throw yourself into your book. If you’re feeling bold, you could even switch off your phone. Shocking idea, right? Personally, if I’m really worked up, it distracts me from the situation to give me enough time to calm down to deal with what’s going on with a clear head. If reading isn’t something that works for you, maybe try a puzzle book. Colouring is another thing that has really taken off this past year. When I can’t bring myself to focus on a book, I bring out my colouring book and pencils.

Meditate
There are some really good meditation and mindfulness apps out there for download. Sometimes it just takes lying down quietly and acknowledging what is stressing you out to help you deal with it a lot better. Heavy has a great list of apps that you can download, or there are plenty of guided meditation videos on YouTube.

Exercise/Go for a Walk
My Mum always used to tell me to go outside because the fresh air would do me good. I find that when my anxiety is at its worst, and it feels like everything is closing in around me, if I step outside it feels like a huge weight is taken off of my chest. Sitting by the River, watching the waves and feeling the breeze helps me take a step back and re-evaluate. Try and bring some mindfulness practise into this: Pay attention to the breeze on your skin, the sunshine on your face.

Be a little selfish
Don’t just go out and spend money willy-nilly, particularly if you’re worried about your finances. Use a face mask, take a long bath, light a candle. One of my favourite candles at the minute is Baylis and Harding’s French Lavender and Vanilla Bean. It’s such a nice balance of the two scents, that it’s gentle enough to burn while you’re reading in bed, winding down after a long day. It’s like having aromatherapy.

Do something you love
Whether this is eating pizza in bed, yoga, knitting, drawing, colouring, writing; Do something to nourish your soul. I tend to neglect a lot of my hobbies when I’m in a particularly bad state, but when I get back into the flow of doing what I love, I find it easier to snap out of it and get myself back on track.

Keep a diary
If you’re having a day plagued with troubling thoughts or feelings, write them down. Acknowledge them. Keep them in the diary, and put them to one side. Anxieties.com have a great article on this practice, and I find this to be incredibly helpful.

I cannot emphasise enough that I am not a Doctor. If you think you have anxiety, depression, any other mental health issue that you need help with, please speak to your Doctor or someone you love. No matter how lonely or overwhelmed you may feel now, you are not alone.


2 comments :

  1. I really enjoy colouring as well, it's a great distraction and a real stress-reliever! Writing down your thoughts before you go to sleep really helps me - it stops me constantly stressing while I'm trying to get some rest! Thanks for sharing your tips, lovely!

    Abbey ♥ www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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  2. These are such great tips, I know sooo many people will be able to relate, thanks for sharing!! Xxx

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