Hey guys! I haven’t done a mental health post in quite a while on here, and I always believe that discussing these sort of themes are incredibly important. Before I continue, I just want to say thank you to Sophie for letting me post this on her blog, please do check your blog out, it is truly amazing!
I have battled with anxiety for more years than I can count, and sometimes it really does seem like a daily battle. What seems like easy challenges for some (going out to grab a pint of milk for example), is something I have to psych myself up for. This is why I have made a list of ways to kick anxiety up the bottom, because there is no reason to allow it to win.
This may sound like something simple and easy to do, but for me, anxiety shatters your belief in doing anything, especially the things you love, for the fear of doing it wrong and ruining everything. For me, I love to bake – so when I am feeling down or cannot muster the strength to do anything, I go in the kitchen and bake a cake. Even it it tastes awful, I have dedicated my time to something and I instantly feel less useless.
Although everyone says this and it can have varying levels of success, talking to others really can help. A problem shared is a problem halved, maybe reducing the amount of stress you have will wind down the anxiety for a while.
My key piece of advice is to not to force yourself to do things that will push your personal boundaries, or do not need to be done. This will do nothing but push you 3 steps backwards. If you are not ready any additional pressures it will just become overwhelming, slowing down the process of getting better.
Make a list of achievements – whether daily or monthly, believe you have done some good. They can be from the tiniest of things to the large – every win is a big win in my eyes, and they add up, they really do.
On that note, list the positives in your life. When in a rut it is easy to only think of all the bad things, but there is usually some good in the bad. So focus on that, reducing the time spent dwelling on those bad feelings.
Change up your routine. For many, this would seem way too much, and that I understand, but for others this could be an opportunity. When I was too anxious to leave the house (I’d have a panic attack simply at the thought), I would call a friend to come round and help me step out of the front door and go for a walk around the block. Although for some, this will seem an overreaction, for myself, it was tough, but had to be done. Otherwise I would just become the girl that no one saw because she’d never leave her house, and I did not want that.
One thing that took years to come to terms with, is that many will not understand mental health. Not even know what to say, this could even be professionals, who find themselves using a set of codes to offer a generic piece of advice that will miraculously make you better. No one will know 100% of what goes on in your head, and coming to terms with that fact will help with getting better, rather than expecting a cure to everything.
Pamper yourself. This is the first thing I lose the ability to do when my anxiety takes over. Why should I look after myself? No one cares what I look like. Prioritising yourself, even just for an hour, rather than comparing yourself to others, can be a blessing in terms of well-being. Take a bath, use a bath bomb, do your whole skincare routine, wear something nice – anything that will put a smile on your face, even for a split second.
Remember, you are never alone. There are always people to talk to, professionals, loved ones, or even strangers online. Whatever it may be, there should never be a reason for anxiety to get you down, and if you think it is, time to make that change to begin the road to recovery.
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