Although I am predominantly a confident and happy person I struggle quite a lot with anxiety and depression. The depression comes and goes and I’m not sure if that is just how it is or whether I have got so good at wearing a mask to convince the world that I am okay that I have actually started to believe it myself, either way I guess I am lucky enough that I can usually manage the depression quite well without medication with talk therapy and self care. The anxiety however, is my Achilles heel. It sneaks up out of nowhere and causes chaos that makes me even more anxious so I end up in a vicious, never ending cycle.
To give you a bit more of an insight, my latest anxiety attack has been a constant struggle for the past week and was brought on by a chest infection which had me sat in tears on my breakfast room floor at 3.30am last Thursday struggling to catch my breath. I tried to call my doctor first thing on Friday morning but couldn’t get through until mid afternoon because despite the surgery opening at 8am, they didn’t remove the answer phone message stating the surgery was closed until gone 9am and then every time I called they were engaged. 20 calls later I got an answer, explained the situation to the receptionist and even though you could clear hear that I was struggling to breathe I was told to call back on Monday as no appointments were available until the following week.
I spent the whole weekend struggling on but not wanting to venture to A&E because I didn’t feel like it was a true emergency and the NHS in the UK is so busy I just didn’t want to be a burden. In hindsight though, I probably should have just swallowed my pride and gone because what resulted on the Monday was just ridiculous.
Now, you are probably reading the above thinking that it sounds like something out of a sitcom and you would probably be right but it’s no secret that I have been having a pretty rough time over the last few months and I honestly wish that I had been brave enough to put my hands up and get some proper help, and learn more techniques on how to help cope. So, here I am telling you what has helped me so far and hoping that you will share your coping strategies with me too 🙂
I am happy to say that I reached out and asked for help, professional help that is and will be attending a meeting at the Staffordshire Wellbeing Service on Monday so we can go over what sort of treatment plans would help me. I also need to go back to the doctor to talk about potentially being put on beta blockers for a while to see if that can help normalise the hormone imbalance within my brain.
Other than that I have made a few changes in my life and tried to eliminate as much stress as possible so I can focus on getting better. Here are a few of the things that I find are helping:
- Getting at least 7-8 hours sleep per night so I wake up nice and well rested, and more importantly recharged for the next day.
- Watching funny clips on youtube because research shows that laughter can reduce some symptoms of anxiety and depression, plus it’s always good to giggle.
- Keep a clean home – I hate cleaning but I find it really difficult to relax if my house is messy so a clean home = a more relaxed mind.
- I started a gratitude journal so that whenever I feel down or anxious I can flip to the page in my bullet journal and see everything that I am thankful for.
- Learn to breathe – yeah I know this one sounds a little stupid as breathing is a natural process that we tend not to think about but when I was at the hospital I was told that if I feel myself panicking I just need to take some nice, deep breaths – in through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Meditation/Yoga – I haven’t tried this one yet but I am going to 🙂
- Do somethings for yourself – see my blog on Self Care for more info
- Disconnect with the world – turn off your emails, stay off social media and just reconnect with yourself without all the distractions of the cyber world around you.
- Spend more time with those you love – hang out with friends, call your family and stop pushing everyone away because you feel like you need to be on your own – trust me, it doesn’t help.
- Cuddle a baby or a pet – because who doesn’t feel better after that 🙂 – I feel like I shouldn’t need to say this but just in case – if you don’t have access to a pet or a baby please don’t just go out and find one, you may end up in trouble, lol – there are plenty of cute photos on instagram that should do the trick 🙂
Thanks for reading and I hope that if you suffer with anxiety in any way these little tips work for you. Remember, the most important thing in the world is your health so please don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it – There are a lot of great professionals out there that can help and you know where I am if you need to reach out x
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