You are not alone
Hey, I'm writing this blog today even though every part of me doesn't want to, I don't want to write it because I'm currently plagued with my anxiety...I know my whys or triggers...but it still makes it uncomfortable. But importantly for me I want this site to be authentic, and I started it to talk about my recovery and mental health so what better time to write then when I'm feeling like crap...for want of a better description! Its feels scary putting it out there even if nobody's reading, however if one person, just one , reads this and feels less alone, less isolated and less understood then it will be worth it.
Ok, so here's what I've learnt over the years you cannot die from anxiety, sure you can feel physical effects, insomnia, lack of appetite, lack of emotional connections, lack of desire to achieve, but, and this is very important you cannot die, you can do things to help yourself and it will pass......phew!! and do you know what every time you come out the other side you are stronger.
Secondly, it does not make you weak, lesser than, or less likely to achieve, infact many high achieveing people over the years have suffered with these issues.... Winston Churchill ran the country...through a war for godsake ;) You can carry on with the things you planned, you can achieve your dreams, you do not, I repeat not need to put your life on hold......you do however need to prioritise the tasks you have in front of you, for a few days or even weeks.... here's my 5 top tips, my go too's when i feel lie this;
Always make time for selfcare..... however this looks for you, exercise, yoga, reading meditation preferably something not involving a screen.
Eat healthy.... its so tempting to reach for junk, sugar, but this effects blood sugar levels which can have a massive impact of moods and hypersensitivty
Practice affirmations...such as, This will pass, I am strong, I am worth it, I will feel better soon.... don't use the word hope, this is a crap word, action is better and telling the rain positive info will help rewire old habits (you can find lots of affirmation meditations on youtube) I have a book, filled with random ideas, I write 10 things I'm gtaeful for and repeat them 10 times.....like this, Today I am grateful for my healthy kids, thank you, thank you etc etc .....
Avoid caffeine, anyone who knows me or follows me on social media knows this is my big love, but it has to go, caffeine releases cortisal which effects adrenaline which in turn sends our bodies into fight or flight mode.... helpful when we were cavemen not so much in the queue at Waitrose!
Say no to things you don't need or want to do, you don't have to turn up to everything and all your friends will still be there when you get better....
Try and relax I know its hard, but even if your not sleeping, lie in bed, read something light or watch a romcom on Netflix...I'm not going to say have a bath and light a candle, someone told me this and I really thought god you don't understand anxiety and depression ;)
And first and foremost be honest with the people around you.... that's what family and friends are for... think about it? are you there for folk when they need you? of course you are so its not a problem if its your turn for some tlc
I recognise for me that anxiety is how my brain chemicals are effected by change, I have a child starting secondary school...new era, I have a child suffering from some anxiety of his own...having to manage that, I'm taking on new work challenges which are stretching me out of my comfort zone but do you know what? I don't want to be forced to stay in that zone because of something I know will pass....plus I will feel frikkin awesome when it does pass, and I've achieved my goals.
So to anxiety I say screw you I shall carry on doing new things, for myself and my family and I won't give into you... no matter how hard you try.
The things I've found helped this time round are;
Yoga, Miracle Morning (read the book by Hal Elrod, do the challenge its life changing) essential oils, I've always used lavender but have now looked further into how they can help me in tonnes of ways...they are awesome, they literally rock and are all over my house in everyway! Affirmations.....I know cringey but trust me they work....Tell yurself you can do this, Tell yourself you are brave, Tell yourself you can do anything
Look at the brain like a muscle that needs working, if you don't exercise the muscle it stays the same shape, untoned!, if you tell yourself a new narrative, a different story over and over despite how you feel the wiring in the brain will eventually change.... but...if sitting on the sofa all day is whats needed then this is ok once in a while too, anyone with any other illness would do it and we must remember that this is a disease....a dis aease of the brain.
So, how did my day look today, I woke up full of anxiety, I set my alarm for 6.30am did my affirmations, meditated for a few mins then took my anxious little man to his first day in upper school, I handled his anxeity with positive vibes and reassurance. Then I went for a run, forced myself to go, along the sea wall, endorphins tick, fresh air tick, peace tick, uplifting views tick all good for the soul, Then I listened to podcasts about buiding my business, these are all about feeling raring to go and confident....do I feel like that whilst in this space..... do I hell! But its going into that brain ready for when I do and I'm back on track.
Recovery and anxiety need tools, I imagine mine as an actual tool box like one my dad had in the garage when i was small.... sometimes I only need a small screw driver sometimes, bloody hell, the whole lot is out... but practice and reaching out to others is key to my healthy, happy life. Be Honest even if its only with one person you trust.
A drink will never make anxiety better, I didn't know this, well I did but the other options seemed to painful, to sit with it wasn't an option, today I know alcohol is like pouring gas on fire for mental health problems, so during this time I up my meetings, stay plugged in to others in recovery and reach out for help by helping others.
On a final note I have a massive girl crush on Jen Gotch, she runs www.bando.com and does amazing podcasts on anxiety and depression, she is so funny and self deprecating..... look for them om Itunes... your welcome babes! when I have my own podcast she will be my first guest ;) reach high haha!
As always sending love and hugs