So in my last post I briefly spoke about my experience with anxiety and how unbearable it got this last year. It's actually coming up to a year since the time it all started to get really bad for me. Which is so weird, because it doesn't seem so long ago, but it lasted for what seemed like a life time. At the moment it feels hard to write about it because I am in really good place. I am on top of my anxiety. No longer trying to fight it and just riding it. I am truly content with how my life is right now. So why am I going to write about it?
Well, I think it's really important for people to understand that things like depression and anxiety don't just 'get better' and 'go away' like a cold, i'm sorry to break it to yaaa but it's always gunna be there. But just kinda hibernating for a while. Until you're tired, ill, worried, stressed, scared... that's when it pops back up, well for me it is anyways, joys, joys joys.
When i'm in the mist of a bad patch I find it really difficult to be rational. If I was to step back out of the situation and really think and understand my thoughts, well i'm sure they wouldn't bother me that much and i'd be able to say 'Em babes you're being a tit'. But that's easier said than done and like I mentioned in my last post, I've let it get a hold of me and pull me down to really low, dark place on a number of occasions.
On a positive note, this blog post is looking to shine a light on some of the things I've found helpful when managing my anxiety. When I've had anxiety in the past I've let it overwhelm and engulf me. I've tried to fight it, stop it and change it which as a result only makes it worse. I've come to the realisation through self help and the aid of personal therapy that I've just got to accept it as a part of me and actually the feelings and thoughts that are happening to me are my bodies way of trying to work through something. For me it's usually core emotions of anger, loneliness and frustration at myself or others that i'm not recognising nor processing. A lot of my anxiety comes from being overly judgemental of myself with feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy. So a massive thing for me was developing compassion for myself and developing in self love, which is obviously an ongoing process.
What has helped me personally is surrounding myself with beautiful souls and like minded people. Making time for the people that are important to me and make me happy and feel comfortable. Keeping connected and not hiding away for too long if I feel low. Getting in touch with friends and checking in. Majority of the time your friends and family have felt the same at some point or another. Its good to talk and 'bond' over idiosyncrasies.
Taking time out to do things I enjoy. Like yoga, writing and cooking as well as giving myself a break if all I wana do is nothing but rest and listen to my favourite songs on repeat. Actually, one of the things that has helped me massively is music and the nutty dancing that I do along side it. I have found that dancing really helps me release built up tension and anxiety. Plus it's fun, so I make sure I have a little boogie every day and look forward to every opportunity where I can dance til my lil legs fall off, even if I look stupid.
Another thing that has helped me is putting into perspective my anxiety. So i'll literally write down everything that causes me anxiety/ worry/ stress and write next to it whether I have any control over it or not. And well, if I have no control over it then its not worth worrying about really and the stuff I have control over, I can take control of. Sounds silly and pretty obvious but for me seeing it written down, brings it home to me and helps me be a bit more rational.
Making an active effort to live in the present. I've often found myself fretting about the future and regretting the past. Neither I have any control over and to be honest are a waist of my time. I try to consciously regonise all the 'good' things I have in my life and don't get me wrong, when ive been low, its hard to see anything at all. But then when things start to seem brighter this is the time to make a note. So i'll list all of the things I love in my life, from my friends and family, to the feeling of a hot shower on my skin or the smell of freshly washed sheets. These can act as a gentle reminder when you feel yourself crashing.
So basically, what i'm saying is don't let it get a hold of you. Surf with it if you can, not against it. And give yourself a break if all you want to do is burrito yourself in your duvet for a couple of days. Where there is dark, there is always light, tis' a fact. Things aren't always sunshine and flowers but I think if you try to understand yourself and behaviours you'llsee the patterns forming which can really help you manage your feelings and emotions.