This post is going to be a little different to what I normally post and if I’m honest, I’m feeling quite scared and vulnerable as I type. But, I’ve been on a bit of a journey over the past month to six weeks and it’s still ongoing however I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings over a topic that is still quite sensitive and a way of trying to over come it, without brushing it under the carpet or failing to acknowledge it at all.
About six weeks ago, after over a month of not being able to bring myself to go in to work I decided to see my doctor. I don’t know where it came from but one day I experienced a huge panic attack on the way to work leaving me too scared to go in. I would never wish a panic attack on anyone. This happened for the following four days until I gave up trying to go in. I still can’t figure out what triggered this, and it’s something I’m working on still. After pouring my heart out to my doctor, she prescribed me anti-anxiety/depressant medication for anxiety and stress. (Hearts pounding as I type still).
I’ve always been really outgoing and I didn’t want to let this beat me and that is what has inspired this post. I know I can’t ignore it, so why not learn to stop letting anxiety beat me and change me as a person? That’s what I’m trying to do and tonight’s post is about 5 things you can do to stay positive (or what helps me anyway). If anyone would like a post explaining my anxiety battle in more detail, let me know. It’s not something to be ashamed of and more people should be able to feel like they can speak up.
1. Talk to someone – your friends, family, partner… they love you and care about you. If you’re struggling, they will help you. After seeing my doctor, I still felt a heavy weight on my shoulders because I was trying to battle this alone. Find someone you trust, tell them everything, make them understand and let them help. My boyfriend has been my rock without patronising me and making me feel silly and I feel so much better knowing if I’m having a not so great day, he will be there with ice cream, my favourite film and a hand to hold until I’m feeling better. We all need someone to help us when we need it the most.
2. Live day by day – before seeing a doctor, I believe my panic attacks got so bad because I was panicking about them before they’d even happened. I was playing scenarios over in my head before I’d even left the house, even the night before. Now, I’ve started to take each day as they come. One bad day will not define the rest of my week, not unless I allow it to. I’m trying to take each day as it comes, dealing with obstacles as and when they approach me, rather than panicking about scenarios that may never even happen. Anxiety doesn’t go away over night, if even at all, but if these small things can ease it, surely it’s worth a try?
3. Have some you time – We all need time to ourselves, to unwind and relax. Find your comforts and use them, at least twice a week. For me it’s a bubble bath, a good book and a chilled out playlist on Spotify with a face mask on. Just that half an hour allows me to unwind and escape a busy day. I can relax and get lost in what I’m reading and I find some of the Spotify playlists so soothing. I’ve also found blogging really helps. My brain is so consumed with ideas and being creative that there isn’t room to fit many more thoughts in there! Finding a hobby is always an amazing thing.
4. Exercise – If I’m having a day where I don’t feel particularly great, this is something I have to really push myself to do, especially if I’m going to the gym at busy times. However I have to admit, I always feel so much better when I leave. Exercise is a way of relieving stress and the endorphin’s released leave me feeling accomplished and much happier. Even if you want to stay at home to exercise, get yourself some weights or a fitness DVD and you’re sorted!
5. Don’t give up – Anxiety will not disappear overnight. It won’t disappear in a week. I’d be a liar if I said these tips have gotten rid of it for me. They haven’t, but they’re helping me to deal with it and understand it a lot better than I was doing. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself; your best is good enough. Think of one thing at the end of each day that’s made you smile or made you proud and hold on to that rather than focusing on the negatives. It’s okay to have bad days, don’t be disappointed by it. But, it’s the way we recover after those bad days that help us along.
My heart is still pounding knowing I’m posting this any minute! I’m by no means claiming I’m cured, or that everyone should follow these tips. But I want to be open and as honest as possible on my blog and I believe this is a topic we shouldn’t hide away from. I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and there will be a new post coming Thursday! X