First off, I just want to say Haydy I hope you’re having a nice break. I’m not at all jealous. Countryside, fresh air and a hot tub. Sounds like utter heaven. So you better be making the most of it and having some serious ‘RnR’.
Now on to why I’m actually here and that is to blog. I was going to do a blog on why and how I am setting up my new business but when I actually started to put fingers to keyboard nothing came out. Last time I guest blogged for Squibb Vicious I shared with you my thoughts on how to stay motivated and get out of the slump so this time I have decided to take it one step further. One thing I have always suffered with is anxiety. For as long as I can remember I was irritable, would panic at the silliest thing and question every decision I made or involved me. My brain would be going a million miles an hour and physically I was all over the place.
I lived like this for years and just put it down to stress or hormones and it wasn’t until six or so years ago that the doctor sat me down and said “You suffer from anxiety” After initially fighting it and telling them to not be so daft, I looked into it further and suddenly realised that the doctor was right.
Over the years, I’ve learnt a lot about what anxiety means, how I react to certain situations and how many people around me suffer with some level of anxiety. For me one of the biggest things was learning how to cope with it and I wanted to share some of the things that have worked for me. Not only are these good for anxiety but they are good for stress busting after a bad day in the office.
The biggest tip I can give anyone suffering with anxiety is find a distraction. This is a lot easier said than done and certainly takes practice. It is not as easy as flicking on the TV and boom its ok. This could be anything from an adult colouring book, these are great for slowing your mind right down, doing something crafty, watching a movie or reading a favourite book. My favourite way of distracting myself is sitting down with my cross stitch. It takes all my brain power and concentration and at the end of it you have something to be proud of.
Pamper yourself – this screams as obvious but when you feel like the world is against you and your motivation levels are through the floor this can be tough. But, trust me it’s a winner. Having a hot bath with bubbles and bombs, face masks and body scrubs followed by painting your nails is seriously time-consuming. It’s guaranteed to make you feel better and is also a perfect distraction.
Treat yourself to something. This doesn’t need to be something expensive it could be a new pair of socks, pj’s or a new candle. Perhaps even a trashy magazine to scroll through. I’ve known people who cope with their anxiety by getting buried in a crossword puzzle so even the puzzle books can work.
Enjoy the simple things! When the word mindfulness is thrown around people think it’s all therapy mumbo jumbo but actually it’s super easy and is a great way to calm yourself down. Mindfulness is about slowing down and taking notice of what you are doing right now and nothing else. This could be anything from watching the world go by, looking at what people are doing to counting the leaves on the tree outside the window. There are lots of good books on being mindful but a favourite of mine are the Ruby Wax ones as she puts a good down to earth spin on it. For me, she takes a load of mumbo jumbo stuff out.
This next tip, I really struggled with. I used to fall asleep or laugh hysterically when I started out. But, practice does make perfect when it comes to meditation. I went through about 12 different types till I found one that works and after a lot of hunting I found a great app on my phone by Andrew Johnson which worked perfectly for me. He does a whole series of them depending on what you are seeking and I cannot recommend them enough.
My final tip is sleep. This is probably the hardest one to nail down but a good nights sleep really does work wonders. Get a good routine going with some sleep tea and turning off electronics an hour or so before bed and winding down. Lavender fragrances also work perfectly to get you in the sleepy state. When I was at my worst I also used valerian as this is a herbal sedative to help send me into noddy land. It can make you a bit groggy the next day so trying a valerian tea first might be a good start.
If your anxiety is still getting on top of you and bubbling away don’t be afraid to talk to someone and open up. Perhaps see a doctor. Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I think it makes you stronger in the long term.
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