Last week I did a post on my journey with anxiety. I spoke about how it had affected me and how I have learnt to manage it. I was so happy with the positive response I got from that post. A couple of you had reached out to me to speak about your own journey with your mental health. This type of discussion is so important.
One of the main things that have helped manage my anxiety is making time for myself. Doing the things that calm me, connect me with my (something chakra), I’ll speak more about this in another post.
Self-care is a new phrase that has come into our world or at least the online world. I guess this is because we are only just starting to speak about mental health. Those horrible, yet very real illnesses such as, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, bipolar and more, in the last couple of years. Why this is I don’t know as these illnesses, have been around for A BLOODY LONG TIME.
I’ve suffered from depression in 2014/2015 and luckily managed to escape that dark cloud fairly quickly (took about a year or two) however he left behind it’s younger cousin anxiety. So, I thought I’d share how I keep myself from sinking back into that dark hole, depression and just some general tips if you too suffer from anxiety.
I want to start by saying, you are never alone. No matter how much you think you are, or anxiety tells you no one cares, people do care and you are NEVER alone. If you’re reading this then you are already halfway there to suppressing that stupid little voice that is telling you the cruellest things about yourself. Y’know why you’re halfway there? because you’re actively looking for ways to combat that voice.
I have quite a few things that I do to suppress my anxiety:
Taking a bath
Talking about it
Going for a walk
Turning my phone off
Writing things down
Eating my favourite food
Above is a list of things I have tried and work for me. Sometimes I’ll have to do one or two but sometimes I’ll have to do more. If I’m having a particularly bad day then it usually always results in putting myself to sleep.
This is actually my top self-care tip. For me, a bath can range from hot water and my naked body, to bubbles, bath bombs, dried petals, essential oils, candles and wine. About 80% of the time when I take a bath I will take the opportunity to meditate and just be alone with my breath. Whenever I get out and pull out the plug, I imagine all those negative thoughts going down the plug hole along with the water.
If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll know I exercise at least 5 days a week. Exercise has been the best way to feel good about myself. For me it’s not just about staying healthy in a physical sense, it’s more about keeping my mind healthy too. It’s scientifically proven that exercise releases endorphins into our body that connect with cells in our brain that reduces our perception of pain. Exercise allows me, for 30-40 min each day, to be free from my thoughts and focus on getting my body moving and nothing else. My mind is usually clear whilst I’m exercising and stays that way for a good while after too.
Sometimes we get so consumed by whats on our screens we don’t actually notice whats going on around us. When I feel myself having a down day, becoming irritable or those thoughts of negativity come back I turn off my phone or at least put it away for a while. I’ll take myself for a walk, play with Arthur, write or read and just be. On Monday, Jack, Arthur and I went for a walk round Bedgbury with his sister and brother in law and their kids. I didn’t really look at my phone, maybe only when I took pictures of the beautiful scenery, it was literally the best way to start the week.
Talking about how we are feeling is so important. We’re pack animals. We aren’t meant to be alone. It’s our natural instinct to seek out other people who are similar to us or are going through similar situations. This is a tricky one for me because I think like any of us, sometimes talking about whats troubling us can be difficult and sometimes we just would rather not speak about it at all. I’ve got to the stage now when I know if I need to talk to someone about how I’m feeling or not. Not everything always needs to be spoken about, some days you just have a shit day/week and that’s the end of it. However, I do believe if those days/weeks turn into a constant state of sadness and feeling crap then this is the time when talking about it is a therapeutic thing to do, even if it’s painful whilst doing it.
There you have it. My top self-care tips. If you’re looking for some self-care tips to do when you have no money, go and check out a post I did last year >here<.
I feel really passionate about being able to talk openly about self-care, anxiety and general mental health. Opening the window to discussing these topics is so important as I want to fight that stereotype that people who suffer are sad 24/7, not fun-loving exciting people and that it controls them.
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