If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know that I suffer from anxiety (well, duh Jess!). It means that even though I write all about anxiety and it looks like I have my life together, I don’t. The past few months, although I hate to admit it, have been high-anxiety. But it’s faded away now and I can sit here and write this to you.
It suddenly dawned on my that if I am going through this right now, no doubt you’ve been there too. How do you deal with it? How do you bring yourself back out of that?
I’ve got some tips for you now. These aren’t just meaningless tips either, these are from the heart. There’s nothing worse reading something that tells you what to do and not how to do it. So, here goes!
1. Forgive yourself for anxiety getting the best of you
The problem with anxiety is that is messes with your brain. It makes you build up walls and makes it hard to give yourself time to heal. You want to be perfect all of the time and you want to always be hard and strong.
It just doesn’t work out that way I’m afraid.
Anxiety is tough. It wraps itself around you and won’t ever really let you get away. It has a permanent hold on you that is difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of. So give yourself some credit. Let it hold you for a while, as anxiety can sometimes be the only routine you may ever have.But once you let it in and accept that you might be suffering more than usual, allow yourself time to recover. Give yourself weeks/months to come back up again. Trust me I’m right there with you. I’m angry at myself and currently thrashing my keyboard writing this because I’m still angry at myself. But you know what? It’s okay.
When I tell you to forgive yourself, please just do it. How, though? Here are some ideas:
a. Remember that you will ALWAYS come out the other end of whatever it is that you are struggling with right now. It might not feel like it right now, but you will. If you need help, write down exactly what is bothering you. Come back to it either a day or week later. You’ll be able to read what you wrote and see that whatever it was last week that bothered you, won’t be as bad now.
b. Talk to someone about your issue. The minute you start to speak to someone and get their opinion on it, it’ll instantly feel better. Don’t have anyone to talk to? You know where to go. Read this post to find out where. The problem with anxiety is that it makes you doubt yourself and your own confidence. Don’t let it.
2. SERIOUSLY stop being so hard on yourself
No matter how hard it might be, please please stop being so hard on yourself. I know, I know. It’s so easy me saying this. But if there’s one thing you should stop doing right now, it’s this.
Give yourself credit for what you’ve gone through. Give yourself credit for how much crap you’ve dealt with and still come out the other side. I have a work friend who is dealing with a lot of stuff at the moment and I said this to her tonight. Situations arise out of nowhere. Before you know it you’re stuck in a job you hate, have health issues that are hard to deal with, and find yourself snapping at everyone and everything.
Remember that it’s okay to feel like this. True friends and family don’t care that you’re doing this. NO-ONE should care that you’re reacting this way, other than caring for the reasons why. Without sounding too corporate (as that’s the area I currently work in!), but it’s all about risk analysis.
Thinking about why you’re doing this is good to do. Allow yourself a bit of time to focus on what’s making you feel this way and work at a solution. You are capable of this, you know.
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3. Although you want to be in control, understand it won’t always be like that
I’ve written in past posts about how to feel more in control. As an anxiety sufferer, this always makes me feel better. Planning out your day religiously, not bending from said schedule and keeping your social life are great until things go wrong.
What happens when your plans go out of the window? How do you deal with that when you’ve spent so much energy focusing on getting this right? That’s the point. Unfortunately, it won’t always be like that. When you plan and plan when something changes it’s going to throw you off.
That’s my downfall, you know. I am DEFINITELY not spontaneous and need a strict routine to keep me going. So, although you want to feel in control all of the time, you need to realise that this just doesn’t always happen. Prepare yourself for such eventualities and when it does happen, you’ll be able to cope better.
Better yet, why not face your fears and be spontaneous? Organise a trip on a whim to somewhere that you wouldn’t normally go to. Not only are you facing your control habit, but you’re also putting yourself in a situation that might instil fear in you. It’s MASSIVELY scary first time, but the more you do it the better.
The point of all of this
Anxiety waxes and wanes. It comes and goes. Sometimes it’s debilitating and sometimes it’s manageable. But the point of all of this is what when you’re finding your anxiety getting worse, take note of the above. Fear, being out of control and putting yourself down are major major factors in anxiety.
If you’re finding that the above are playing big roles in your anxiety getting worse, take action. I knowwww it feels impossible sometimes but just do it. Don’t let your anxiety rule you, you can rule it. Why? BECAUSE YOU ARE STRONG, INDEPENDENT and AMAZING.