Stress, Anxiety and Depression – Do you suffer?
Does this look like the face of someone who struggles with anxiety?
You never know what someone might be struggling with based on his or her appearance. I have struggled with anxiety, low self-esteem, depression and negative thoughts for a large part of my adult life.
The persistent mind chatter can cause havoc in my everyday life. Feelings of worry that come from anxiety and stress can make it hard to relax and live in the moment. Living presently can be a challenge in itself.
My worst period was the ‘Post Natal Depression’ that came following the birth of our twin boys. This period of my life should have been the happiest, but quickly became one of the scariest times.
I now understand that this ‘blip’ was hormone related and that there is a higher risk of PND with IVF treatment and multiple pregnancies. But pair this with anxiety-led insomnia and it became a time that is quite difficult to look back on now.
But, as scary as it was, I took a stand and put up a serious fight for my soul, my health, my spirit and everything that matters in this life!
I have now learnt that talking openly to people about my struggles helps. So far those I have spoken to have been nothing but thankful that I have told them about my past struggles, and a few have gone on to tell me they have suffered in the past, and know what it’s like.
I am eternally grateful for these reactions, as I know full well that many do not receive such kindness when they do open up. If more people are understanding and empathetic about mental health problems, we’d all be better off!
I am learning to stop caring about what other people think and now care more about feeling better.
Because of my commitment to my healing, nowadays when I look in the mirror, I feel a different kind of love for myself that goes far beyond my outfit, my eyeliner and my mascara! I now see my will, determination, resilience! I am a fighter, a survivor, a warrior, a leader and a person who has stopped using circumstances as an excuse to stay stuck!
Every day is a new day and I definitely still have wobbles that come along and rock my boat. Consequently, I am learning to embrace my fears and feelings, manage my mindset, trust my believe in myself and research new strategies.
Mindfulness is an area that I wish to investigate further, learn more about and is possibly a great tool that I can use to help reduce my stress, anxiety and panic.
However, here are a few of the self-care methods that I currently use, but I am sure there are plenty more;
Pause and take a moment
Simply pause and take a moment to be present and aware of me. Taking a minute to focus on only one thing. Giving my complete attention to the task at hand without checking my phone or email. Taking a step back in a stressful and anxious situation is key to helping me calm my nervous system down.
Have a cup of tea with a friend
Sometimes I spend too much time in my own company and this can have a negative impact on my thought processes. To counteract this, I arrange to have a cuppa with a friend, boil the kettle and take time to enjoy my drink, whilst catching up with a friend, it’s a win-win!
Set an intention for the day
At the beginning of each day, I set myself an intention, my goal for the day and this can hold such power. This intention setting focuses my mind and reminds me of what it is that I want to achieve. Some days it can be as simple as just treating my body & mind with kindness.
Go for a walk
We lost our beloved dog 4 years ago now and I am not emotionally ready to take on another dog of our own. So I regularly arrange to meet with friends who have dogs and go for walks with them. The air is so refreshing and walking just makes me feel calm!
Turn the music up really loud
This is one of my favourites! I love nothing more than turning my music up really loud and singing at the top of my lungs. It is an incredible stress buster and great fun at the same time. On occasions, I will even play my favourite song on repeat!
By getting organised
I have been accused of being a little OCD in the past! My husband has said that he doesn’t want to live in a show home! But a tidy house equals a tidy mind and this is virtually impossible when living with 10yr old twin boys!
Eliminating mess leaves me feeling less frustrated, more relaxed and helps me get in touch with my creative side!
What self-care methods do you use? Please take a moment to comment and share them with us.
P.S. – I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for anyone suffering from ill mental health to talk to others. Most importantly, for anyone who thinks they know someone who is struggling, listen, and help them understand that they are not alone. Besides, once they start talking they will feel better that they’ve opened up to someone.
This is a wonderful post. I tend to withdraw completely when I am down, which I know is not the best thing.
I have recently started taking more time for myself and and going for walks and appreciating the beauty of my world.
Thank you so much for sharing and letting others draw strength from your words.
This is me too Katie, and turning the music up – it’s Shallow by Lady Gaga that’s doing it for me just now – and singing AND dancing really lifts me. Not sure what my neighbours think!! But it works. Walking. Getting in the sea. Being stylishly dressed. All these self care things are so important. This too shall pass, but I might as well be dancing whilst it does!!