Hiya everyone ♡
I hope you've had a wonderful week so far!
Let me start this post off by saying that I am by no means an expert on anxiety, mental health, your struggles, etc. All I can say is that I have had my fair share of dealing with anxiety and it has taken me a long time to figure out a few small coping mechanisms to helps me when I felt my world was falling apart.
As mentioned, these are cool, little short term fixes. If you are battling with anxiety to the point where it is affecting your everyday life then it is time to put up your hand and say "can I have a little help over here, please?" There is nothing wrong with asking for help, if anything I applaud you for having the strength and courage for doing so.
Here are a few things that have helped me when I am about to implode...
Never underestimate the power of nature! You know when people say they need some fresh air? They were really onto something there! The first time I realised it was when I was 'dying' of flu in London about 4 years back.
I was so sick that I could not will myself to get out of bed. My dad had booked a theatre show in the heart of London for that evening and there was no way I could miss it. So I used all my might and left the house (in zone 4) for central London. Wouldn't you know it? Even after a stuffy tube ride and walking from the tube station to the theatre in smoggy London Town - I already felt a hundred times better!
So now, when I am having a little freak out, or even when I burst into tears due to overwhelm-ment or frustration, I head outside for fresh air and have a little walk. The walk doesn't even need to be to anywhere, just getting your body moving almost takes a little strain off the running-mind.
This is a huge help for me. Having a semblance of calm around me really helps to focus my mind and get stuff done. My colleagues know that if I stand up and start moving around piles of paper and packing away my stationery then it is time to give me some space. When everything is neat and tidy in my immediate space then it allows me the 'white space' to go through whatever I need to in my mind.
The best part of this trick, I come home to a tidy home and come back to work to a tidy desk! What a joy?!
My poor bestie... This girl needs a medal for all of the crap I talk to her about. She knows all of my colleagues and suppliers by name and, even though she's in a totally different industry, she knows all about the reports I need to write and struggles I have in my day-to-day tasks.
Not only does speaking to her every day in detail about my life bring us closer, but it really helps me work through stuff. Sometimes I fly into a full-on rant only to realise 5 minutes in that I am totally overacting or that it actually isn't really a 'problem' after all. Saying it out loud really helps to bring me perspective...
The power of gratitude! I am sure that you would have heard before how actively appreciating what you have can help bring you more. It really is a magical thing. I always grappled with trying to remember that other people are going through worse times than you are - for heaven's sake what I am going through is affecting me directly and is really making me feel this bad!
Writing down things that you are genuinely are grateful for isn't the same as comparing your better-life to that of someone who really has a worse one, it only reminds you that you don't have it all that bad. There is good in your life, so much of it, and you really need to remember that!
Things to be grateful for; the fact that you have the resources to be reading this blog right now, that you have friends or family that will always be there for you, that you had the opportunity to go to school to further yourself in life, that you can choose what to have for lunch, etc.
Sounds 'easier said than done' but I really don't think it is. My two favourite things to do are to blast rock music in my ears (I have an 'angry music' playlist filled with Linkin Park) to help me physically feel the mental anger or to watch a few fail compilations. I highly recommend FailArmy on YouTube and Ridiculousness on MTV.
Please drop me a comment if you have any other recommendations? I am always up for more tips, and I am sure other readers would be too. If you don't want to comment publicly then you are more than welcome to email me.
You can also contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group here:
To contact a counsellor between 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday,
Call: 011 234 4837 / Fax number: 011 234 8182
For a suicidal Emergency: 0800 567 567
24hr Helpline: 0800 12 13 14
SMS 31393 (they will call you back)
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Labels: anxiety, depression, durban, how to, mental health, south africa, tips