Hiya!! This was requested via my Twitter (@purrpale) so I thought why not! Anxiety is something very close to home for me, I’ve been suffering from it since I was a little baby. It’s something I still struggle with immensely to this day but I have gotten a lot better through self help. Self help isn’t for everyone but I just found that therapy wasn’t for me at all so I took it upon myself to help myself. I just thought; discussing this could at least help one person who doesn’t have access to therapy or any other form of help. Also, if you want a post on how to overcome anxiety/panic attacks, then let me know because I have different tips to help with that.
Firstly, try to get enough sleep. It’s known that lack of sleep triggers anxiety symptoms. It’s easier said than done I know to get those hours in but just going to sleep an hour early or waking up an hour later (not if you have somewhere to be though, I am not saying be late for work/education! Although, those things should come after your mental health) will help reduce the symptoms so so much! I noticed that if I lived off 4-6 hours sleep, I was a lot more anxiety prone. Whereas, if I had 7+ hours, I was more calm, and less anxious. To sleep earlier, engage in a relaxing activity before bedtime. Whether that be a bath or reading a chapter of a book.
Secondly, avoid caffeine! I’ve stopped having caffeine in my diet because it just made my anxiety exacerbated. Caffeine makes you more jittery and if you suffer from anxiety, it is possible that it will increase those jittery feelings. Make the easy switch to decaf alternatives because you can still love those cups of coffee without the caffeine.
Also, do something you enjoy doing. Doing something you love at least once a day will help calm you. It could be something simple like a walk around town or shopping. Granted, this one may not be the best possible way to deal with anxiety but for me, shopping helps me release nerves.
Now, this one may not be to everyone’s preference but it’s something I did that made me less anxious for day to day things. For most of my life, I have had a huge anxiety related problem with public transport. I refused to go onto buses and trains, I’d much rather walk places than catch a bus. I’ve walked to my local shopping centre which is 6 miles instead of getting a 15 minute bus ride. Anyway, the middle of 2015, I decided to concur that fear. It was ruining my life. That day, I got on a bus (I said this super simply, it wasn’t just as easy as deciding to hop on a bus) – I wasn’t planning for anywhere, the fact I was on the bus was good enough for me. Of course I was super anxious to start of with but then I realised I was being silly. It took me a while, obviously, to be more relaxed around public transport, to this day I don’t really like travelling alone on them. Moral of the story is, when you are ready to do so, concur a fear. At first you’ll feel anxious but then as time goes on, you will feel less and less anxious in terms of that fear. It may take a long time, for example it has been a year for me and I’m still not 100% there. But, do it at your pace and don’t rush.
Again, know things take time. You possibly cannot recovery from anxiety overnight. I’ve been in recovery for anxiety for just under three years now and I’m still not 100% there and 100% recovered. If you try to recover and you suddenly have a bad day, it is not your fault!!! Recovering from a mental illness, especially on your own, takes a long ass time and it’s really not your fault if it doesn’t work straight away. Maybe the method you are taking in your recovery is not right for you. Honestly, I’ve been there. Try different methods and try them slowly. It may take 4 weeks, it may take 4 years. Just know you’ll get there.
Finally, maintain a positive attitude. I wrote a blog post on how to cut out negativity: How to stop being so negative ??! which may help you with this. Make an effort to replace those negative thoughts which positive ones. For example, replace “I may panic if I go onto this bus” to “I may be completely fine if I go onto this bus”. Something as simple as that could help positivity radiate through you. Also, accept you cannot control everything that goes on in your life. You cannot control that you have end of year exams or finals so why stress over them?? Once they are done, they are done. Put your anxiety into perspective. Is it really worth the anxiety if you cannot stop the situation you are anxious over?
These are things I do on a day to day basis to soothe my anxiety. They may not work for everyone so don’t assume they will. I’m also not saying choose self help over professional help! Clearly if you have access to professional help, go for it. If you think it will help you, go for it. I’m just stating a few tips that may help you in the long term. They are just handy lil tips that could help you onto your road of recovery and help you live a minimally anxious life.