Hello all, with it being World Mental Health day yesterday it really inspired me to write this post about my own personal experiences to share with you all today. I, like many others out there, suffer with anxiety and stress issues; which I used to find difficult to manage. But over the years, I have worked out what works for me in helping me calm down; so I thought I’d share my top tips with you all.
1) Breathing – for me, this is one of the most crucial elements to regulate when I feel overly stressed or having an anxiety attack. When my chest starts to feel tight, and I feel as though I feel an attack coming along; I like to have a glass of water by my side, to sit up, and take small sips and long deep breaths (counting in for two, and out for two) until I feel as though it’s going back to normal. Sometimes it will take longer than other times to feel calmer, but counting my breathing definitely helps for me.
2) Looking back at photographs – I don’t know if it’s just me, but my iPhone’s storage is pretty much all taken up by photographs! I absolutely love snapshotting every moment of my life, and I simply never like to delete them. Whenever I’m feeling stressed, or down, or like everything is simply a bit too much; flicking back through old photographs makes me feel so much calmer and cheers me up. This might be because I’m looking back at great memories, or whether I’m reminiscing a part of my life where I was dealing with a lot of stress; and knowing that I overcame it then makes me feel reassured and motivated that I can overcome it again.
3) Getting stuck into something, keeping busy, and being organised – for me, getting stuck into my work or a book or simply just doing something with my day really helps. I love knowing that I’ve been productive, and particularly when I get stuck into my work it helps reduce my stress and anxiety as it helps me feel more as though that I’m in control and that I’m keeping on top of things. Leading on from this point I’d say that being organised is a massive help to me; I like to plan out my days in a diary and balance my time. When I do this; it helps reduce my stress and worries because I can plan my days so that everything I need to gets done, and that I’m giving myself a routine to follow.
4) Talk about how you feel – I know that being open about your feelings can be really difficult, and that there are worries about whether you will be taken seriously or understood; but the key thing to remember on this front is that you’re never alone. If things are a bit too much for you at a given time, and you do feel stressed or anxious, or down or what not; just find someone to confide in. Honestly whenever I open up and vent out my feelings to someone I’m close to it feels like a massive weight has been lifted off from my shoulders and I instantly feel better and that I’m not alone in dealing with how I feel. I feel very, very fortunate to have such a supportive network around me, who I can talk to and open up with about how I’m feeling. But the key thing to remember, is that you are never alone!
5) Pamper and reward yourself – this final tip is one which really helps make me feel relaxed, and better about myself. After I’ve got through a tough piece of work, or a stressful week, or even at times where I’m just feeling a bit down I love to just take an evening to kick back, relax and pamper myself. So for me this might be taking a nice bath, having a nice meal, having a glass of wine, doing my nails or a facial treatment, or having a night out; whatever it is I just like to give myself some time to restore my energy, relax and feel better about myself. And for me, when I’m going through a difficult week, lets say, knowing that I’ll be rewarding myself afterwards motivates me to get through it more.
I hope that this post has been helpful and that you have enjoyed reading! Thanks a lot,