5 Tips For Dealing With Anxiety

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Today’s post was supposed to be about top tips for managing curly hair accompanied by my favourite products for curly hair. However, following a night of nightmare after nightmare, it probably shouldn’t have been so surprising that I woke up this morning feeling more exhausted than the night before and filled with a low, sinking feeling in my stomach. For that reason, it felt incredibly inauthentic to put together a post about something as superficial as my hair when there was a lot more going on in my head.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with those posts and I intend to reschedule my beauty post for another day but today was not the day to talk about hair.

Today, I needed to get things off my chest. I needed to be true to the thoughts frantically swimming in my head while simultaneously finding away to beat those thoughts. My therapy of choice? As always, writing.

I very nearly didn’t get out of bed when my alarm went off. And not in the usual, hit the snooze and get up 15 minutes later kind of way. I very nearly hid under the covers and let this horrible mood take over my entire day, affect my attendance at work and completely get the better of me. When my anxiety was at its worst at uni, I used to have to work really hard to convince myself to get out of bed every day so I’ve had a little practice in this area. Thankfully, the convincing worked this morning and I managed to get out of bed and carry on with my day.

When these moods hit you out of nowhere it’s much easier to have a few tricks up your sleeve that you know will help you function as a normal human being a little better. They aren’t necessarily a recipe to solve anxiety, they work in different areas of your life. Whether you’re just exhausted and grumpier than usual, whether you’re about to get your period or whether you’re feeling anxious, these are the little things that will help you through.

Stick to routine

I am such a creature of habit and thrive off routine. Currently, I get up every morning, catch up on YouTube while getting ready, walk to the station with my travel mug in hand, earphones in listening to the dulcet tones of Sophia Amorouso and Liz Carey and then read a chapter of my book on the train. I love this little routine and it makes my commute to work genuinely enjoyable.

I like to know when and how things are happening and I’m not comfortable with last minute changes. It’s a pain sometimes but particularly so, when I’m feeling anxious or emotional, change is my worst enemy. So, take comfort in  routine. I find it actually makes me appreciate the different parts of my routine more. Having a routine allows you to take things step by step and go at your own pace, knowing exactly how things will pan out for that portion of your day.

Walk it off

First things first, get yourself out of the house. Come hail, rain or shine, the great outdoors is your best friend when it comes to dealing with anxiety. While you’re holed up inside it’s easy to get wrapped up in your anxiety/problems/whatever it is that’s getting you down and it quickly becomes a downward spiral where it feels like the worst thing in the world and your world is tumbling down at a pace you can’t keep up with.

Whether it’s going for a walk, run, cycle or a swim, whatever it is that takes your fancy, it will help you to clear your head and organise your thoughts a little. Thankfully part of my morning routine involves a 20 minute walk that I can’t avoid. By the time I was halfway to the station I already felt better about the day ahead.

Getting outside helps you to put things into perspective. Everyone has their problems and the world is a big place (particularly when you’re as small as me). You’re only one human being and you will 100% push through this. Remember all of the other times you pushed through? Remind yourself of that and dig deep to find the unfaltering faith that you have in yourself.

Find an outlet

For me it’s writing. God help me if anyone ever found all of my anxious ridden thoughts in any of my notebooks. I would be mortified. But it helps me to process my thoughts and anxiety if I write them down. I get them all out, in no particular order and definitely with no plan of creating any kind of literary masterpiece. I just write. As the thoughts come to me, I write. This particular post is an example of that as continue to write it as a way of escaping a very anxious ridden day.

For others it might be playing sport, particularly helpful if it’s a team sport because you know you have that support system around you. There are all sorts of books out there now to help to practice mindfulness as well as apps such a headspace that teach you how to meditate to deal with your anxiety. Treat yourself to a colouring book, you know, those cool ones for adults or the beautiful vogue version, and lose yourself in some aimless colouring for a few hours.

Treat yo’self

Whether you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed or whether it’s anxiety that’s got you down, try to incorporate a treat of some sort into your day. Buy yourself something nice for dinner. Order that outfit you’ve been daydreaming about. Get your nails done. Today of all days, you deserve to treat yo’self.

For me it was a trip to get some coffee on my lunch break. Having that to look forward to all morning definitely made life easier for me. I also knew that I had two chocolate cookies in my bag for an afternoon treat and it’s pretty hard to be sad when you have cookies in your bag.

Make sure there’s lots of tea involved in your day too. Tea makes everything better. Not only does it taste great but the warmth of the mug in your hands is a little added comfort. Cosy up with a book on the sofa or spend an hour reading your favourite magazines or blogs. Either way make sure you’re armed with tea.

Cut yourself some slack

99% of my panic attacks come from being overwhelmed with pressure that I’ve put on myself and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I put a lot of pressure on myself a lot of the time and can never convince myself that I’m good enough. But sometimes you have to let the anxiety win and accept the fact that today is not a good day. But there’s always tomorrow. Relax, hang out with friends, binge watch your favourite programme, watch sad movies and cry it all out. Whatever it is that’s going to make today even slightly more enjoyable for you, just do it and let yourself be sad for a little while.

Photos by Kellie Scott

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Niamh ♥

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