Unfortunately, it’s very common for people to suffer with bad mental health now. Mind found that in 2016 1 in 4 people suffered with anxiety. 1in 4! That’s a terrifyingly high number. From personal experience, I think there needs to be more money invested into this sector as health professionals need to have a better understanding of how to deal with it and medicating people. For instance, one time I was prescribed sleeping pills. And only 7 of them. How is that supposed to help? During the day, it cripples me sometimes to the point where I actually gag because the nausea is so bad. I’ve had a headache for a week and I know that nothing will help other than a bit of self care.
So, although nothing can ‘cure’ or ‘get rid of’ bad anxiety, I’ve found that there are a few things you can do for yourself that will ease the pressure, the irritability, tiredness, anger, nausea and so on. I thought it would be a good idea to share them with you just in case there’s something you haven’t tried before, or take comfort in the fact that someone else does the same things as you!
1. If you’re tired, rest!
It sounds simple, but sometimes you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders and you HAVE to do a load of washing, or you HAVE to cook dinner, or you HAVE to socialise with your friends. But, the best thing to do is just give your body and your mind that time to recuperate. It might mean you having a nap two hours after you have woken up, or just chilling in bed watching Netflix with your favourite chocolate. It’s so important to not feel guilty for doing that. Listen to your body. Anxiety is exhausting and taking that time to rest is vitally important to easing that knot in your stomach.
2. Cook your favourite meal
We all have a comfort go-to meal right? I know I certainly do. Last Tuesday I felt so anxious that I felt like I couldn’t do anything, but one thing I know that helps me is to cook my favourite food. My go-to’s are curry and chilli. I get satisfaction out of creating something from scratch, and it feels like a huge achievement when you feel like you are being weighed down.
3. Make a list
I know, every self care guide says about making lists. However, it’s a basic thing we can all do, we all have access to a bit of paper. Have you heard of a reverse list though? Sometimes, making lists is a great thing to do, but it can look overwhelming and make your anxiety worse as it is too much for your brain to process. A reverse list is where you tick the item off your list WHEN you have completed it. On a particular bad day, I would consider getting dressed as achieving something, so tick it off your list. By doing this, you will be surprised at how many things you achieve in one day when you felt like you couldn’t even get out of bed to brush your teeth.
4. Write down how you’re feeling
I know journaling isn’t for everyone, but it could literally be a note in your phone. I have done this plenty of times when I’m out, haven’t got a notebook and just need to let it out. I write down my feelings when my anxiety makes me feel angry or irritable. By writing it down, you find that you can get to the root of the problem and work out how to ease the feeling. It’s also good to look back to see if there’ s a pattern so you can then change something to break the cycle.
5. Spend time with loved ones
We all have a safety blanket in human form, right? I know I do. My boyfriend is the best person to spend time with when I feel really bad. He totally understands how I feel and he makes me feel safe, secure and loved. Sometimes, I can’t love myself so I need someone to do it for me. He makes me tea, gets me a blanket and just sits with me watching episodes of the office that we have seen a million times before until I either feel a bit better, or just until the day finishes. It’s so important to tell someone how you feel when it seems like the anxiety is defeating you. If you can’t say it, write it in a text message or on a bit of paper.
So that’s it. Self-care is something we can all do for ourselves, or that someone else can make us do. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay. Just don’t suffer in silence.
Even if this helps one person, I will consider that a major achievement. Thanks for reading!