Someone asked me last week for advice on how to deal with anxiety for one of her clients, and seen as it’s been a while since I’d done a post relating to my personal story, and with the new start to the year, I thought this would be a great time to share some of my advice if you are suffering with your mental health.
January can be one of the best, yet one of the most overwhelming times of the year, which can ultimately lead to quite an anxious period for some, myself included. Hopefully, these tips and advice will help you if you’re feeling a bit lost at the moment and give you some reassurance that you are not alone.
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Talk
When I was younger, I never spoke about my anxiety, and instead tried to deal with it on my own. I used to mix up the feelings I was having with hormones and assumed that everything I was going through was normal. It was only when I started to open up to people that I realised that I was suffering from generalised anxiety disorder, which prompted me to speak to a professional – one of the best thing I ever did. There are also a lot of charities aimed at helping people with mental health issues, such as Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and Think Twice, who all offer free advice.
2. You Are Not Selfish
Sometimes an anxiety attack can come out of nowhere and the only thing you want to do is be alone – that is completely fine. I’ve cancelled plans, some of them quite big ones as well, because my anxiety got the better of me and I felt as though I needed alone time. Up until recently, I used to be wracked with guilt when I did this, but now I have come to the realisation that I am not a bad person for needing some alone time, or feeling as though I am not up to something.
3. Medication Is Not A Weakness
When I went through a very tough time about 18 months ago, my mental health was the worst it’s ever been and I was prescribed medication to help with my anxiety and depression. I had been on a prescription before, but this time it was a higher dosage that I was advised to take daily. For months I didn’t tell anyone I took medication because I always felt there was a stigma around it, but since then, I’ve learnt you should never feel weak for trying to make things in your life better. If you don’t want to talk to your GP about it, you can always visit sites such as The Independent Pharmacy, who will diagnose your symptoms and give you advice.
4. Know Your Limits
From day to day, this one might change, but it’s important to know what your body and mind can be put through. There is something called the spoon theory, which is a metaphor relating to people with an illness or disability, and states that as a sufferer, you only have a certain number of spoons a day. Every activity we do takes away a portion of our spoons, and once we have no more, we have no choice but to rest and replenish them for the next day.
5. Mental Health IS Important
Just because you can’t see what is happening when someone is suffering with a mental health illness doesn’t mean that it is not as important as a physical ailment. There is a lot more talk now about mental health, and I think that’s great, but also, there is so much more that can be done and said around the topic.
I hope you found this blog helpful and if you would like me to do more on the subject, just drop me a line.