People don’t understand how anxiety disorders can affect daily life. There are a few things which help me to cope – this is just my personal experience so some of the things I swear by may not be of any use to somebody else but if I can possibly help somebody somewhere then why not?
I use Bach’s Rescue Remedy and carry it everywhere with me along with a bottle of water. I find that just having those on me can help me to not feel anxious because I know I have all I need should anxiety creep in – reducing the chance of being anxious about being anxious (this is my biggest problem, most of the time I’m anxious about the possibility of becoming anxious!)
Cut out the caffeine. This was quite a big help for me – caffeine increases your heart rate which you don’t want to be doing if you’re an anxious person. I allow myself one or two ordinary cups of tea in the morning and after that I’m decaf all the way. Peppermint tea is helpful too.
Ditch the things that cause you stress. Life is too short. If you have a friend that’s full of drama and causes constant grief – say goodbye. If you hate your job with a passion – look for a new one. Do what you love. There is absolutely no need to cause yourself hassle.
Mindfulness. I find that colouring, drawing, blogging (of course) and reading really help. Whilst you’re carrying out these activities you’re more likely to be focusing on only what you’re doing and not being anxious. It’s also a good way of starting a hobby which you can do in your own time and space.
Talk to somebody. Don’t bottle it up, ever. Do not allow yourself to swim around in your own pool of negative thoughts – find somebody that you trust and let it out. Whether that be in tears, anger or just talking, just get it out. If you don’t feel that you have anybody that you can talk to about this, my email address is email@example.com and I check it regularly. It can be helpful to speak to a stranger sometimes; someone who is completely removed from your situation.
Go for a walk. Fresh air can work wonders.
There will come a point where you think ‘f*ck this, I’m not doing this anymore’ and realise that you’re stronger than any mental illness. When this time comes, do what scares you. Go in the car wash on your own. Get on a train. Drive on the motorway. Go to that busy shopping centre that you’ve been avoiding. Socialise. Whatever it is that you’re afraid of – do it. This is by no means easy. It’s one of the most difficult things someone with anxiety will encounter, but it’s worth it. I was terrified to start a blog – who cares what I have to say? What if nobody reads it? – who cares? I’m doing this because I enjoy it and it’s become a real passion of mine. Anxiety occurs because we think we’re in danger, so show yourself that you’re not.
Don’t underestimate yourself. You can do this and you’re not on your own.
Be courageous and have faith.