We all have those days where everything feels a little overwhelming and we don’t quite feel ourselves for no particular reason. Something that I’ve spoke about a few times on my blog is suffering with panic attacks and anxiety. While I (luckily) rarely have the panic attack side of anxiety any more, the feeling of general “anxiousness” is still something that affects me quite often.
Whenever I write a post about my own journey with anxiety I always feel so overwhelmed by the amount of messages that I get from people who tell me that by reading my posts it’s helped them understand their own anxiety a little better, or helped them to feel a little more comfortable speaking openly about it to people. So today, while having one of those completely irrationally anxious days, I decided that writing a complete impromptu blog post at 9pm on a Monday would help me in two ways (1. I love writing and doing anything you love while feeling anxious is a big YES, and 2. It’s something that people, including myself, could possibly read when they feel anxious to remind themselves that it does get better, and it’s just one of those days)
By putting those two together, I decided to write a little post about the things that I like to do when I’m having an “anxious day” and if it helps even one person then it was worth while!
❤️ Usually, the first thing I like to do if possible is contact a friend, not necessarily to tell them I’m feeling a bit rubbish (although that can help!) but even just to send a text to ask how my besties day is going, by speaking to someone about something completely irrelevant it can be a great way of taking yourself out of the situation you’re in (especially if you’re feeling on the verge of a panic attack, by speaking about how someone else’s day is going it can help rationalise the way you’re feeling and remind you that there’s so much more going on and you’re not just trapped in your own little bubble- which being anxious can often make you feel like)
❤️ Do something you really bloody enjoy, think… what really fills me with happiness? What can I do for hours and hours? Whether it be be popping your earphones in and listening to your fave playlist or deciding to write a blog post when you should be grabbing an early night (oops), do whatever you love doing and allow yourself to enjoy it.
❤️ Find your comfort, and use it!! This is a one that is completely different for everyone and I’m sure so many of you who suffer with anxiety will understand me when I say your comfort can be a certain place, a certain person, a certain TV show, song, film, book… literally anything that provides you with the slightest feeling of familiarity or happiness and this is exactly what you need one a day where feeling comfort is probably, let’s be honest, the last thing you’re feeling.
❤️ Read something, literally anything! Reading provides a sense of escapism which, in the long run obviously isn’t great as getting to the root of your anxiety often involves having to face your problems rather than run from them, but in the short term when you just want to get on with your day and feel somewhat normal again I urge you to grab a book (who cares if you’ve already read it 3 times) or grab a paper, or even a celeb gossip mag and allow yourself to feel immersed for even just a short amount of time. Pairing this with some deep breaths can really help me when trying to regulate my breathing and bring my heart rate back down when I’m feeling super panicky.
❤️ Change your environment, this is another one that is for short term use only as in the long run, this probably won’t help you to overcome your anxiety. But if, like me, sometimes you find yourself feeling anxious for no reason whatsoever, take a walk, whether it be to another room, round the block, or even nipping to the loo’s at work! Changing up your environment helps me rationalise how I’m feeling as it can be very easy to become so invested in how anxious you feel you can forget anything else is happening elsewhere.
❤️ And finally, remember, this is just anxiety and it will pass, it always does. Something I learnt during CBT was how reminding yourself that you have felt like this hundreds of time before and you’ve survived every single one of those days can really help. Do you know when you hear people say “child birth is a forgettable pain” that’s what anxiety is to me (okay that was a weird comparison, I know 😂). But I seem to forget, every single time I feel anxious, that I’ve been there before, I know the drill, I can get through it just just like I’ve got through every single other time I’ve ever felt anxious. And the more you think like this the less scary anxiety can feel because you’re taking control of the emotion and you’re almost standing up to it and claiming it.
These are just a few things that I like to try and do when I’m having one of those days, but after having these horrible anxious days on and off now for almost 6 years the biggest advice I would give to anyone is to literally do whatever you need to do in order to feel yourself. Sometimes you may have to cancel on plans with friends, or call in sick at work, or stay in bed and watch Gavin & Stacey on repeat (just me…?) but if that’s what makes you feel better then you do you because at the end of the day you’re the person who’s picking yourself back up and sometimes even getting up, putting a bit of mascara on and popping to the shop can feel like a huge achievement… and it is! Celebrate every tiny victory and remember that despite the fact you probably feel completely alone in how you’re feeling there are soooooooo many people who are feeling exactly the same as you and having anxiety or panic attacks does not make you dramatic or pathetic or weak anything else you might tell yourself because you are always so much stronger than you think you are.
I talk to a lot of people about this over on twitter so feel free to chat to me over on there! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I hope if you’re feeling a little under the weather today this can provide you with even just a tiny bit of comfort and re-assurance that tomorrow is a new day and it always gets better. ❤️
Thanks for reading,