I can’t tell you when it started, or how it started… but for a while now, something has been ‘off’. Things I used to enjoy no longer brought the same level of happiness, I’d lost my drive and felt constantly on edge.
Then I started getting chest pains, shallow breathing and a racing it heart and it dawned on me this might be anxiety. I can’t say 100% because I haven’t been to the doctors but the symptoms were certainly matching up.
It was draining and it was difficult – especially since I have no obvious reason to feel this way. I love the life I have created for myself, I enjoy my job and while things have been busy they didn’t feel overwhelming. In short, I had no idea what was going on. Which made me even more anxious.
Then I read Rhianna’s blog about ‘background anxiety’ and realised that was it. Learning other people experienced this (anxiety seemingly without a trigger) instantly made it feel more manageable. Therefore I started having a proper think about ways in which I could minimise these feelings or at least manage them on a daily basis.
So here’s 5 changes I’m making today.
- Letting Go Of Should – Should is apparently one of my favourite words, throughout the day I use it countless times. I should start the sales report early. I should do blog photos, Instagram posts and uni work this evening. Instead of should I’m using could. I could do the ironing, I could do that assignment. Essentially it’s the same but somehow it feels like I’m instantly putting less pressure on myself.
- Cutting Back On Caffeine – I wouldn’t say I’m a big caffeine fiend. I was having a black coffee in the morning and then two or three cups of tea a day. Hardly excessive in my view.
This said, if you have anxiety caffeine is apparently devil incarnate so I’ve swapped to a morning tea and am replacing an evening brew with a herbal substitute (herbal tea that is… that sounded a bit like I’ve taken up drugs lol)
Since then, when I’ve crumbled and had a coffee I’ve noticed my heart racing in the hour or so that followed, and when I’ve resisted the drink I’ve generally just felt a bit calmer and more in control.
- Bed Time Routine – I used to have an exemplary bed time routine. Wellness bloggers the world over would have basked in admiration of my dedication. And then my uni deadline approached and I let it slip. I’m really trying to get back to a routine of skin care, winding down and sleep habits to help me feel my best the following day.
- Redefining Self-Care – Self-care normally means bath bombs, candles and all the stuff we use to pamper ourselves at the end of a long day. However I’m trying to adjust my thinking to see tasks such as household chores as an act of self-care. It might not be as enjoyable or Instagramable as a Lush bath bomb, but tidy house, tidy mind or so they say.
- Offline Activities – Whether its reading or colouring I’m trying to do a relaxing, offline activity every day. Because 9 hours spent staring at a computer, followed by an evening of phones, TV and laptops just doesn’t sound that healthy does it?
I’m hoping they will go some way towards helping me feel like me again. Have you made any changes to help yourself feel better? If so, let me know your top tips!