*TW: I will be mentioning depression and intense feelings of panic attacks and anxiety. Please be mindful if you suffer with any of these illnesses*
I want to share some of my coping mechanisms with my experiences with my mental health issues. Suffering with anxiety and depression for around 7 years has taught me what does and what doesn’t work for me personally. I’m not saying these things will work for you, but maybe try? You won’t know unless you try.
1. When experiencing high amounts of anxiety; reminding yourself of your surroundings
Whenever myself or someone else I have been with is experiencing high levels of anxiety or panic attacks, remind yourself where you are is very important.
Always remember both your feet are firmly on the ground and that you’re stable. Stop, take a breath and breathe. Close your eyes and repeat “I am okay, I am okay” if someone is with you, constant reassurance is key. Constant reminding someone they are safe and out of harms way is incredibly important when someone is distressed.
Go outside – get some fresh air into your lungs. If you can’t get outside, go somewhere where you feel a little more space around you with less people.
If you’re all alone, call or Skype someone. Remember that you are never a bother to anyone at anytime.
Your feet are on the ground
You are safe
How’re you feeling is temporarily, the feeling of a panic attack will pass. Just remember to breathe and try and relax as much as you can.
2. As hard as it may seem, when feeling depressed, try and do one little productive thing
Personally when I feel depressed, I don’t want to do ANYTHING besides stay in bed and sleep. But I at least try and get out of bed and do something. It can be anything. No matter how big or small, it’s still something.
Here are some of my very small but rewarding things that I do to feel productive:
- Reorganising clothes, make-up, DVDs etc.
- Clear out stuff I don’t necessarily use or need
- Clean my bedroom: hoover, dust, make it look presentable
- Change my bed sheets
- Just simply have a shower!
- Draw a picture
- Go to the gym
- Listen to my favourite band (Limp Bizkit if you’re wondering..)
- Write a letter to someone or yourself – you can always throw it away if you don’t like it!
- Make a list of days out or things you may want to do
There’s so many different things that you can do make yourself just feel a little better and feel like you’ve done just one productive thing with your day. Even if it doesn’t seem like a lot to one person, as long as it feels something to you – it does not matter. Also, be proud of yourself for doing that. It takes a lot to just even brush your hair when you’re feeling depressed. Focus on what you have done with your day, not what you haven’t done.
3. Do NOT punish yourself for having a bad day
In regards to the last post, if you have done nothing with your day or night. You’ve still done the most important thing – you survived. Pushing through when your anxiety is spiralling out of control or when you want to give up is the bravest thing that you can do. Give yourself some credit that you’re still managing to breathe and survive through the bad days. That takes a lot of fucking courage!
4. Do NOT punish yourself for cancelling plans or changing plans if you’re feeling anxious or uncomfortable
If there’s something your friends or family are going or somewhere you don’t want to go – you don’t have to go. I’m a full supporter of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and not letting your mental illness win. But if it does – that’s also okay. If you don’t want to go to that party because it’s going to make you anxious, your friends will understand. I’ve done it many times – cancelled plans because I feel anxious. But, I also think about the times where I have pushed myself to go out or go to that family event, when I really haven’t wanted too. Remember; you are a human. Allowing yourself to feel this way is okay and do not punish yourself. You’re a human being, not a robot.
5. Focus on things that make you feel better
So I watch videos of puppies, make-up inspiration and… it’s gross but I do watch spot popping videos (I find them oddly satisfying and I’m very glad I’ve found other people who share the same satisfaction as me).
Naturally, when feeling depressed you edge towards things that will make you more sad. But try your best not too. Listen to music that has a little bit of beat. Dance around your room and sing at the top of your lungs (yes, I do this!). It doesn’t matter what you look or sound like, as long as it’s making you feel just a inch better. Girls, put your favourite underwear on and work it. Guys, do the same. Tell yourself that you are the shit and you’re an amazing person and you deserve all the happiness in the world. Honestly, it works for me so give it a go yourself!
I hope some of you find this post just a tiny bit helpful, if it has, I will be SO happy.
Remember, you’re a beautiful human being who deserves all the glitter and sparkles. And you’re the mother fucking shit.
Until next time!