Lifestyle Magazine

Living with Anxiety & Helpful Tips.

By Jadecharlotte @jadeodonnell_
Anxiety seems to be a topic that more and more people are willing to talk about these days. If you take a quick scroll through various news websites and social media, more and more celebrities are opening up about their own struggles. Why, it was only a few weeks ago now that Selena Gomez had to postpone her world tour due to her troubles. Anxiety is much more common than people think, even if you can’t actually see it.
I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. Possibly my whole life. Now, some people might automatically jump in and chime with that old chestnut of “oh but you wanted to act, surely you don’t battle with anxiety!” Sadly, that couldn’t be any further from the truth if you tried. During my time at University, whenever I’d go to get up and on to the stage; or even just in front of people to perform in lessons or to be assessed, my anxiety would flare up big time. It was so bad that on both occasions during my two major shows, I became severely ill that I had no choice but to pull out of both productions. For my third show I actually worked backstage, but that’s a story for another day.There’s been days, if now weeks where I’ve been trapped; for lack of a better word; inside my room. Not even daring to venture downstairs, and don’t even bother to expect me to answer the phone. I’d rather be locked in a room with all of my greatest fears combined. I simply don’t do phones. It’s basically one big giant ‘no!’
Looking back on all the things I’ve missed: parties; going out to town; fresher’s week; people’s birthdays; generally meeting up for coffee with friends and meeting new people, it does upset me. I know that deep down I’d most likely enjoy all that. But the hold the anxiety has over me is too strong. Even going to get my haircut was a big trauma and that she’s a close family friend for crying out loud. See what I mean?
So, this year, or rather what’s left of it and going into 2017, I’m going to try and attempt to encourage myself to take a few more baby steps out of my comfort zone, gradually building things up a day at a time. Now, with all of that in mind, I’ve hopefully found a few tips and tricks that may make things that little bit easier and I thought that’d I’d share them with you guys.
1.   Remember to take things slow – Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’d be pretty unrealistic to expect to be a whole new person in the space of a month. Things take time, so remembering that is key.
2.   Say yes to more things – Instead of the automatic response of “no thanks” that seems to have become my new catchphrase these days, trying to agree to a few things here and there more often will gradually allow you to then proceed to much more fun and exciting things. Even if it’s just a morning spent grabbing a tea somewhere with a friend. You’ve gotta start somewhere.
3.   Lavender oil – In my little makeup/emergency bag that I keep in my handbag is a little rollerball of thisworks Deep Sleep Stress Less. It works like a dream in stressful situations (of which there’ve been many.) You just roll it onto the pulse points of your wrists like your typical perfume roll on. Then just take a quick, deep sniff whenever you need to. I personally find the lavender and eucalyptus instantly sooths my senses and has the ability to calm me right down.
4.   Read a book – To me, there’s nothing quite as soothing as getting lost in a good book. Which is why I always keep an old and well-loved copy of Quidditch Through The Ages in my bag (Yes, I’m a not-so-secret Harry Potter fan. No surprises there really.) Even though it’s ever so tiny, there’s still something about reading up on all the ways to commit a foul* in a magical spot; even if it’s just for a few minutes during a dreaded bus ride into work.*There’s 700 ways, just for anyone wondering.
5.   Listen to a good audiobook – Much like the previous point, audiobooks, like good old fashioned books are a godsend. Whenever I’m feeling anxious or stressed I just pop one on, stick the headphones in and try and focus on a good story (which is usually being read by the wonderful Stephen Fry.)
6.   Rain Weather App – Maybe it’s me, but does anyone else find the sound of rain and stormy weather incredibly soothing? That and a good cup of tea is always a rather handy way to try and relieve anxiety and built up stress. My favorite app to use for this is Infinite Storm, which is free, so that’s an added bonus.
7.   Bath bombs – If you have access to bath bombs whilst you’re feeling anxious, I’d recommend giving this one a go. Not only does it help relax and sooth all your senses and muscles, it also leaves you smelling lush. Wouldn’t suggest dropping one into a random puddle outside and having a sit down in that however. Frowned upon for some reason.
As always, I never really know how to finish blog posts. Sorry if this has turned into a bit of an essay. Apparently my brain thinks it’s now necessary to write 2000-odd words every time I type or pick up a pen. I’d love to hear if you have any good insights with living with anxiety. Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading x

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