Yes, I have anxiety, but I only discovered this two and a half years ago when I had my first panic attack and freaked TFO. According to The Mental Health Foundation, anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorders in Britain. Now this might have to do with a number of factors, but I think our fast-paced lifestyles, the age of technology and our constant need to be switched on all have a contribution to our mental health.
Create a peaceful space
My bedroom is a Zen environment. I have candles, lavender oil, dream catchers, a cosy blanket and books. I make sure that all electronic devices are put out of sight before bed and I make my room cosy before curling up with a book, instead of scrolling mindlessly through my Instagram feed. That brings me onto my next point:
Disclaimer: I love Instagram. It’s my favourite social media platform, but sometimes I can get sucked into this Instagram vortex of scrolling, liking and thinking that everybody else is doing better than me and having more fun. This is when I know it’s time to put down my phone. One of my favourite vloggers, Venetia Falconer said that she deletes Instagram every evening at 9pm and then doesn’t reinstall it until the next morning. Now this might seem a bit drastic, but sometimes I need drastic measures, especially if it’s affecting my mental health. FOMO will be with you the first couple of days, but then it will become easier and you will have a better relationship with social media. Trust me.
I meditate every day for 10 minutes using my Headspace app. Some days are harder than others, and sometimes I stop halfway through meditation because my brain is just blah, but no matter what I try. This is the first thing I do when I wake up and it really does make a difference to my day.
Get on the mat
Obviously, you knew that this one would make the list. YOGA! I get on my mat (almost) every damn day. Whether that’s going to a class or doing my own practice at home, I try and take time out to be present, move my body and CHILL THE F OUT. Yoga is amazing for building strength and lean muscle, but it also works wonders for your mental health. I do Vinyasa flow yoga and this practice encourages combining movement with breath to energise the body and calm the mind.
Go for decaf
I would say completely cut out coffee, but I love it too much, so I’m going to say DECAF. When I feel anxious, caffeine makes me feel even worse, so if I happen to be having a coffee that day, which is most likely than not, I go for a decaf.
ME: *Goes into coffee shop to order* “An Oatly single shot decaf latte please!”
Barista: *Takes order and thinks* WTF. I hate people like you. Can’t you just get a filter?
Write it out
Writing is good for the soul. If I feel off balance, I usually get a pen and a notebook and write out how I’m feeling. I am a perfectionist, so I have found it difficult in the past to just write a stream of consciousness in my book, but I’ve been learning to let go and to just do it, and I definitely feel better after putting pen to paper!
Eat nourishing food
Carbs are life. So is hummus. And kale is too. If I’m feeling rubbish, I usually crave sweet things and I know I could easily eat a whole bar of Dairy Milk if I wanted to. But I know this won’t help, so I usually make a nourishing bowl of veggies and hummus. Deliciously Ella has some great recipes of lunch/dinner bowls that will make you feel energised and content.
There are so many different ways to help ease anxiety; these are some of the things that work for me. Let me know in the comments if you have anything you do that helps you – I’d love to know!