Getting over anxiety
Anxiety never truly goes but you can definitely get better. There are so many things you can try to help yourself get over anxiety or even just to cope with anxiety.
* These are things that have worked for me, personally. What has helped me may not help you. If you need professional advice please see your local GP.
I’ve been meaning to write this blog for quite some time but to be completely honest, I didn’t feel ready to. I didn’t want to talk about my anxiety as I was pretty fed up of hearing about it. When something has such a negative effect on your life for so long it understandably can get difficult to talk about. But, when it was mental health awareness week recently I briefly touched on my experience on Instagram. I asked you guys if you’d like to hear my story, so here I am.
If one thing that has helped me, can help someone else then I’ve done what I hoped to achieve. If anyone has any questions, or needs a general chat, please message me. I’d love to help ❤
Medication helped me
Before I explain how I came off medication, I wanted to say how much they helped me. Medication can seem quite daunting, but don’t rule it out unless YOU think it’s what’s best for you. I was taking medication for roughly 2 years. By medication, I mean anti-depressants. I feel like saying ‘anti-depressants’ is scary or off-putting to others, but that’s down to the stigma behind them. Taking anti-depressants helped me SO much. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t taken them.
I’m not encouraging anyone to take them as you should always try EVERYTHING possible to help yourself first. Then, if you still feel like you need help, go to your Doctor and go from there. Medication was my last resort. I tried almost everything. The only thing I was reluctant to try was the anxiety self help/support groups. I just didn’t feel comfortable speaking in front of a group as I had zero confidence at the time.
Coming off medication
While I was on holidays in Bali, September last year I decided to try coming off my medication. After trying to stop taking my tablets before, I knew I had a challenge because it’s incredibly hard. My mindset was that I’d be on holidays keeping myself busy and enjoying myself so I wouldn’t notice the symptoms so much. When I first tried stopping my medication I had awful headaches, brain fog and confusion. I was irritable and an emotional mess basically. You’re probably thinking “should I bother trying” and I’m going to tell you “YES YOU SHOULD”.
Only if you feel ready to. If you’re not ready then that’s OK.
Whilst in Bali coming off my medication was actually not like I expected. I still had the side effects I mentioned before but not half as bad. Being in a happier place and constantly doing activities helped me not to notice it as much. I still had a slight headache and brain fog now and again but it wasn’t unbearable.
So, if you’re trying to stop taking your medication (speak to your doctor first) try to keep yourself busy, don’t do it if you have work or important things ahead. Have a week or two weeks off where you can relax and get a well deserved rest. Remember that you need to be willing to help yourself before you consider this. It’s not easy and you still will get bad days but you will feel better in the long run.
For a long time I was uncomfortable speaking about having counselling. Before I decided to stop taking my medication I was put on the waiting list to have counselling. To say I was nervous for my first session is an understatement. I always thought I was ok talking about my difficulties but I actually wasn’t. Yes, I’d discuss my anxiety but always as a ‘matter of fact’, I realised I never really spoke about personal struggles. So, understandably I had let a lot of emotions and struggles build up over the years.
The time came for me to have my first counselling session. First of all I had to complete a check list about my mental health. Some of the questions were quite daunting and I didn’t want to admit my thoughts but I was very honest. The rest of my session was a bit of a blur, I pretty much cried the entire time. The next couple of sessions got easier. I can’t tell you how good it felt leaving my sessions. It felt like an actual weight was lifted off me. I felt like I could take a deep breath in and actually relax my tense shoulders.
I spoke about things I didn’t know still bothered me and I let them go. Some things are not so easy to get over or let go of and that’s totally fine. I know counselling doesn’t work for everyone but I urge anyone that is having a difficult time to try it. If you can’t talk to loved ones then at least give counselling a try. Speaking to a complete stranger is scary at first but it’s really good to get honest advice and for someone to actually just sit and listen to you is very comforting.
Don’t let negative people, feedback, hearsay etc put you off doing what YOU need to do. If you want to try medication, try it. Think counselling might help, go for it. Don’t want to talk about something then don’t. But DO try to do whatever helps you. I know from experience that not talking about how you are feeling can leave you in a pretty dark place. Find something that makes you happy and do something that makes you feel better about yourself.
What helped my anxiety
Many things helped me get over anxiety. I still get a little anxious or have down days but not half as much as before. Here is a list of things that helped me to feel better.
1. Yoga, meditation and breathing exercises.
2. Crystal healing. Even collecting crystals and learning about them helped.
3. Photography and editing. Or any hobby you enjoy.
4. My job, doing makeup is very therapeutic. As much I didn’t want to go to work some days I’d always feel better for going. My MAC family are amazing and going to work keeps you focused.
5. Walking or any exercise.
6. Writing and creating my blog.
7. Herbal remedies like Bach Rescue Remedy.
8. Support from my family and friends.
I hope any of the above can help someone else. It doesn’t have to be the same hobby as mine but do something you enjoy. Keep yourself busy but not so busy that you can’t breath. Another bit of advice would be to be a little selfish sometimes, your body will thank you for it. It’s good to help others but don’t forget to help yourself too. We all have to start somewhere, you are in control of your life and you need to remember that! Take back control and start today.
If you have any questions please comment or send me an email. I’m here to help ☺
Peace and love,
Hannah Jean x