I have found over the years that anxiety never really goes away, it always just lingers in the background. However, as the years have gone by I have mostly found that I have been able to self manage my anxiety to the point I could keep it contained. There has been sometimes though when it has managed to escape.
This year has been one of those times, it has been tough going at times. I’m not one to shout about it or share, I find that by keeping it in the safety of our 4 walls in our home makes it easier for me to manage, this is my personal experience and everyone is different.
Over the years I have read so much and listened to other stories on how anxiety affects them and how they deal with it. Everyone is different and here is how anxiety makes me feel and how I cope with it.
How anxiety affects me
- If I’m having a good day with anxiety I find that it is still lurking around. This rears its head in simple ways such as me having to triple check if I have locked the front door when I leave for work or getting back out of bed to see if I had turned off the over 4 hours earlier. I have got used to things like this being my normal everyday life and can keep it under control.
- Irritable – On a tough day, I can be extremely irritable, I will jump from being in a good mood to being tearful within a blink of an eye.
- Tight chest – When my anxiety is high, I will also find my chest will feel very tight. It almost feels as if someone is sitting on top of my chest at the time.
- Irrational thoughts – I have these overwhelming thoughts of something terrible I going to happen, it follows me around all day putting me on edge.
- Lack of sleep – My sleep pattern goes out of the window, I can be super tired at times too wide awake at silly times of the night. It is almost as if I can’t switch off.
- Dodgy body – One big sign of my anxiety being high is my changes in my body. My IBS flares up, I’m more likely to pick up bugs doing to round and I have swings in my appetite.
These are just how my anxiety flares up. It can be all of the above signs or just a mix of them and no day is ever the same. I have learnt to just make it through the tough days.
If you are finding that some of the above happen to you and you are struggling, here are a few ways I deal with the anxiety tough days.
- Remember the positives – It is hard to focus on anything apart from your worries when you are facing a day of anxiety. Try and think of the positives that come to mind. There are so many positives in your life, don’t let the dark clouds hide your sunshine.
- Take it one step at a time – If all you do on a hard day is get through it, then that is fine. When I am having a day that feels like it is never going to end, I countdown the minutes to bedtime (though I feel bad for doing it!). Feeling anxious can be so draining, sometimes I don’t think people can really understand it.
- Accept that it is part of you – For a long time, I struggled to come to terms with my anxiety. I had never had any issues until after our car accident back in 2013. When I had counselling session following that accident, it was mentioned that things were falling out of my box and I was struggling to cope with that. At the time I thought it was a stupid comment but now looking back now I think they were right. Accepting this has made it easier to deal with it.
- Consider home medication such as CBD – When CBD first hit the market, many people were unsure. However, over time it has gained wide praise for what it can do for people and helps in many ways. Without trying to get too technical, CBD is there to basically help the body connect the dots. There are literally hundreds of articles on how CBD has helped people all around the world. For people like me who are suffering from anxiety, it can help improve your symptoms and just make them a bit more manageable on a day to day basis.
I know at times, it is pretty tough going. Self-doubt kicks in and your lack of sleep combined with anxiety can heighten so many fears and worries, at this point, it is ok to take a step back and just remind your self of the positives and how far you have come. There are going to be tough days but then alongside that some amazing days too, learning how to make the best of them both is how I cope the best.