How I cope in times of stress

I blog about mental health a lot and I’m totally open about my anxiety and how it affects me. Which is bad. Sometimes. I think during my anxiety journey, I’ve learnt a lot about how to deal with both anxiety and stress. I’ve probably learnt more coping mechanisms with anxiety than I ever would have if I didn’t develop it in the first place. Which, thinking about it, I suppose is one benefit to come out of having my mental health disorder. Of course we all need coping strategies when we’re stressed. Because we all get stressed and we’ll all have periods of more stress than others. You know how it is, everything’s fine for months then 12 problems come along at once. I’ve recently had a bit of a episode like that, which I’m not going to go into but it’s important to reiterate the point that everyone goes through it. It can help to know we’re not alone, if nothing else. 

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The importance of looking forward to things

There was a time in my life where I felt like I was looking into a black hole of nothingness. I wasn’t depressed (at least, I don’t think I was) and I certainly wasn’t suicidal. It was a time where my anxiety was at it’s absolute worst. Not too long after it started, when I didn’t know what it was or how to cope with it. Besides, before October 2011, I didn’t even know what a panic attack was. I didn’t know what anxiety was, let alone what it felt like. I was a girl who pranced through life, going out as much as she possibly could, meeting people and literally – literally – didn’t have a care in the world. 

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April goals: My last public monthly goals

Wowzers… April. April. APRIL. Just when we couldn’t believe that it was 2018 already, here we are, 4 months into the year already. I hope you all had a great March, did lots of cool stuff and had a lot of fun. March for me was pretty damn good; I visited my boyfriend’s family in Lincolnshire, went away for the weekend to the Severn Valley Railway in Shropshire and saw the start of the new Formula 1 season. So all in all, a good month. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed doing smaller, more achievable monthly goals this year so far. It’s really worked for me, it’s helping me focus and also helping me be more specific about my goals. However, this will be my last public goals list I’ll be posting on my blog – just because I don’t want it to get too samey and don’t want y’all to get bored! I’ll still be noting down my goals privately for the rest of the year (hopefully!) Here’s what I’d like to achieve in April…

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Nothing to smear! Tips for tackling your first smear fear

At the time of writing this post, it has been revealed that cervical screenings (smear tests) are at an all-time low. It’s a statistic I don’t even want to think about. I turned 25 last September and as predicted, was invited for my first smear test – which I had done 4 days before my 25th birthday (I wrote about my experience here). I suffer with anxiety – GAD to be specific (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) but I suffer extra anxiety when it comes to medical related things. 

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BOOK REVIEW: How to Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat

Format: Hardback, giveaway prize
Links: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Goodreads
Blurb: Vicky Decker has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight, quietly navigating the halls of her high school undetected except by her best (and only) friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable.

So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her— #alone and #ignored in real life.

To help them, and herself, Vicky must find the courage to face her fear of being “seen,” because only then can she stop living vicariously and truly bring the magic of Vicurious to life.

In this beautiful and illuminating narrative, Sharon Huss Roat shines a light on our love of social media and how sometimes being the person you think you want to be isn’t as great as being the person you truly are. Continue reading

Stop telling people “it won’t last forever”

When I started private counselling for my anxiety, I was in the midst of one of the worst periods my mental health has ever seen. I barely left the house. My thoughts were so irrational. The thought of going anywhere left me in a state of dread and that first therapy appointment? My gosh, I thought I was going to die. But starting private therapy was invaluable for me; my counsellor and I got along really well, I trusted her and felt I could fully open up to her. She really did help me in so many ways and I often wonder where I would be today had I not gone to see her in that time when I was so desperate for anything to help numb these unbearable feelings of constant dread, anxiety and fear over everything and nothing all at once. 

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My first smear test experience

At approximately 24 and a half years old, I received the letter in the post that I had been dreading, ever since I knew what a smear test was. The fact that the letter used words like “invited” didn’t make it any more cutesy or appealing. The fact of the matter was, I was at the age where a doctor needed me to spread my legs on a table and look into my fanny. There’s no beating around the bush (pun intended) and no sugar coating it really. It was time for my very first smear test. 

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Tips on helping you cope if you don’t like being home alone 

I know this sound like a really childish thing to say but since being active on Twitter and open about my mental illness, I’ve seen people talk about things like this more and more. It’s not an embarrassing thing to worry about nor is it uncommon. When I was first diagnosed with anxiety, during my worst period, I was terrified of being in the house by myself. Absolutely, completely and utterly terrified. I couldn’t function and would literally spend the day counting down the minutes until someone was going to be home. It can be a real debilitating problem and it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed about.

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The Mental Health Tag

Gooood morning folks! Now, if you follow me or my blog you’ll know I am super open about my mental health problems and I’m a huge advocate for mental health awareness, ending the stigma and educating people on the symptoms and options for mental health problems. I don’t think you can ever talk about mental health too much, there’s always someone willing to learn or who needs to learn. I found The Mental Health tag on Anxiously, Me blog and instantly wanted to do it myself. Please go and check out Anxiously Me’s post here as well.

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Never feel bad for expressing your emotions on social media: a rant

In order to get to the main chunk of this post, we’re going to have to embark on a little story time. So grab a cuppa, a bar of choccie, a pizza, a roast dinner – whatever your vice is and join me in story time with Jenny on why you shouldn’t feel bad for expressing your emotions on social media. 

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