How I cope with my anxiety

If you read my previous post about my anxiety and emetophobia then you will know that my anxiety is currently at an all time high. I have suffered from anxiety and emetophobia since I was 11. 13 years later I have developed a lot of coping mechanisms and techniques to help myself through the bad patches. I thought I would share some of the ways that I have used over the years. Please comment below any technique that you may use – I would love to try some other ways.

My past ways of coping with anxiety – 

  • Yoga & Exercise classes – During my A levels my anxiety peaked and I began to do some yoga to help me through the stressful period. Alongside the yoga I also did 3 to 4 exercise classes a week. I know that this had a positive impact on my mental health. Unfortunately the people I use to attend the classes with are now busy or we have fallen out of contact. Plus I would much rather make hot chocolate and watch a film with my partner. My partner is very supportive and we have tried going for a run of an evening but we’re useless at keeping it up. It’s definitely something I would like to do again though.

How I am currently coping with my anxiety – 

  • Exercise – Even just going for a walk. I work from home and my work is quite intense so I try to regularly go for a walk on what would be my lunch break. I’ll admit that I do not go as often as I would like to but on the days that I do I definitely notice an improvement in my mental health.
  • Healthy Eating – I’m a big believer in your body will tell you what it needs, however sometimes when it’s asking you for a bar of chocolate you should only give it an apple (Perhaps with a slice of cheese!).
  • Replacing negative memories with positive ones – The biggest way in which I am currently dealing with my anxiety is by creating positive memories. Right now my biggest anxiety is that I will have an anxiety attack (how silly is that?!). I have therefore decided that by taking little steps and going out and having a positive experience where I do not panic is the way to deal with it. Slowly I am rebuilding my bank of happy memories and I know it is somewhat helping me.
  • Relaxation – I am terrible at doing nothing, which is a bit of a contradiction as I’ll admit I’m a tad lazy! Sometimes when my anxiety gets a little bit much I find that I need a day just to ground myself again. During these days I will run errands, either bake or cook and sometimes spend time with my little cousins. Relaxation for me is not worrying about work and doing things that make me happy. A day isn’t always realistic so sometimes even if I just pop a face mask on and watch a couple of youtube videos just to take 10 minutes out.

Future 

  • Counselling/ CBT – I have previously referred myself for CBT, however during the six month wait I managed to get myself back on my feet. Stupidly when the appointment came through I turned it down. At this point I was working up in London, leaving the house at 7 in the morning and not returning until 7 at night and so I was unable to attend any of the appointments I was offered. I want to seek help again, however knowing how long the wait will be puts me off.
  • Start a hobby – I popped into a Hobby Craft the other week to pick up some bits for my Christmas wrapping. Whilst in there I was surprised at how calming it felt. I thought it would be nice to start a crafting hobby to keep my mind and hands occupied.

Safeguards – 

When my anxiety is particularly bad I have to build myself back up and rightly or wrongly so I do rely on safeguards. I am aware that safeguards have the potential to backfire and continue to limit my actions but I use them with that in mind.

For me my car has always been my safeguard. Throughout college I knew that if I felt anxious I could go and sit in my car and have a few minutes to myself. Throughout university I successfully weened myself off of this safeguard, having to commute up to London on trains. Until my Masters I was happy taking public transport. During my final year in education I found travelling on public transport increasingly difficult and often would find myself skipping classes to avoid the journey. Thankfully now I work from home commuting up by train is no longer an issue.

Recently I have found myself relying on having the car there again. I know that this is not healthy in the long term but for now at least I am going out.

………..

Today has been a bad day for my anxiety, I wanted to go out but couldn’t face leaving the house on my own. I’m starting to feel like I don’t want to leave the house again tomorrow but I know I have to fight the feeling. Somewhere deep inside of me I have to find the strength to keep fighting.

XOXO

16 thoughts on “How I cope with my anxiety

      1. I am a boxer, lift weights, do Zumba, flip tires because killing it in the gym, while my husband has coffee with the other guys that go for the social aspect, means that I can get through it hour by hour.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Hello, Liz! CBT is of great help when dealing with anxiety, as it helps you define and develop the coping mechanisms that work for you. It helps you to find the right routine (behavioural and cognitive…). We are really lucky to live in today’s world, because there are many apps that help you to get started, e.g. with mindfulness, and self-help books that guide you through exercises. Try to join some classes or group while waiting for a therapy, it is worth the effort 🙂
    Besides, remember that social support helps a lot – you sharing all your experience on this blog is amazing. You’re helping many of us, as we feel less isolated with our own difficulties, whether being coeliac and chocolate intolerant, having social phobia or fear of flying. We all have our miseries, big or small. All we can do is to learn to cope with them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do try to use some CBT coping mechanisms when and where I can! It’s great to see how many apps, books, etc… that are there to help ☺️
      Thank you! I believe the more we all discuss it the more ‘normal’ it is ❤️

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  2. I’ve done CBT and it has and does help but it’s not something you learn and just know you have to practise it or you can relapse (I’ve done this in the past week) mindfulness is a brilliant aid. I’ve founding reading helps. I’m in a book club so read/listen to so many books, I find it’s more of an escape mechanism but for bad days it’s better for me to get into a book than getting lost in my head

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    1. Thank you for your comment ☺️ I can relate to getting lost in your own head, unfortunately I find it difficult to shut my mind off enough to lose myself in a book when I’m in a bad place 😫 I’d love to explore CBT but I’ve been on a waiting list previously and nothing came of it. Took a lot to make that first phone call so to do it again is even more difficult – hopefully one day!

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      1. The only reason I managed to get help so quickly was it being so soon after having a baby. (Long story short I was afraid to leave the room my partner left me in when he went out as I couldn’t shake the feeling someone else was in the house) hopefully you get an appointment quickly and they can help you! It’s so incredibly useful. I’ll do anything to keep away from my own thought. I’m rarely alone to be left with them. Also if you feel like you’re on top of things when that CBT appt comes through still go! I know a few people that have regretted not going after being convinced they’re ‘ok’

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      2. Oh how terrible, I’m glad you got the help you needed! I waited 6 months for an appointment and by then I’d managed to get myself into a job and so was unable to make the appointment times 😫 Hopefully now I’m not working I’ll have more luck 🤞🏼 Thank you for your comments, it’s nice to hear positive reviews of CBT and know that it has its successes 😘

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  3. I found working out really helpful in dealing with my anxiety but thanks to a long commute home with my job I’ve since found that I don’t have the time – I’ve tried to go for a walk on my lunch break but I’ve always found that I end up spending money! 😂 I’m looking at where I can squeeze in a workout a couple of times a week because I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my anxiety since I stopped! I also totally agree with what you said about crafting being calming – I love it! A trip to Hobbycraft for me is pure heaven! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exercise can be so good for your mental health! I know how difficult it can be squeezing it in. When I was commuting up to London it was just too late by the time I got home. I also would go for a walk at lunch time and end up in the shops haha. Does your husband cook? Perhaps you could do an exercise video etc.. a couple of nights a week whilst he does dinner 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He does! I used to do it after work in my last job while he did it but the time constraints have really got in the way with commuting! I’m going to see if I can shuffle a few things around of an evening so I can get something in! xx

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