This blog I write will focus on anxiety and little tips I have learned along the way. Ive been suffering with anxiety for a very long time. Ive always been an anxious person since I was a child but since Ive been 19 it has spiralled out of control. As yous all know, I have multiple sclerosis but my anxiety has been with me long before that diagnosis. Some of you may have read previous blogs and know that I’ve endured specific dark times and I’ve suffered with anxiety, depression and PTSD. I can say now, I haven’t been depressed in a few years now, obviously I get sad sometimes but I’m not depressed. I do however suffer with anxiety and its very very debilitating. I sometimes find that its not ms that stops me from doing certain things, its my anxiety and it feels disabling most of the time.
On a good day, I usually only have one or two panic attacks, but I’m used to waking up everyday and feeling anxious from the moment I wake up until the moment I fall asleep, having maybe 8 panic attacks daily. It’s hard to enjoy life when this invisible monster is taking away what life should be about.
Ive been on and off anti depressants since I’m 19. You name it, Ive probably taking it. I came off anti depressants for a few months and it didn’t end well. I thought I could help myself without them. Truth is, I did need them but I also had to help myself and find ways to cope. There is no shame on being on anti depressants and I am also a firm believer in, doing things to help your depression and anxiety too. I’m basically trying to say that I believe in taking my anti depressants to help with my anxiety but I also believe that anti depressants alone isn’t going to help it go away.
I am on 50mg sertraline for my anxiety, which is probably the lowest dose of anti depressants I’ve ever been on. My doctor prescribed it to me a few years ago, I signed up for counselling in the Rape Crisis centre and got some cbt too. Going to counselling was probably the best thing that I ever done for myself.
Do I still have anxiety?? Yes I do. Do I think it will ever go?? Most likely not!!
Do I still experience anxiety on a daily basis? Yes I do!!
Do I think I can help myself and my anxious self?? 100%
Here our a few tips that I do every day to help myself feel
- To be in the present moment
- I use cbd oil to help calm myself. This is not an advert, its just something I take that makes me feel that much calmer in minutes. I usually take it every night before I go to sleep or if I’m out and about and feel a panic attack coming on, I will take a dropper.
- I meditate a lot. I use guided meditations, some off YouTube and I practice meditation on a daily basis, every night before I go to sleep and during the day when I feel especially anxious. It really helps calm me down and I feel better after I meditate.
- I do yoga too, I’m not great at yoga but its good for my strength, MS and good for my mind.
- I try to drink more water
Sometimes if I’m not doing my guided meditation, if I’m out and about, with friends, during the day and I feel anxious, I just close my eyes and meditate myself. I find it important to remember “when I am weak, then I am strong”. You can tell yourself that too. I think it’s a verse in the bible but its very relatable to this experience. When you have a panic attack, you are vulnerable but you are also strong.
1. I take a deep breathe in for four seconds and I breathe out for six seconds, this breathing method actually calms your central nervous system instantly.
2. I am aware of the anxious sensations and tell them its okay I know this will pass
3. I take my breath up to these awful sensations and tell them that I accept these sensations but I reject the fear
4. I surrender my pain to God (or whoever you believe or don’t believe in). That’s just my way of dealing.
5. I remind myself to be in the present moment and that once I accept these anxious sensations its then that I am in control
6. I remind myself that when I am weak its then that I am strong.
I know this is easier said than done, believe me there have been times that meditating didn’t work and I just have to ride the panic attack out. But the more I practice meditation the more I am noticing an improvement in my anxiety. I hope these tips might help someone out there. In light of recent events (covid19), I think everyone’s anxiety is through the roof. It’s important to remember to stay at home, wash your hands and try to limit how much news you take in on a daily basis because too much sad news can really affect your mental health. Stay safe everyone and remember this too shall pass.
Thanks for reading xx Christina