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Anxiety & Me

April 23, 2021 1 Comment

Anxiety & Me

I've always been an anxious soul. My Mum often tells me of the little behaviours I had when I was a child that were different to my siblings or other children. Like getting in and out of the car lots of times until it felt 'right', or constantly having to tell her everything because I'd worry one of us would die and I'd never have got what I wanted to say out. It sounds so odd written down but they were big worries for me that led to some really odd behaviour.

It got particularly bad was when I was in Year 2 at school (6/7 years of age). I had a teacher who terrified me and it led me into what I now know to be a quite a bad anxious state. I wouldn't sleep on my own and my Mum had to sit and wait with me until I fell asleep (all whilst studying to re-sit her Maths GCSE too...I'm not sure how she did it). I'd wake up in the night thinking it was the morning and get dressed and ready for school. I guess 'unsettled' would be a good word to describe it all. 

From these times as I got older it came and went in various stages of intensity. It wasn't until I'd moved out of home and was living independently that I really noticed it return. I got diagnosed in my early twenties due to this and honestly, it was like a weight had been lifted. An explanation for everything that had been and everything I'd struggled with before. On this occasion I went on medication which allowed me to slowly cope with it better. 

Later on in my twenties it returned quite badly and this time I decided (as well as medication) to try therapy. Therapy was a real turning point for me. It gave me insight into my triggers and how to better cope when it flares up. It provided me with the tools I needed to process the feelings and also the ability to sit with them and trust in the knowledge that they can and will pass. 

Recently, at the age of 35 I've been feeling the tight chest and weight of anxiety again. I've not been entirely sure of why it's returned, I'm guessing it's a combination of the past year and other things.  Dealing with COVID and not getting out and about seeing people like I used to. I think being Pregnant is also a contributing factor.  Either way, it's here with me. Heavy on my chest, causing many a tearful breakdown and sleepless night...but it's okay. I know it's okay. I know that I am safe. I know that I have got through these bad patches before. I know that if I tell people how I'm feeling, it gets a little lighter. I know that crying is okay because it releases tension I desperately need releasing. I know I am going to be okay. 

I thought I'd just share with you a few things that I've been doing in order to help. 

- Tell people. You don't have to tell everyone but telling a few people you trust makes it feel less isolating. I know not everybody gets it or understands it but if you can find one person that does, it makes a world of difference. 

- Self Soothe. Whether that's getting out for a short walk, watching your fav TV program, listening to music you love, being creative etc. Find what helps you and do it. I've been listening to 'Falling' by Harry Styles over and over because for some reason it soothes me and makes me feel calm!

- Don't make plans for anything that will make it worse. It's okay to say no to people. It's okay to pass on things for now. You're not saying it's a forever no, you're saying it's a no for now whilst you put your own mental health first. 

- Create a nice pre bedtime routine. This is so helpful if you're finding anxiety is effecting your sleep. I am a massive fan of essential oils and use soothing ones such as Lavender every bedtime. 

- Remember that even though it feels so incredibly hard and heavy you have got through it before. It does pass and you will feel better again. 

Sending all my Love, 

Jess xx

 




1 Response

iamjanet_gregor
iamjanet_gregor

May 23, 2021

I totally get you! At 57 I’m having PTSD from childhood. Anxiety elephant sitting on my chest. Leaving a cart full of groceries in the middle of the aisle cause I could breath.

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