6 Coping Techniques To Use For Panic Attacks

6 Coping Techniques To Use For Panic Attacks

We’ve all been in that situation where we suddenly experience a panic attack, whether you’re expecting it or not, it’s always a shock to the system. Everyone’s panic attacks are different. Mine usually consist of vertigo, a lump in the throat, sweaty, breathless, palpitations and more, depending on the situation I’m in.

I’ve noticed over the past few years that I tend to experience more panic attacks while travelling. When visiting my boyfriend in London he would have to meet me just outside the barriers and come with me on the tube. I was terrified of being alone without anyone to grab onto for support. An incident happened where my partner was ill and I needed to see him. However, he obviously couldn’t come with me on the tube and take me back to his parent’s house. I had to make the journey alone. This seemed impossible. But I think it’s one of the best things I have done for my mental health.

I managed to get on the tube by myself, albeit having a few wobbles. I got to his house by myself and it was such an accomplishment. From then on, my partner told me I would be making the journey by myself. I was angry with him. I wanted my security back. After two years of travelling on the train and meeting him on the other end, that would disappear and I would have to make the journey alone. But I did it. For over a year until I moved in with him.

I still get panic attacks when travelling alone but my anxiety has improved so much; I’m a completely different person to who I was before meeting Oliver.

So now that I’ve rambled on – and if you managed to read all of that – let me give you some tips on how to cope with panic attacks. These are a few techniques and remedies I’ve used but please be aware that not everything that worked for me will necessarily work for others.

Use the Tapping Technique

I read a while ago about a tapping technique, also called EFT tapping which is used for people with anxiety and PTSD to help relieve tension and trauma from negative events that have happened. You can read more on the technique and how to practice it here. This technique can help ground you but also take your mind off the situation by giving you something else to think about.

6 Coping Anxiety

Use Rescue Remedy

When I remember to bring it with me, I use Rescue Remedy to help relieve my anxiety. I have the liquid but I’ve also used the pastilles which I find better. I tend to eat a lot and like something to chew so chewing gum or pastilles really help. You can purchase Rescue Remedy here. Please be aware this is an affiliate link and any purchases you make through this link will benefit me and my blog! You won’t pay any extra, it just allows me to make money from the sale!

Scroll Through Your Phone

When I’m nervous I tend to want to do something with my hands so grabbing my phone is an instant relief for me. Try downloading some games onto your phone. When I travel, to take my mind off what I’m doing I hop onto Bubble Shooter.

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Take Yourself to a Safe Place

If you’re really struggling to keep it together and need somewhere quiet to go, you should try and find somewhere that makes you comfortable. Whether that’s going to a public bathroom and shutting yourself in a stall like I do, or grabbing a coffee and sitting down in a quiet corner, there’s always somewhere to calm down and collect your thoughts.

Call Someone to Distract You

I have a few friends I feel I can call upon when I’m anxious or having a panic attack. I usually call my friends or my partner who are able to calm me down. It really helps to distract me from my surroundings and grounds me. If you have someone who can be that person for you, that’s great! If you don’t, try texting someone or writing your worries down on paper or your notes app. It helps to write down your feelings so you can calm down.

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Get Yourself a Fidget Cube

Fidget cubes are a great way to distract yourself because you can fiddle around with buttons, switches etc. Even a Rubix cube or something small you can put in your bag may help you calm down and think about the task at hand.

I hope these were somewhat helpful tools for you to use in stressful and anxiety inducing situations! Let me know your techniques and what works for you in the comments.

5 New Year Goals to Improve Your Mental Health

5 New Year Goals to Improve Your Mental Health

This time of year is always a weird one for me and a lot of people I know. As someone with anxiety, it’s even worse. Not only do I not know what day it is but I also feel an overwhelming amount of dread about the New Year and what it will bring.

5 New Year Goals to Improve Your Mental Health

When you think about it, it seems so stupid to worry because time is a concept we’ve created and really it’s just another day. However, with everyone making New Year resolutions, I feel even worse.

A lot of people I follow on Twitter and Instagram have been sharing what they’ve accomplished this year. Compared to them I feel I have accomplished very little. Some have bought a house, had a baby, got married, traveled the world. I feel like my achievements are small compared to theirs. However, deep down I know that’s not true and I’ve had an extremely lovely year living with my partner, going on holiday and working hard to save for a home.

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One thing I want you to take away from this post is that you should not compare your journey to others. Your achievements matter, you matter. Everyone has a different version of what success means to them and it doesn’t always have to mean having a house, baby and marriage.

So without further ado, I’ll get on with my list of New Year goals you could set yourself and your mental health.

Cut Out Toxic People

One thing that happened to me a couple of years ago that involved a falling out in my family was actually a small blessing in disguise. Although I’m deeply hurt by what has happened, I feel like I can be my own person now. I haven’t cut my family or friends out of my life but I do limit what I say and how long I talk to them for so I don’t feel anxious or depressed. 

If you feel like you have toxic friends or a family member in your life that is affecting your mental health, speak up. It may be hard if it’s your immediate family but talking it through with them and voicing your concerns is the first step to a better relationship for everyone.

Limit Time On Social Media

Now this may seem like a difficult one to do. It definitely is for me considering I’m a social media manager and blogger. However, I do think it’s important to limit your time staring at screens because it tends to keep you up at night and whenever I’m on my phone at midnight my head is whirring with ideas and worries.

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Set yourself a timer; there are plenty of apps which allow you to set a limit for social media time. Some phones even have this in their settings.

What I usually do is set myself a goal if I’m desperate to grab my phone. I’ll read three chapters of my book, spend ten minutes on my phone and then go back to reading a further three chapters and so on.

Take Up A New Hobby

Taking up a new hobby or skill is a great way to channel your anxiety into a new project. You could attend a weekly group, pay for a college course such as a photography course or take up a hobby at home such as crafting or writing a short story.

Keep A Journal

Your journal could be like a diary or it can be a bullet journal where you can let your creativity run wild. There are loads of bloggers and YouTubers that create blog posts and videos for inspiration. It’s a great way to release some anxiety while getting creative.

5 Mental Health New Year Goals

Create A Self Care Box

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers and YouTubers create self care boxes for times when they feel really low. They can have anything from practical things such as nail clippers and bath bombs to trivial things such as magazines. There are so many things you can put in a self care box. You just have to find out what makes you happy when you’re feeling down. It may contain your favourite book, an emergency chocolate stash or some candles and face masks.

I hope these were helpful! Let me know what your mental health goals are for the year!

Guest Post: Overwhelmed

Guest Post: Overwhelmed

I asked a fellow blogger if she would kindly help me write a blog post for mental health awareness and I can’t wait for you to see it!

That dreaded overwhelming feeling

Writing this blog post, I have had so many ideas that I have went back and forth between yet I felt like it was best to write about something that I am currently dealing with. I want to use this post to share tips, a story or two and a few of my favourite quotes.

Overwhelm
‘Have a strong emotional effect on’
‘Bury or drown beneath a high mass of something’

Feeling overwhelmed is not something that can be easily described, it’s a tightness in your chest, exhaustion and mood swings. It is something that is so similar to anxiety that it is difficult to see the difference between the two. I label my anxiety and the feeling of being overwhelmed ‘the two devils’.

As of lately I’ve been trying to mentally work out which I am feeling at each point in the day. Mostly at the minute it is a constant overwhelming feeling that seems to tick my anxiety off. I have recently just began my second year of journalism and I’m putting so much pressure on myself to get a first that I am overwhelming myself with so much extra work load that really isn’t necessary. This in turn then causes me to get that dreaded overwhelming feeling surrounding the workload of uni which then has a knock on effect that flicks my anxiety gauge to high. Once I begin to feel anxious and overwhelmed everything becomes a problem; the workload, grades, the degree itself, my future, failure, just absolutely everything.

That dreaded feeling is a combination of wanting to stay in bed but making yourself physically sick with how worried and anxious you are that you haven’t done anything. That dreaded feeling is best friends with your rocky mental health. That dreaded feeling wants to be in control. That dreaded feeling will get in the way of everything and everyone.

When life gets hectic and you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to focus on the people and things you are most grateful for. When you have an attitude of gratitude, frustrating troubles will fall by the wayside.

Now, if you ever feel yourself losing control and that dreaded feeling taking over these are the few times that help me most times!

Set boundaries – In my example I have used university as my example, however, that dreaded feeling can creep up over anything. It is important to set boundaries on what times and how long you are going to spend trying to focus on the particular thing that is causing that dreaded feeling.

Plan – use your time wisely yet don’t be too ambitions or disheartened. Mental health is unpredictable and some days you need to recover after a mentally draining day by recharging your batteries and not worrying about what needs to happen.

Talk – taking is one of the hardest yet most valuable thing when it comes to any form of mental health.

That’s it, just three times to help fight back at that dreaded feeling. You got this! I believe in you!

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Guest Post: Surviving Winter

Guest Post: Surviving Winter

This week’s guest poster is Jo who writes at her own blog, My Anxious Life. All her links will be put down below. Happy reading!

The weather has turned, Autumn is upon is. It gets lighter later, darker earlier, everything is a dreadful shade of worn concrete – and let’s not even mention the rain. Even if you don’t suffer with SAD, there’s no doubting that the Autumn and Winter months can have a negative affect on our mental health.

Personally, this time of year leaves me in a near constant state of exhaustion. I struggle to get out of bed at the best of times but in winter, when it’s still so dark in the mornings, it feels like a crime to leave the warmth and safety of my bed – and once I’m up, I begin the bedtime countdown almost immediately. I strongly believe that I’m some kind of evolutionary throwback with my intense desire to hibernate come winter!

I become sluggish, start comfort eating and claiming that red wine is medicinal. I get grumpy and, because I do like to get out and about, being cooped up indoors means I start to ruminate and overthink (even more than usual). If you’re like me and aren’t careful, these are all things that can lead you right into the hungry jaws of depression.

So I’ve put together some ideas to help you avoid the winter mental health slump and stay sane until spring.

Don’t Let Your House Be a Prison

If you’re going to be spending a lot more time indoors because of bad weather, cancelled activities or general winter malaise, avoid feeling anxious and trapped by making sure your home is a lovely place to be. You could do a bit of spring (winter?!) cleaning but personally, I’d rather stick to the fun stuff. Try experimenting with some seasonal accessories to liven up the place or buying extra blankets and cushions to make your pad super snuggly. If you have children, you could even invest in a teepee so nestling inside on a rainy day can be a fun game instead of a depressing bore.

Take Up a Hobby

Keep your mind active and avoid letting it wander by taking up a hobby – preferably an indoor one! It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or complicated, it could be as simple as experimenting with pencil sketching or trying crochet (you can now buy starter kits with everything you need in one box and it’s supposed to be an excellent pursuit to aid mental health).

There are loads of great YouTube channels to help guide you in activities like yoga or meditation – you could even do an online course.

Or, if you’re like my husband and have a garage full of equipment from a variety of abandoned hobbies, try getting back into something you already started. Your other half will thank you for finally getting some use out of that glue gun.

Get Out When You Can!

When the crisp, sunny winter days do make an appearance, get out and enjoy them! Walking in the forest is one of my absolute favourite things to do at any time of year – it’s great for grounding, which can help reduce stress, improve circulation and inspire calm and tranquility. And the fresh air, Vitamin D and feeling of being surrounded by nature works wonders.

They might end up being a washout, but also look out for local outdoor events like apple harvests, scarecrow festivals, guided foraging or star gazing. Sometimes getting out with a group can do you the world of good and help you make it through the particularly dreary days.

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Create a Self-care Box

Through the winter months, the chances are there will be fewer social engagements and trips out, so it’s the perfect opportunity to take care of yourself and get into good habits so that your self-care routine continues to stay on point well into the new year. Get a nice box or basket and fill it with everything that makes a special evening for you. It doesn’t matter what it is, and it’s not for anyone else to judge. All that matters is that when you come in from work, soaking wet, after a particularly bad day, your personalised kit is ready to take the edge off. Just make sure you have a Do Not Disturb sign for your door…

Self care

Experiment with Some of Those Wellness Techniques You’ve Been Reading About

You’ve spent most of the year reading blogs and magazine articles about all these things you should be doing to aid your mental health and overall well-being, but you’ve been so busy you’ve barely had a chance to scratch the surface with any of them. Well now’s the time.

Get stuck in with anything that might have caught your fancy. Try creating your own personal affirmations, starting a diary, or practicing meditation. Do some research into any holistic therapies that you’ve found interesting, like essential oils, crystals or CBD. Start a gratitude journal, set personal goals or just explore the benefits of taking a nap.

By using this time to experiment, you’ll figure out exactly what works for you – and what doesn’t – by the time spring starts to bloom.

Get into Reading

I love a Netflix binge as much as the next person, but it’s probably not the best thing for our mental health to just take shelter in a box set until next April. Reading can help reduce stress, improve our memory and inspire relaxation. But perhaps most importantly, it gets us away from the pull of our phones and TV’s and the blue light they emit, which can have a negative effect on our sleep and circadian rhythms.

If you’re not sure you can commit to a novel, you could always try magazines like Happiful, In the Moment or The Happy Newspaper to bring some much-needed sunshine and mindfulness into those dark winter days.

Get Creative in the Kitchen

If you’re anything like me, the onset of Autumn leads to insatiable hunger and major carb loading. But whilst it might be comforting, acting like we’re storing nuts for the winter isn’t good for our mental (or physical) health.

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You might associate all the most colourful and delicious foods with spring and summer, but loads of gorgeous and nutritionally rich fruit and veg come into season September-December. And because of the season, they tend to be nice and hefty..! So whether it’s apples and pears, or beetroot, cabbage, kale and swede, you’ll be able to create a variety of soups, stews and pies that will fill you up and warm the cockles without the junk food comedown afterwards. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or struggle not to burn cereal, the winter months are a perfect time to start experimenting.

What are your top tips to surviving the winter slump?

Jo writes the blog My Anxious Life, where she talks with honesty and humour about her personal experiences with mental ill health, and her journey towards self-development, wellness and happiness.

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Guest Post: Five Ways to Keep Anxiety in Check When You are Travelling

Guest Post: Five Ways to Keep Anxiety in Check When You are Travelling

This week’s mental health related post is a guest blog from Sarah over at https://www.clinpsychsarah.com/blog

Five Ways to Keep Anxiety in Check When You are Travelling

Travelling is one of the most incredible ways you can spend your time and money, if you get the chance to. So many of the memories that I cherish are of times when I was out in the world, experiencing different cultures and seeing animals I can’t find in the UK: going on safari in Kenya and seeing elephants in the wild; swimming with sea turtles in Mexico; whale watching off the coast of Iceland. There’s also something to be said for food in other countries – my first taste of Dole Whip at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one I will never forget!

I’m a clinical psychologist by trade, working with people with chronic physical health conditions. But I also have experience of my own mental health difficulties. I’ve struggled with anxiety from a young age and, whilst it never goes away, I’m very aware of the situations that make me feel anxious and have some strategies to manage them now as an adult. One of the things that makes me particularly anxious is travelling – even though I love it, the unpredictability of transportation, the language barrier, and the changes to my daily routine are things that can trigger worry and panic in me quite easily. So in this blog post, I wanted to share some of the things that help me to manage my anxiety when I’m away from home. I hope they’ll be useful to you as well.

Have a Plan

This is super useful if you struggle with anxiety in certain situations. Whilst it’s often important to put yourself in situations that make you feel anxious, so that you can get used to feeling anxious and learning that nothing bad happens, that’s probably not an experience you need to put yourself through on holiday! I’m not saying you need a minute-by-minute plan (although feel free to have one if it helps!), but having a rough itinerary for your time away can help you to feel more in control of the process, as well as helping you to budget for your trip and get to see all the things you want to without feeling rushed. If you know that there are particular things that will stress you out more than others, make sure you allow extra time for those things. For example, one of my particular panics is around getting to my hotel from whichever airport I find myself at. So, I make sure that I have a strategy for doing that, and plan in extra time so that if I’m getting a bus or train, it’s not the last one and I can have a contingency plan.

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Travel with Others

This comes with a few caveats! Whilst I love travelling with other people, and don’t think I would want to travel alone, make sure the people you are with understand your difficulties with anxiety. There’s nothing worse than going on holiday and feeling pressured into doing something because your friends/family haven’t realised how anxious it makes you – or worse, don’t care how anxious it makes you because they want to do it anyway. I’m lucky that I have people in my life who care about me and want to make things easier for me (I wouldn’t have been able to navigate New York in the freezing cold without my best friend, or Palma in the sweltering heat without my husband) but, if you don’t have those people, being alone might make it easier for you to manage your days.

  • Take things that remind you of home
    If you have a specific routine at home to manage your anxiety, work out how much of it is portable. Having things that remind you of feeling safe and calm can be really helpful when you’re stressing out in a foreign country. Look particularly for things that stimulate all the senses:
  • Sight – a picture of loved ones, or your pets, or maybe a letter written to yourself from when you were feeling less anxious to remind you of why you love travelling and why you’re doing it.
  • Touch – something soft and calming like a small blanket or scarf, or something that you can use to keep your hands busy, like a stress ball.
  • Taste – taking a small amount of something that you really like, such as a bar of your favourite chocolate, can be really helpful to ground you when you’re panicking. Just make sure that you’re allowed to take it into the country that you’re visiting, otherwise you might end up having other problems than anxiety!
    Smell – take your favourite scent, or something that reminds you of comfort and safety. Tiny bottles of perfume or essential oils like lavender and peppermint can be helpful for this.
  • Hearing – I never go anywhere without my iPod, as listening to music has a really calming effect on me. Make sure you have some of your favourite tunes on hand, to distract you for a little while and allow your body and mind to calm down.

Learn a Few Key Phrases

I’ve always been quite jealous of people who pick languages up naturally when they’re away – sadly, I am not one of them, and communication difficulties are something that are also likely to raise my anxiety quite a bit. When you’re going to a county that you know might be difficult to navigate due to language differences, learning a few phrases can be really helpful to make you feel more in control. As well as allowing you to learn a bit of a different language, people are often much more friendly when they feel that you’re making an effort to communicate with them, and are often really excited to teach you new things.

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Remember to Breathe!

Important but often over-looked, breathing and relaxation practices form the basis of most anxiety-management techniques. When you find one that you like, make sure that you practice every day – it’s a bit like playing the piano in that the more you do it, the better you’re likely to get. Start practicing somewhere quiet and calm, so that it’s not too difficult to notice when you’re starting to feel less anxious. When you’ve started to be able to regulate your breathing in order to calm yourself down, you’ll be able to do it in different situations, such as in a busy supermarket, or on an airplane. You don’t need to practice relaxation for hours at a time either – two or three minutes of diaphragmatic breathing, two or three times a day, is enough to start to feel the benefit after a few weeks.

I hope this blog has given you some ideas to manage your anxiety when travelling. Travel safely, and enjoy!

If you liked this blog, you can read more of my work at www.clinpsychsarah.com/blog

You can also find Sarah over on Twitter at @academiablues

 

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

Every year, on 10th October, it’s World Mental Heath Day. I believe we should be aware all year round, but to celebrate this day, I and a few guest bloggers will be writing about Mental health throughout the month. They will be sharing with you their advice, stories, tips and much more this month so keep a look out!

What Is World Mental Health Day?

World Mental Health Day is all about bringing awareness to the stigma surrounding mental health and making sure we’re there for our loved ones who suffer with these illnesses every day. It’s also a time for people to speak up about their work and what needs to be done to change the way we see mental health. You can read more about World Mental Health Day here.

What Can I Do To Help?

There are so many things you can do to help beat the mental health stigma and some of these include but are not limited to:

  • Fundraising
  • Talking about mental health openly
  • Researching to understand mental health illnesses better
  • Donate to mental health charities
  • Be there for friends/family who are struggling with their mental health

There are lots of ways to get involved and to have your voice heard!

Look out for my guest posts coming throughout the month…

Why Having a Career is Overrated

Why Having a Career is Overrated

I know what you’re thinking, she’s lured me here with a click-baity article that I now have to skim read in order to find out what she means. Well, you are right, it is click-baity but also relevant. You’re probably thinking to yourself “oh what a hippy, she doesn’t work and believes we shouldn’t have to.” Well, you’re partly right, I don’t believe we should but that’s a subject for another time. What I mean by this title “Why having a career is overrated” is that we shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves – or our children – to pursue one type of career.

I was watching the Real Housewives of New York the other night where one of the wives was putting pressure on her 12 year old to go into acting, forget about her education and decide what she wants to do in life. At 12. She also wanted to get her into the family business so made her child go into the office on her day off school. It’s a no from me. Yes, teach your child a good work ethic but do not be pushing them into a career.

What I used to love when I was younger was when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I used to say all the obvious answers, such as I wanted to be an actress or a vet. I could have done those things I suppose. But when I got to the lovely age of 15 and 16, the dreaded question would come up, but this time more serious. “What do you want to do with your life?” “You need to decide what you want to study at college in order to have a career.”

First of all, no, you don’t. You do not need to decide what you want right now, or ever, in fact. Having one set goal for a career is unrealistic. I’ve had so many ideas for what I want to do in life, from writing, editing and animal care. I have been in countless jobs. I’ve worked in retail, I’ve been a waitress, I’ve worked in an office and now I’m self employed as a social media manager.

I am perfectly happy right now and I don’t know what the future holds. I just know that I will only ever apply to jobs that I want. I will only ever do what I want. But you know what? All those jobs I hated got me to where I am now. I appreciate the people who work in retail because I could never do it again. Some people enjoy their jobs or have to do their jobs to live. But as long as you have that experience and you work a lot of different jobs, the right one will eventually come along. You’ll appreciate the hard times you had as a waitress under stress. You’ll appreciate the customers being snotty because now you have a backbone. You can learn so much from different roles so that’s why I think it’s important to experience everything. Don’t set goals because your path could end up anywhere. Go with the flow as they say and see where life takes you.

My Experience With OCD

My Experience With OCD

This is quite a sensitive subject to cover on my blog. But I think it’s important to make people more aware of OCD. I never really realized I had OCD until it started to get worse. First of all, I’m going to start off by explaining what OCD is and then move on to what my version of OCD feels like.

What is OCD?

Mind describes OCD as: “Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder. It has two main parts: obsessions and compulsions.

Obsessions are unwelcome thoughts, images, urges, worries or doubts that repeatedly appear in your mind. They can make you feel very anxious (although some people describe it as ‘mental discomfort’ rather than anxiety).

Compulsions are repetitive activities that you do to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. It could be something like repeatedly checking a door is locked, repeating a specific phrase in your head or checking how your body feels.”

My Experience

I’ve always had a bit of OCD. When I was 9 I went through a phase of having to drink lots of water – more than normal – so that I felt things could be alright. I have had those “I have to touch it otherwise a family member dies” type experiences. But predominately the one obsession I get over and over again is having to read the same sentence in a book three times over. If I’ve read the sentence twice because I wasn’t paying attention the first time around, I have to do it a third time otherwise something bad will happen. It changes every day, which person will die if I don’t do it, whether something else bad may happen. I know it won’t, but my mind always asks me “what if?” So to be on the safe side I do it anyway. I haven’t really told people that – and it’s partly why I’m such a slow reader.

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Another compulsion I have had since I was little is to have to say goodnight to everyone I love three times in my head. And to also repeat the same sentence three times if I think a bad thought and want it to go away.

I try to work on it every day, by dismissing it and telling myself over and over that nothing bad will happen if I don’t say the same thing three times in a row. But our minds work in mysterious ways. I know for a fact we will all die, something bad always happens no matter what. It’s just trying to overcome the urge to complete the compulsions that I find difficult. But I will get there.

I wanted to write this post mainly because I always feel very alone in this. But I know there are loads of people out there who feel the same things as I do. We aren’t alone in this. OCD has always been stereotyped as needing to be a clean “freak.” But that’s not at all what OCD is. It’s about obsessing and having to repeat yourself and battling with the thoughts in our heads every day. You are not alone.

How to Take Care of Yourself

OCD can be really scary sometimes but there are ways to take care of yourself. These include:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Try some relaxation techniques
  • Try mindfulness
  • Create a support network of who you can trust
  • Try to get some exercise
  • Try to say affirmations every day
  • Manage your stress levels the best way you know how
  • Get online support (OCDAction and OCDUK have online communities)

I hope you found this post helpful. If you did, don’t forget to check out my other mental health posts.

 

Why I Didn’t Go To University

Why I Didn’t Go To University

This week’s post is slightly different. I’m going to talk about the reason I didn’t go to university, or college for that matter!

I was homeschooled up until the age of thirteen, when I decided to go into high school (I know, biggest mistake of my life). I went in and felt like I was in some sort of chick flick. It was full of bitchy girls, some of whom were supposed to be my “friends” who insisted on being nasty pieces of work.

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I had anxiety before going into school but it was nothing major. Then the panic attacks started in class. I needed to get out. I raised my hand in class and asked to leave the room, however, I couldn’t get up from my seat, I was too petrified with everyone looking at me.

This awful ginger headed girl who’s name escapes me (school bully) put her hand up and offered to take me to the nurse (so she could get out of class). So I was taken to the nurse who passed my anxiety attack off as needing something to eat so she basically watched me force feed myself. My mum was called and I was taken home. I never went back.

That’s when it all started. The panic attacks eventually led to me not being able to go out by myself. I was at college one day a week at the time studying a BTEC in animal care for teens aged 14-16. Something that I found exciting turned into a dreaded nightmare. I hated it. I couldn’t go anymore. I couldn’t see my friends or the animals I cared for. I was a shell of the person I used to be. I never really got back to who I was. I just reinvented myself.

I managed to get through my GCSEs on my own without any teachers, just myself. I had panic attacks in the exams but even with that I managed to get a B in the most important subject to me: English. I’m really proud of myself for getting through that year in my life.

I didn’t go to university partly because I didn’t have the qualifications, but I also wanted to just work. I wanted to start off a career straight away because I knew I wanted to save for a future with my partner.

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I managed to get a traineeship with a digital media agency and after three horrendous years in so many different jobs, I’m now a freelance social media manager. I’m living with my partner and we’re saving for our very own place. I’m excited about the future. I didn’t think I’d get this far.

I just want to say, if you’re struggling, let this be your sign to keep going. I did. Vee x

International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day!

In this week’s post I’ll be telling you what I’m doing to celebrate International Women’s day and what you can do to celebrate.

What is International Women’s Day?

On the International Women’s day web page, it is defined as: International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women’s equality.”

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How I’m Celebrating

I was invited to “The Last Straw – Trash Talk” this Friday which I’m really looking forward to since they have a panel of female influencers talking about sustainable living.

“On Friday 8th March 2019, WeAreWaterloo in partnership with The Young Vic will bring together a panel of female influencers to inspire and motivate Londoners to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.

The Young Vic

Earlier this month, Pinterest reported that searches for ‘sustainable living for beginners’ were up 265% from last year. With more and more studies pointing to a growing consumer interest in sustainable living, particularly among Millennials and Gen Z, on International Women’s Day, a panel of female influencers will discuss how people can embrace a more sustainable lifestyle.

Headed up by Sustainable Stephanie with panellists including Laila Woozeer, Sophie Benson, Sophie Davies and Liv Andersson, The Last Straw: Trash Talk, will include practical tips to help attendees easily adopt practices within their personal and work lives.”

How You Can Celebrate

  • Host a slumber party with your girls and host a little bake sale to raise money for IWD
  • Share your favourite female authors or actors/celebs/inspirational women on your blog
  • Join in on an event in your area
  • Host your own party or talk to celebrate
  • Write your own article or blog post celebrating IWD and what it means to you
  • Donate to your local women’s refuge
  • Raise money by selling your art or crafts
  • Post on social media using the relevant IWD hashtags to raise awareness
  • Celebrate the women in your life by doing something kind for them

I hope you got some good ideas on what to do this IWD! Have a great one! Vee x