Health Lifestyle

Coping with Anxiety and Growing Your Wings Can Happen Simultaneously

I’m going to be very honest with y’all. I have never been someone who suffered from anxiety. I’ve never been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or anything else mental-health related. But, if you know me – you know that I am extremely passionate about mental health. I always have been and always will be.

That being said, it has started to hit even more close to home during these last few weeks, because I have started dealing with anxiety. I am not going to go in to too much detail about what it’s been like (yet) because I’m not ready. But I wanted to post this because I wanted to say that if you’re dealing with any types of new feelings of any kind, whether they’re new or old, good or bad, what have you – you are not alone.

I’ve been thinking a lot about butterflies since this whole thing started. I actually bought a butterfly necklace back in the beginning of this stay-at-home-indefinitely adventure. I’m not quite sure what inspired me to do so, but I think it’s that subconsciously, I am comparing this experience with the process of metamorphosis. Did you know that for a caterpillar to become a butterfly it has to be isolated for a long time? (I mean, yes, the cocoon is only big enough for one, haha but still.) This stuck out to me! I read, “A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that next time you feel alone.” I hope it sparks something in you, too. We can use this time to get our wings. We just have to give ourselves time to grow.

I have always thought that mental health should be talked about more and now that I have a place to share in this little corner of the internet, I felt like it was important. I’m not sure what specifically you’re going through or what it looks like for you, but for me, it’s been coming and going in waves and it’s been spiking at random times, usually at night and causing me to not be able to sleep. (Seriously, like 3am…)

So, I thought I’d share a little bit about what I’ve been doing to help with this. Again, I know everyone’s situation is different, but some tips and tricks are helpful across the board. Without further ado, here are some things I’ve been doing/adding/trying to help cope with my anxiety.

SELF CARE

The first and probably most suggested thing I’ve been doing to help is partaking in many different versions of self care. Some tangible examples of what this looks like:

Doing a face mask, painting my nails or toes, taking vitamins (I’ve really been loving Vitamin C immunity boosters and Goli Apple Cider Vinegar gummies), drinking lots of water (I’ve been tracking my water intake, 10/10 recommend because you don’t realize how little you’re drinking until you count), exercising (long walks in my neighborhood or OrangeTheory at home), journaling (try Jour app, I mention it here), meditation, skincare, drinking sleepy time tea, treating myself to online shopping (when and if possible), watching my favorite shows, taking long showers and overall just being kind to my body, because I know that’s what it deserves. And on that note, the next thing I’ve been doing is:

LISTENING TO MY BODY

After my second night of not being able to sleep, I started drinking sleepytime tea, and today I just ordered some sleep gummies because I want to make sure I’m prepared if this happens again. Additionally, I’ve been trying to be more mindful of what I eat, paying attention to how it makes me feel, what good nutrients I’m getting, what snacks I can go without, etc. It’s crazy to think something as “minor” as your diet could have an affect on anxiety, but from what I’ve read, it definitely can. For example, I started noticing that my body stopped handling alcohol well during this quarantine. About three weeks ago, I completely cut it out. My anxiety definitely lessened, but it hasn’t gone away. So I learned it was not just alcohol induced, but I know that my body is doing better without the intake of my nightly glass(es) of wine.

Another example of listening to my body is that I feel my eyes screaming at me. I do wear blue-light blocking glasses, which is great, but I am ready to give my eyes a break from my glasses, so I ordered some contacts. Also, to alleviate any other anxiety regarding my eyes, I am going to make an appointment with my eye doctor. I haven’t noticed anything I can specifically say that is wrong, but I just feel “off” about my sight. So, I want to make sure that everything is okay. I am listening to what my body is telling me! This also to me, feels like my last step, which is:

TAKING AN ACTION STEP

My eyes have been bothering me for quite some time now, while WFH. Not to the point where it affects my work, but to the point where it’s always in the back of my mind. A few days ago I realized, “Why am I sitting around worrying about it instead of taking action?” So I ordered some contacts, to see if that will help (I left my 90 day supply in NY, and I feel like my eyes could use a glasses-break.) I also plan to make that doctor appointment soon.

Another example is that I follow some inspirational accounts on social media and yesterday, I saw one of them is holding a course called “How To Shift To A Positive Mindset During A Crisis.” It sounded like something I could really benefit from, and I could afford it, so I decided to enroll! There are plenty of free resources as well, and other courses, community groups, apps, etc.

So now, with other similar situations, I plan to listen to my body and then take an action step. Even if it is as small as “I feel anxious. I’m going to take a long shower and watch my favorite movie while I drink some sleepytime tea.” There is no such thing as “something too small.” All action steps are good steps.

Please share below if you have any helpful things you like to do when you have anxiety. We are all in this together. I am sure to be writing about this topic more in the future, and with your permission, will include your tips and tricks in a future post!

Remember, give yourself time, and grow those wings! 🦋

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