Like many people now-a-days I struggle with depression and anxiety. I have always been determined to avoid taking medication to temper the effects and because of this I have had to find my own way to balance / cope with the effects without letting it impact my working and personal life.
It wasn’t until recently when I had a week off work that I realised just how integral my daily routine was for my mental well being, especially when I was feeling so low and anxious.
Initially intended as a week off to play the latest of World of Warcraft (it was the latest expansion release and I have always taken 5 days off on the latest release to play it), it ended up being a bit of a sham.
Stocking up with munchies and easy to cook oven meals, I ignored my normal sleeping routine and slept very little when I did, only allowing maybe 5 hours of sleep. I drank copious amounts of tea rather than the usual fruit juice and water, and I stared at a screen from the moment I woke until the moment I slept.
This lasted 3 days and then my anxiety kicked in and the worst part about anxiety is you know when it’s happening.
You know that the anxiety is causing you to become irrational and erratic but you just can’t stop yourself.
The below steps are what helped me get control of my anxiety issues. It isn’t by any means a quick- fix solution but it is a starting point and gives you a routine to be pro-active and busy. By continuing to make sure I did as many of these things as possible every morning I began to feel happier in myself and slowly the anxiety subsided.
These six steps helped me sort my head and my issues out and because I was doing them for me and no one else, it allowed me to feel like I had gained a sense of self back, something I felt I had lost in amongst all the noise of the anxiety.
There are of course other things you can do to promote inner well being such as getting fresh air, smiling, drinking lots of water and eating healthily. However, with so much around these days concerning healthy living, these should already be in peoples peripheral and pretty much a no-brainer!
I would just like to point out that these steps helped me cope with my depression and anxiety issues however they are not a cure- all solution. My anxiety has peaks and troughs and will always re-emerge and then subside. There have been points where I did struggle and I did seek help. The important bit is knowing when you have reach the limits of your capabilities and when you need to seek alternative help.
If you are struggling, please don’t hesitate to see a doctor if you need. There is no shame or weakness in asking for help . Strength does come from within however it is the support and advice from sources around us that keeps us strong.