Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Anxiety & What to do?

So it's less then a week until Christmas and if you're anything like me this is the absolute worst part of the holiday period for me. Most years I try to get everything done before the mad rush before Christmas but my payment does not come in until the 23rd.. . . which means i will be doing ALL of my Christmas Shopping on the 23rd two days before Christmas. . . I am getting pretty tense just thinking about it, so like I did with the Christmas, Depression and How to Help (click here to read) I am going to give you some ideas on how to self help and how to help out a friend or loved one who may be experiencing Anxiety or something similar over the holiday season.

Help yourself: 

If you're reading this you're probably pretty aware that you've got anxiety of some form, these tips below are some tings that i personally use to help myself through some of my more anxious periods. 

  • Listen to music or Read: This one is pretty straight forward. If you're feeling tense take some time to listen to some music that calms you or read a chapter in a book. For me it can be one song, or three pages that calm me down, for you it might be more, or less. 
  • Meditate: If you're anything like me the first time I was introduced to meditation I kind of rolled my eyes and laughed a little, until i actually tried it properly. I like to use the mindfulness way of meditating as I can do it in many places with out people knowing, However there are hundreds of meditation guides on the Internet, namely YouTube, I'd be happy to help you find some, just tweet me @moniquediplock ,I'd be happy to help
  • Grounding: A lot of people haven't really heard of grounding but its a really good way to take your minds attention away from an anxiety or panic attack. If you feel panic or anxiety boiling up just simply look around you for five red things, or five R's or five tree's that are the same, do this for a while and it will distract your mind. Another good way to ground yourself is to download a gaming app on your phone, I like to have a Word Search app of some description and just go to town on that to bring my self back down a little bit
  • know your limits:  A lot of people don't know their anxiety limits, if you don't this is probably the best time of year to find them out, some peoples anxieties are triggered by children, some are triggered by crowds, others are triggered by being alone. What ever your anxiety or panic triggers may be chances are over the next week you will more then likely experience them. Once you know what your limits are stick by them, for your own sake as well as others. 
  • Take Time Out: This one is pretty important for me. Once you know your limits you know when it's getting to the point where you need to take a moment out, get some fresh air, go for a walk, Most people don't know this about me but I am not afraid to go sit in the toilet for 15mins if i am having an anxiety attack. I have done this on many occasions before an appointment or in the middle of class before a test, I mean it's not the most hygienic of options, but no one can judge you for going to the toilet now, can they? 
  • Set a budget: This one doesn't need much explanation, We all need to eat after Christmas as well, if you set a budget for gifts and a budget for food this will cut down some the holiday related stress. 
  • Exercise: Like with depression exercise releases some endorphins that reduces the affects that anxiety can have on a persons system. Go for a 10 min walk before an event that you know will trigger your anxiety, go for a walk mid event, but please, be safe. 
  • Say No: It's one thing to know your limits, its another to be able to say no. No is such a strong, powerful word, Say it at the right time and you could thank yourself a little later. 

Signs of Anxiety in yourself: 

There are over 100 signs and symptoms of Anxiety, these are just a few that i personally get, they are certainly not limited to this in anyway:

  • Dizziness, Numbness and tingling
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches, Neck tension
  • Nausea, Stomach upset, nervous stomach
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Feeling like you are going crazy
  • Inability to rest

Help some one else: 

Some times it's hard to be the friend of some one with an anxiety disorder. Even as a human with an anxiety disorder I can often find it quite difficult to be around other people with different sorts of anxiety then mine, but it is so important to know how to help your friend when he or she is in  or about to launch in to a panic or anxiety attack. 

  • Get them to a place where they feel safe: If you can see your friend or loved one is coming to a state of panic, remove them from what ever situation you're in, get them some where they feel safe, even if it's some where you don't particular feel so great. 
  • Leave them alone, Or don't: This one pretty much leads in to the next one, A lot of people want to be left alone during an anxiety or panic attack, i know i do, but a lot of people don't, the thought of being alone at these times is worse then the thing they are fearing or panicking about. If they want to be alone, let them, if they do not, let them know you're there. 
  • Ask them what they need: A lot of people who live with Anxiety know what they need (many don't) Your friend is likely to tell you what will help them, water, head phones fresh air. Listen to them and try to help, with what they are telling you they need. 
  • ground them: or distract them. Tell them about something your cat or dog did that was super cute, ask them to find five circles or ten people wearing a red jumper. This will their mind move on from the problem and hopefully you guys can be on your merry way to celebrating what ever you desire. 
  • Stay calm: This is super important. Anxiety is being scared all the time. If your friend or loved one sees that you are also agitated, whether it be from their panic or a fear of you own, they will more then likely jump to the conclusion of their fear being your fear as well, you staying calm and assuring your friend will hopefully sooth them. 
  • Don't judge: After and during the anxiety attack your friend or loved one is going to feel like they are a burden to you, like they have wasted your time, like you hate them. Please if your friend lets you see them at this time, their most vulnerable time, don't judge them for it, it's hard enough, If we could avoid these attacks, trust me, we would!

Signs of Anxiety in Someone Else: 

There are over 100 signs and symptoms of Anxiety, these are just a few that i personally get, they are certainly not limited to this in anyway:
  • They're always tense, 
  • They complain of chest pains or a fast beating heart. 
  • Always on edge, looking around or acting like they are waiting for something. 
  • They're fears are strange, 
  • They sleep horribly, 
  • Always snappy or grumpy, 
  • It's their way or the highway with tasks, 
  • They avoid certain things that could trigger them (for example, I hate crowds)

Christmas is a time where most of us feel joy and happiness, we enjoy our families, we celebrate the good things in our life. For many it highlights the divisions, the distance and the loss. Please if you are worried about a work mate, friend or loved one, reach out. They’ll be thankful that you did.

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