I read a quote somewhere the other day, that said one of the best ways to sum up anxiety is like when you’re playing a game and hear the music that means a boss/enemy is about to attack, but you can’t see them on screen or tell where they’re coming from. That’s just the best description. I didn’t realise until I got to uni just how many people are struggling with depression, or anxiety, or just too much stress, and in a weird way it’s sort of reassuring to know other people have experienced the same things. My anxiety has been an issue for a long time, mostly because of my family (they’re crazy and not in a good way). It’s gone back and forth from all round general panic to just the sort of social anxiety of “oh-my-god-someone’s-calling-and-I-can’t-remember-how-to-answer-the-phone-like-a-normal-human”. It’s got a lot better since I got to uni, and that’s partly because of being away from said crazy family, and partly because of my amazing boyfriend. So I wasn’t really expecting it to crop up again and I don’t know if it’s because of the increasing pressure of uni work, the fact that sometime in the future I might have to pretend to be an adult, or what, but out of the blue it came back again, so that I had a teeny tiny little panic attack in the middle of a shop. It’s the weirdest thing- you feel completely fine and then it bops up out of nowhere and whacks you in the face so you’re scared, but not sure why you’re scared, and then it’s even more scary because you don’t know what you’re meant to be scared of, and in one second you’ve gone from normal to hyperventilating in a shopping aisle. It is just that feeling that there’s a boss about to pop up that you’re going to have to fight, but not knowing when or where. People seem to have different opinions about stuff like anxiety- I talked to a doctor once about it who seemed to think it wasn’t much of an issue and that having a massage or going shopping should sort it out. Right. Different stuff works for different people, and I’m still trying to find ways to kind of just shh it down a little but lucky for me, I have a boyfriend who’s helping me kick its ass, and in the meantime, the things that I’ve found that work for me are:
- The whole breathing thing. It really does work-it kind of gives you a chance to calm down and remember that if you can’t think of the reason why you’re feeling scared/anxious then maybe there isn’t one.
- The adult colouring thing. Seriously. It really helps. It lets your mind sort of disconnect and zone out for a bit, it’s really therapeutic.
- Exercise. I hated it when I was little but going to the gym now is actually nice; thinking about nothing for a while and just exercising can really calm you down, and might as well make use of all that nervous twitchiness.
- Reading. Just all the time. Reading. Always.
- Lists. This is more of a last resort thing when I’m stressing out and although it makes me look like a crazy lady, hunched over a notepad and muttering, putting the problem down on paper actually helps to make it look smaller and maybe realise it’s not a problem at all.
- Things that make me laugh, even if it’s just a random picture I’ve found; something that just kinda stops me being all: