Tuesday, 28 February 2017

How To...'Manage' Anxiety

It feels like a very long time since I last posted on my blog and for that, I apologise (assuming that you missed me!)

You may be wondering why I've been so dormant, and I intend on explaining why! Last year I endured a period of anxiousness. I think it's something we all face at different points in life, to varying degrees. It would take another blog post for me to explain why I think it happened in hindsight (i.e. perfectionism...) But for now, I want to talk about how I've cultivated rest into my lifestyle in order to look after myself: mind, body, soul.

Let me put it this way:
Life is busy isn't it. I'm in the last 3 months of my degree, writing a book, working, running Belle, and all of life's other fun things (i.e. eating) - I'm sure all the things you're busy with are coming to mind for you too. Anyway, I had to explore and invest in SELF-CARE. I figured I would try this whole 'work from rest, don't rest from work' malarkey. Note: Maybe read that again and try to understand it before you continue.

Everyone is different, everyone has different limits and different lifestyles. However, everyone has the potential to be inspired. BE INSPIRED by a few things I try to do to create a lifestyle of rest to try to manage any anxious thoughts (knowing that this list is by no means exhaustive, and by no means difficult):

1.   Sleep

Ok, maybe I shouldn't have started the list with 'sleep'! But, at the same time, what a fabulous place to start. I mean, if you're not sleeping, you're probably not awake enough to function - and therefore, not awake enough to ponder ways of instilling 'rest' in your life. 
My housemates and I joke about how 10:30pm (sometimes, 10pm, yes, 10pm) is 'bedtime' in our house, but it's only because we know we'll be pathetic at life the next day if we don't make it!

I think it's partly a psychological process. I know that by resting my body, my mind and soul will wake refreshed.

2.   Comfy-ify

Life isn't solely concerned with work, though we're all created with a purpose to fulfill. Whenever I'm home, I like to create a cosy oasis with the simplest of things, i.e. CANDLES (invest in them!)

The Danish word, 'hygge', was short-listed as Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year 2016: it's a feeling and a lifestyle. It's making the little things special. Highlighting the 'extraordinary' in the little things, takes our mind away from the large, overwhelming, anxiety-provoking things of life. 

N.B. try to process what it is that drives anxiety - I understand how hard this is in the moment, but please feel encouraged, you are not alone.

Be mindful of your needs, feelings and emotions - but don't let them RULE your mind. Acknowledge them and let them pass. 

For me, it's making a mug of green tea and taking time to reflect.

3.   Be Energised

Cultivating rest allows you to give yourself fully (an 'undistracted' mind, body and soul) to the fun, crazy, silly things in life. We were created to live fully. Check your diary and guard time to do new and special things with friends. Whether it's getting your nails done, a spa day, adventure day, walk, exploring a new city, baking a crazy meal etc.....
Acknowledge what energises you and make time for it. I know that for me, the gym energises me (or walking outside for however long or short each day), reading a good book, spending time with God, creating good food, and staying in for at least 3 nights a week...

What we value, we guard. Guard your time, guard time for FUN because fun things will remind you of the joy of life. 


There is power in vulnerability. There is power in your voice. There is power in acknowledgment. 

This blog is about cultivating rest to manage anxiety. Yes. But I cannot publish this without convincing you of the power of speaking out about what makes you feel anxious. Even the mundane, stupid-sounding things. Text a friend, ask them to pray for you or keep you in their thoughts. Get home, tell a parent/housemate/sibling about what seems to be niggling at your mind. Get it off your chest. Allow the burden to begin to lift. We were created to be interdependent (to depend on eachother). Try - you WILL be ok. 

At the risk of sounding paradoxical, to live fully = to simplify. We make things more than they need to be. By cultivating rest, we allow our mind, body, and soul to settle - we make room to do the things that energise us, bring life and inspire.