On Monday-Fridays most weeks on my Instagram I am sharing a little tip with you each day from my experiences of dealing with anxiety and depression (along with a lovely photo of me 😆).
If you want to keep up to date with my tips as I share them then please follow me on Instagram! I’ll also be sharing a delayed version of my tips on my blog in this format.
In week 1 I focused on the topic ‘Being Kind to Yourself’. Below I am sharing with you my 5 tips on this subject…
Monday 31st July 2017
It’s easy to try and force yourself to get better straight away when you’re going through a tough time with a mental health condition. I always used to think things over and over in an effort to solve my problem as soon as I could. However, that was part of the problem for me and made things worse!
I was so anxious about getting past my anxiety and that my condition became even more prominent 😩
It’s easy to put that pressure on yourself or to allow others to do so.
The key is to accept that your mental health will overwhelm you for an indefinite amount of time. All you can do is hold tight and work towards recovery with your GP, therapist, medication etc.
Trying to force yourself to be mentally 100% straight away is the equivalent of trying to run in your first session of physiotherapy after breaking your legs – it won’t work.
You’ve got to accept that, sit back, be patient and give yourself the space you need to learn to manage your mental health in your own time. However long it takes!
You’ll get there but trying to run before you can walk will only slow you down!
Tuesday 1st August 2017
Recovery isn’t linear. You don’t just suddenly learn to manage your mental health in a series of perfect steps until you feel 100%. You’ll have up days and down days but the most important thing is how you bounce back from the lows.
I used to think every time I felt my anxiety getting worse that I was going back to square 1 in my recovery but that simply isn’t true.
Over time you equip yourselves with the skills to manage your mental health but as you’re learning to use these they don’t always work.
If you wanted to become a world famous artist you wouldn’t expect to just pick up a paintbrush and for everything you painted to be perfect. You’d paint some terrible things but over time you’d get better and better always learning from your mistakes.
It’s the same principle with learning to manage your mental health. You have to accept that on the way to recovery you’ll have big setbacks. Just know that that doesn’t mean you’re back to square 1 or that you’ve failed. It just means you’re learning on your way to getting better 🙂
Every setback is one step closer to learning how to manage your mental health more effectively 👍🏻
Wednesday 2nd August 2017
I don’t know how helpful this tip actually is because it is a lot easier said than done!
Getting frustrated when your mental health overtakes you or prevents you from doing something really doesn’t help though.
So if you’re able to take a step back and not beat yourself up for the way you’re feeling then that is a really useful skill in giving yourself the mental space to relax your mind.
You cannot help the fact that your mental health has gotten the better of you (god knows you’ve tried everything!!!) so why berate yourself on top of it all!
You wouldn’t have a go at a friend if they couldn’t do something because of their anxiety – so try to treat yourself in the same way 🙂
Getting frustrated and fighting your anxiety just perpetuates how you’re feeling. If you can break that cycle you are onto a winner 👍🏻 it’ll take time but you’ll get there 🙂
Thursday 3rd August 2017
Comparing yourself to others is normal. So when you achieve something – which is a big deal for you but seems simple for somebody else – it’s easy to underestimate the progress you’ve made.
For example, when my agoraphobia was at its worst it was a massive deal for me to get through a day at school or even sometimes to just go for a 10 minute walk near my house.
I’d feel mad at myself for being proud for achieving such small things which were effortless for other people. That’s not helpful though.
You should recognise your triumphs no matter how small. They are all steps on a much bigger journey 👍🏻
Now I never worry about going anywhere and I’ve overcome my agoraphobia. That’s only because of all of those little steps where I pushed myself. I am now proud of all of them! You should be proud of your little steps too! 🙂
Friday 4th August 2017
A lot of the time when you’re at your lowest points you’ll feel like there is no way that things will ever get better.
I never envisaged that I would be able to manage my mental health conditions to the point where they have a really limited impact on me day-to-day – but that is where I am currently!
During my darkest times I always kept some hope, no matter how faint, that I would get to a happier place and be able to enjoy my life to some extent again. Without that it’s difficult to see how I would have kept going.
It’s really important to keep hope and to remember that it is possible to recover from mental health conditions. If you can remember that it’ll keep that light at the end of the tunnel 👍🏻
You’ll look back in a year or five or twenty when you have a life you can’t imagine now and be so happy that you didn’t give up 🙂