How are you all doing?? How have YOU been coping with the change in your life?
It has been so interesting reading about and hearing from different friends at this time – a common theme has been about their not sleeping well or this general feeling of anxiety they have.
I think we are all feeling some form of anxiety or worry – it is totally normal when we are going through something we have no control of and which has turned our life around just like that. So this week I wanted to talk about what I have found helps with my anxiety – I am menopausal so I have had anxiety for the past few years!
Find the positives
I know you may say – easier said than done!! However, just stop and look around you – I am sure you can see something lovely and turn it into a positive thought. How lucky are we that we have had the sunshine, spring has sprung, the birds are singing their little hearts out & the landscape is full of colour!! There we go, a few words of beauty to make you look around you and feel more positive.
SMILE – I love this quote “I change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad” – I think it may be from BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits but I cant remember, I just have it up in my study, look at it, say it and then smile!! Smiling can really lift you – try it!!
A really useful tool is to write a diary or if not a diary, just write down at the end of the day – 3 lovely things you have noticed from the day. Try and find 3 words or sentences which are uplifting, happy or positive from your day – no matter what sort of day you have had – again it can help – try it!!!
Tips to help with anxiety
I have suffered with anxiety over the last 3 or 4 years, since I had a hysterectomy. A few months after I had my op I had a panic attack – the 1st one I had ever had and it was at night and it was scary. After that I started to find I was worrying more than usual and then a yr or so later I then started getting the hot flushes and sweats. Typical menopausal symptoms. I didn’t have my ovaries removed, so I didn’t go into immediate meno, but it definitely kicked in with my peri- meno symptoms much quicker!!
So, I have had to deal with the anxiety and worry that began to develop over the years. I have tried lots of different techniques to manage it and was doing much better with it. I have learnt how to deal with it, though sometimes it is hard to manage – but the more I work on my breathing techniques and listen to meditation and accept it is just in my head, it does help.
I am writing MY experience in the hope that it may offer a little help to YOU. We all have different experiences and we all deal with this unknown in our own way. But, I thought by offering a few solutions that help me MAY offer some relief for a few of you too.
1. Create a routine / normality
For me I have carried on working. From word go I knew I had to keep working to take my mind off everything that was going on. So I am getting up at roughly the same time everyday & trying to stick to my usual routine as much as I can. It is then a normal day for me and it is what I know. I am still taking the same classes at the same time – generally via Zoom. I am NOT drinking every night because we don’t usually drink every night! I look forward to my weekends as I don’t get up and put my work clothes on! All of these little habits are carrying on as usual – it creates more of a normality. Even if you aren’t working, try and set up little routines to do everyday and stick to them.
2. Keep exercising
I know most of you probably are and are maybe doing more than you have done in the past – that is great. I am doing my classes everyday so I have been exercising. I am using my 1 hr a day to either go out with the dog or I have been getting up earlier (which I do tend to do in the summer anyway) and going out on the bike. That has been lovely as I hardly ever get time to go out on the bike anymore. I am not pushing it and doing loads of miles but it is nice to go over to the Downs, the early mornings are beautiful and not as busy.
I am usually a runner but I had something 3 weeks ago – could it have been the virus?? Who knows, I had some very, very mild symptoms but I wasn’t quite right. When I felt ok I went back to my running BUT my heart rate was spiking – much more than usual, even when I didn’t think I was exerting myself too much. So be aware of this – IF you have been ill, don’t go zooming back to what you were doing before – slowly go back to exercising. I have actually been out for much longer power walks with the dog instead of running.
3. Meditations & tapping
This has been a godsend for me with my anxiety. I listen to the lovely Zofie from Relax Me Happy (http://www.relaxmehappy.co.uk/). I saw Zofie for some sessions and it just changed my mindset to a much more positive one. She offers lots of different meditations that can be done in the morning for when you wake up or during the day or in the evening when going to bed. It has helped with my sleep and her voice is so soothing – have a look at her website and her membership.
There are so many different apps and meditations out there so choose one that you really like and that has a positive effect on you. Years ago I was introduced to ‘tapping’ (EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique) as a way to relieve stress and worry. Recently a friend reminded me of the benefits of tapping – I’ve now downloaded ‘The Tapping Solution’ app and really enjoyed getting back to it. I find it VERY effective and they have some really good free ones to help you get through this time: https://www.thetappingsolution.com/. There are some for pregnancy, some to help with sleep and some to help just get through the day. Try them!!
4. Write a journal
This is actually really therapeutic & it is a great way to record everything that we are going through at this time. You can look back at it in years to come and go WOW & appreciate all we have been doing whilst in this ‘chill-out at home’ period of our lives. You will also appreciate all the new things you have tried. You don’t need much – just a pen and a little note book, nothing fancy. Try and include a minimum of 4 wonderful things from your day – no matter how big or small they may be.
There we go – mindfulness, gratitude, positiveness and tapping into your creative side!! I hope this has helped in some small way and you will try something new during these times.
Big hugs to you x