Dealing with Anxiety and Change

So, as you probably know, because I've blogged about it before, I've suffer from anxiety. I've been dealing with it for a good few years now, and it's much much better than I was before, to the point where I thought I was cured (ha!) but every so often it pops back up and drags me back down. 

I kind of predicted that it'd come back because there are so many big changes happening in my life right now (graduating, moving, starting a new job), I knew that if I wasn't careful, I'd find myself being bothered by my anxiety again. But, the cocky idiot that I am, I ignored that feeling, assumed I'd be fine, and didn't take care of myself like I should have. Oh well.

One of the thoughts that goes through your head when it hits you again after a period of calm is like "I thought I was over this" or "I'm back to square one". Neither of these things are true. I've found that I can usually manage it throughout day to day life and not have it bother me too much. Anxious thoughts pop up and I take a deep breath, and let them go. Sometimes however, I don't manage that, and the thought grows and chips away at you, and then BAM, anxiety and panic are back at full force. However, that doesn't mean it's back to square one, it just means that you need to get on top of it again.

For me, this time round it was triggered by a couple of bad dreams. I woke up feeling panicked and shaken, and the worries started flooding in, and before I knew it, I was in an anxiety whirlwind. It was scary. I hate anxiety so much because it terrifies me. Worst of all, I always get annoyed at myself for letting it happen, as if it's my own fault, which I know it's not. But I was thinking "Why now? why is this happening?" and then I looked back at the past few days and weeks, and realized that I hadn't been taking care of myself. 

So here are the things that I've realised I need to be doing to stop this from happening again, and the things that I do to help myself through a period of high anxiety.

  1.  Get enough sleep. I cannot emphasize this enough, when I look back at the last few time I've had anxiety relapses, it's always been after a late nights. Without enough sleep, our brains can't function properly - reasoning is impaired, emotions are unregulated and things bother you more easily. Recently I was up till 4 in the morning because of Scott's work's night out, and then the next night I was out until 3 for my friend Iona's leaving do. I love going out, I love clubs, I love dancing and meeting new people, and I always have fun. But I pay for it the next day and a few days after, because (even though I don't drink) my body can't cope the next day if I stay out too late. So, I limit myself to one or two nights out a month. This month will be different because there's so many leaving dos and graduation parties, but I know I need to watch myself or my mental health will suffer.
  2. Eat enough and drink plenty of water. Same principle, if you're not fueling your body properly, you become exhausted and drained, your brain wont function to it's best ability, and you end up feeling down. Then, personally, I know I'm way more susceptible to feel down or anxious. Even like your blood sugar levels can affect your mood. The problem is, when I feel anxious, I feel nauseous, and I don't feel like eating. It's a vicious cycle, and one I've been stuck in before. I know it can be a slippery slope so I force myself to eat one small thing, like a biscuit or slice of toast with a cup of tea, and build my way up until I'm feeling back to normal and able to eat properly again. It usually only takes a day.
  3. Do breathing exercises. When I'm in the middle of an anxiety or panic attack, or if I feel one coming on, I've learned that instead of fighting or resisting it, it's better to just let it come and go, while just concentrating on breathing deeply, in and out. I think to myself "as long as I keep breathing, I will get through this" if you just keep at it, and try to keep your focus on your breathing, and away from anxious thoughts or feelings, eventually the attack will pass, and it will usually pass much faster than if you get more caught up in the worry. It seems simple, but it's my life raft.
  4. Get yourself into a more positive mindset. Again, this sounds really simple, and I know when people say this to me I'm like "If I could be more positive, I would". But what I mean is actively stimulate positive or calming thoughts. For me, this is done by either watching something funny or cute on Netflix or Youtube, or, something I've found super effective is going onto Anxiety United, No Panic, or Tiny Buddha, and reading about other peoples experiences with anxiety. It's weird, but it always manages to calm me down. Maybe it's the distraction, or maybe it's seeing that I'm not mad, or alone, and that other people go through the same thing that I do. It's helped me so much over the years, just putting things into perspective, and getting back to a level-headed place.
  5. Embrace the change. I for one find change really hard, because I'm a bit of a control freak, I like to be in charge and I like to be able to guarantee that everything will go smoothly. However, as I've gone through changes, I've realized that it's not possible to guarantee anything, because something will go wrong, and there's no point in worrying, because whatever it is, you just have to deal with it when the time comes. I've learned to embrace the unknown, and allow things to just happen as they do, without trying to control them. It's a hard thing to do when your mind is full of anxiety and worry, but as soon as you let go, you're filled with a sense of freedom, and all of a sudden, the changes and the unknown, become a lot easier to deal with. 
So, now, hopefully if I follow my own advice I'll be able to keep on top of my anxiety and enjoy this time of transition in my life. Even though it's scary to change, or move, or start something new, it's exciting too. It's all part of life, and it's the only way you'll be able to grow is if you challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone. So, whenever anxiety pops up, I need to remember that I've beat it before and I can beat it again. 

Take good care of yourself, and I hope you have a great week.

Update | What's been going on?

Well, it's been a wee while since I've done a proper post. Things have been really busy, up and down, and I've just not been able to put my full attention into blogging. As you may see, I changed the name of my blog to Wonderchebs Adventures, that's because I'm shifting the focus slightly, to more travel and lifestyle, (while obviously maintaining a focus on ethical and natural products, and holistic health). And also because I'm taking on quite a few new adventures in my life over the next few months!

So, what's been going on?

First up, I finished work. I was made redundant from my retail job after almost two years because the branch was closing. It was sad to say bye to all my colleagues, who are all wonderful and lovely people, and I'll miss a lot. However, I think it was a good time for that job to come to an end, because it fitted in with some changes in my personal life (which I'll get to) and it gave me the push I needed to go after my dreams.

Which leads me to the second piece of news. I've been accepted for a new job - in JAPAN! It's an internship, and it's only for the summer, but I'm really really excited. I've always wanted to travel, ever since I was a child it's something that I have a burning desire to do. Now that I'm going to be going to live in Japan myself, for three months, I can't even believe it. I'm so excited. I'll be working for a tea company, doing international customer service, PR, social media, and marketing. It's quite scary, and it's going to be a big adjustment for me, but I know it's going to be an adventure and I'm really looking forward to it. ps. I leave in just over a month!

In the meantime, I'm currently sitting my exams. I've only got a few more weeks left at college, so I'm trying to get stuck in and get everything done, which is another reason why I haven't been able to post as much. When I get back from Japan, I'll be graduating from my degree, and starting my honours year at Uni, so that'll be fun.

On top of that, Scott and I are in the process of moving out of our flat. Moving is stressful, especially because we've only got a week between finishing work/college and having to be out. I'm finding the whole thing a bit sad, to be honest. This was our first little home together, and we made loads of great memories here. With my going to Japan, and then starting my last year of Uni, and Scott moving up north for a new job, we might not have another home together for four years. It's just going to be hard going from living together, and seeing eachother every day for three years, to not getting to be together for months at a time.

However, we're both really excited for the adventures that the future holds for us both, and we're optimistic that we'll be able to make it work long distance. It'll be hard, and it'll be sad, but it's not anything we can't handle. It's an adventure, and it'll be a good learning experience for us both.

That's about it!

I managed to get home for the weekend to catch up with some friends and family so that was really nice (I'll pop some of the photos below) but now it's going to be all go, trying to get everything sorted and organised for moving away!

A photo posted by Kayleigh (@wonderchebs) on

A photo posted by Kayleigh (@wonderchebs) on

A photo posted by Kayleigh (@wonderchebs) on

I plan to keep regular updates on here of everything that I get up to over the summer. Once I get my exam's out of the way, I'll have more time to blog.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Mini spring fashion wishlist

We're finally getting into the swing of spring (despite the fact that it was snowing here yesterday!). So I've been in the mood to do some spring cleaning, and get rid of some of my old clothes. Which for me, means one thing - time to buy some new clothes!

To be honest, because we're moving in a couple of months, there's not too much that I'm wanting to buy for the time being, but here are a couple of thing I've had my eye on, to spruce up my wardrobe a wee bit.

Image 1 of Noisy May Tall Skinny Cargo PantsImage 1 of ASOS TALL Asymmetric Bodycon Dress

Tall 36in Black Supersoft Super Skinny Jeans  | New Look
Hope you all have a wonderful week.
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