The ocean has always been my safe haven. I was born in a small coastal town on the eastern point of South Africa and I think that my brain has automatically decided that the ocean will always be home.
These days, I feel like I'm drifting further and further away from home. My anxiety hit me full force just a few days ago, not to mention on Tuesday the Wifi went off and only returned today.
I sat there, looking at my computer, already feeling the massive mountain of work being laid on my shoulders. My brain was working overtime, my stomach twisting and turning...I felt like I was going to fail, worst part of all, I basically live in the desert at the moment, so home was far away.
I wanted to be on the beach, feel the sand beneath my feet, listen to the water and feel the wind on my face. I wanted to see the seagulls fly above me, to wonder how it felt to glide effortlessly above the blue water.
I wanted this so bad, that I started to cry a bit. Vernon sat next to me and only asked; "Why are you beating yourself up, love?"
I then understood. My anxiety is me, it has become like my evil inner consciousness. Whispering in my ear, all the things I didn't need to hear. Anxiety was torturing me, making me beat myself up and if I didn't stop her, she would stop me.
She would stop me from reaching my goals, not on her time but on my own.
Anxiety would stop me from living the life I want, only because she would whisper; "Who actually cares?"
I was having this inner battle with myself and her. Telling her to go away, trying to push her even though she pushed back. I pushed her, until she went quiet...even if only for a second.
I haven't won the war, but at least I won that battle.
I know so many of you struggle with Anxiety, and it's hard to overcome, but instead of trying to win the war, try and win the battle.
Here are a few things I do to deal with my Anxiety:
1. Take a step back
Take a deep breath, step away from the situation and evaluate it. Figure out what can be done and what can't. This way you look at the situation with a clear mind and won't make matters worse by babbling or breaking down.
2. Listen to music.
Whether it be classic, rock or metal. Find your calming music and create a playlist. Every time your anxiety flares up, pop in your headphones! I love listening to some Indie Rock.
3. Dot down in your Journal.
I have way too many notebooks and journals, but they come in handy when I get that pressing feeling on my chest. Get a journal and write down all the positive things in your life.
4. Positive vibes only.
This ties in with number 3. Stay away from negativity as much as possible. If you have something toxic in your life that keeps bombarding you with negativity, then you need to cut it out from the equation. Try and focus on the positive things in your life and don't drift to the negative!
5.Get a hobby.
I like to draw or paint when I feel a bit under the weather. Not only is it calming, but it's rewarding me in a positive way as my skill increases. Some fun hobby's include- Calligraphy, Jigsaw Puzzles,Gardening etc. The list can go on forever, so find something you might be interested in.
6.Do some exercise.
I'm not saying you should go for a five mile sprint, but getting your blood pumping is a good way to rid anxiety. I started doing yoga as it's a great way to learn to control your breathing and increase flexibility, it also clears your mind. Go for a walk, do some stretches or join a local spin class, your mind and your body will thank you for this.
7. Don't pressure yourself.
Have deadlines? Can't stick to a schedule? STOP! Deadlines are deadly, because as an anxiety sufferer, you already place unneccecary stress on yourself. If you can't reach your objective, don't beat yourself up, calmly sit and do it on your own time and pace. Work with a schedule, but don't be too strict about it, so what if you missed posting that blog/making that video/ sending that email- the world won't crash and burn with one miner mishap.
There are many tips out there and not everything will work for you, but if your reading this then you're already on the right path!
Take things slow, winning battle for battle, until you eventually win the war.
Stay strong, believe in yourself, you are loved, you are important.