- what I say: "Life's just been so busy! Sorry I ( didn't get back to you, flaked on you last minute, pushed off deadlines).
- what I mean: The anxiety got to the point of paralysis. I really did want to do all those things, but I got overwhelmed and fell back on my tried and true coping method: procrastination. I'm sorry.
“This tendency was exemplified in the President’s speech, when he stated: ”We all know somebody — a family member, a friend, a neighbor — who has struggled or will struggle with mental health issues at some point in their lives.” Note the construction of the sentence: “We all know somebody – a family member, a friend, a neighbor – who has struggled with mental illness.” The person with mental illness here is always someone else. They are always removed from ourselves. They are the people we help, the people we are sad for, the people we want to save. The people who are sick, the people who are hurting, the people with the problems – they are categorically not us. They are other. They are, moreover, specifically not the implied audience of the sentence. The implied audience is the people who “know somebody’ with a mental illness. Obama probably wanted to evoke sympathy for people with mental illnesses. But in doing so, he reinforced the trope of the mentally ill as the “other” – as people who aren’t worth speaking to, and about, directly. Despite the fact that one in five Americans suffer, or will suffer, from a mental illness, and thus make up a fairly sizeable portion of the audience. Thing is, I do actually know a family member, a friend AND a neighbor who has struggled with mental health issues. You know who else has struggled with mental health issues? Me.”—The “Family Members, Friends, Neighbors” approach to Mental Illness: Analysis of 2013′s National Conference on Mental Health | Culturally Disoriented
“I'm sort of OK as long as I sit perfectly still on the couch here. Like how you don't realize how drunk you are until you step off the bar stool, the real trouble starts when I try to get up and do anything.”—Showering Is For Happy People (Article on depression).
My own personal tips about how to cope with anxiety.
1) Cry if you need to. I always feel a bit better after a good cry. Cry to someone, cry on your own, scream shout. Just let it all out of your system.
2) Distract yourself if you can. Listen to your favourite song. Watch a funny YouTube video, watch your favourite TV show. Drool over pictures of your favourite celebrity.
3) Open a window or go outside. Take a deep breath and breathe in some fresh air to help clear your head a bit.
4) Write. It. Down. Whatever is in your head, jot it down in your diary, or just on a piece of paper. Seeing it on paper can often help rationalise what you’re worrying about.
5) If you can, speak to someone. A friend, your parents, a doctor, therapist. Even me. It just helps to vent, or talk it out.
6) Lie down on your bed, on the floor, breathe deeply, put on some music and remind yourself that you are here, you are present, you are ok.
7) Go for a walk, a run, go to the gym. Exercise does help.
8) Read a book. Escape into it.
9) Find some quotes to help. There are a lot of anxiety related ones out there that reassure me and make me feel less alone.
10) Remember that you are NEVER alone. YOU ARE LOVED. You are valuable, you are beautiful, you are worth it.
Stress Management Tips
1. Breathe slowly and deeply: Shallow chest breathing makes your heart beat faster, and tenses your muscles, so you feel more stressed. In contrast, breathing slowly and deeply helps you feel much more relaxed.
2. Visualize yourself being calm and relaxed: Imagine all your stress being washed away; or try and visualize yourself in a peaceful scene such as lying on the beach or in a garden, with a book. As you focus on the details, you’ll start to feel less stressed.
3. Smile: Research shows that when we force ourselves to smile it actually improves the way we feel.
4. Don’t grit your teeth: We tend to hold stress in certain parts of our bodies - the teeth and the jaw are one typical part. So when you start to feel stressed, repeat the following exercise: Put the tips of your fingers on the joints below your ears. Clench your teeth - inhale - hold your breath – and then exhale, saying “Ah-h-h-h” . Unclench your teeth and repeat the exercise.
5. Write your feelings down on paper: Writing gives us a way to express how we feel, and it helps to release our pent up emotions.
6. Count to 10: Give yourself some distance and time before responding. If you react right away you might regret it later on.
7. Take a sniff: There are numerous healing oils that can help to calm you down so take a sniff from a bottle of soothing, healing balm. (For example, chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, rose and thyme.)
8. Go for a walk: Endorphins are released by any form of exercise – and these improve our mood and help us keep things more in balance. Just going for a walk will help to moderate your breathing, reduce your blood pressure, and help to calm you down.
9. Soak in a hot bath: There’s nothing like relaxing in a hot bubble bath to reduce your stress levels and improve the way you feel (especially if you light some scented candles, as well).
10. Turn up the music: We all have favorite music that distracts us from our problems, that grounds us in the present, and helps us feel less stressed.