Written by Audrey Mercier , a big thank you to her for her transparency and authenticity ❤️
Her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/audrey_.mercier/
Anxiety, its effects and how to combat it.
With the current context of the pandemic, many people may feel anxious about the uncertainty of the situation. Having lived daily with an anxiety disorder for more than 4 years, I must admit that despite all the resources at my disposal, I am much more anxious than usual.
How can anxiety affect you on a daily basis?
So what should you do if you find yourself in a similar situation?
Take the time to breathe
The first thing I do in these moments is take the time. I focus, I close my eyes and focus as much as possible on the present moment. I take the time to sort out most of the fuzzy emotions I have. I'm lucky and I have a very good relationship with my parents so often I go and discuss it with my mother, she helps me sort out everything that's going on. When no one is there, I write, I get it out on paper haphazardly, in a random way. If I need to cry, I do. When this is done, the big cloud often disperses a little and seeing more clearly is easier.
Separate reality and anxiety
Once emotions are out of the equation, I try to find the truth among all the thoughts racing through my head. My biggest anxiety problem right now and the thought that pops up in my brain most often is “we're never going back to normal, I'm going to spend the rest of my days confined to my basement.” The reality is that “normal” life will return one day. I have to separate what my anxiety makes me believe from what is actually happening. To do this, let's try to think about the present, right now, what is happening? Refocus your thoughts on the present moment, the next 5 minutes at most. Afterwards, you will realize that in reality everything is not so serious. Don't try to see too far ahead, take it step by step. One day at a time, then, as you see yourself getting better, one week at a time.
Today, I manage to do it much more easily than before, but I did 3 and a half years of therapy before I got there so quickly.
Take care of yourself
The overwhelming, overwhelming feeling of panic often passes relatively quickly. But fatigue, irritability and a small level of anxiety often remain for a few days after an anxiety attack. In the days that follow, I make an effort to take care of myself. I treat myself to a nice big Starbucks coffee as I like them and I take a long bath. Basically, I do self-care to get over it. I find it calms me and reminds me that life can be beautiful. If eating sushi is what comforts you, go buy some. Self-care is important!
Consult to combat anxiety?
As mentioned earlier, I saw a psychologist regularly for 3 years, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety. Now I see my psychologist once in a while when I feel the need. Should you consult? Unfortunately I can't answer that. If you feel the need to consult, I advise you, a psychologist has lots of tips for you, more than me. There is really no discomfort in going for a consultation, and it is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, if you think you need a helping hand, seeking help is the courageous and strong thing to do.
Stay optimistic despite your anxiety
Anxiety is a serious and destabilizing thing. You are never really alone and in a situation like the pandemic it is “normal” to feel anxiety even if you have never felt it before. It won't be forever and it's not a sign of weakness to have it. I believe in you and I know that if you feel anxious right now you will succeed in overcoming this obstacle in your life.
Thanks for reading 🙏