If it hasn’t become obvious by now, mental health awareness is something I am infinitely passionate about. Admittedly, what started out as a fashion and beauty blog has become somewhat centred around health and lifestyle and while I try to keep my post themes under a specific umbrella, I’ve been aching to branch out for a while. There’s so much I have to say regarding mental health (anxiety in particular) that I’ve just never really got round to expressing. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve had experience with anxiety that predominantly started around 2016. Back then I found it hard to connect with the thousands of threads found online, most were from adults who’s experiences and coping mechanisms were naturally, different from that of female teen. For that reason, I wanted to compile a post full of different resources and methods which I have either tried or found helpful in the hope it helps somebody else, stuck in the midst of online threads.
Before I continue it is worth mentioning that I am no professional and these resources are only being reccomended from my own personal experience and therefore should not be taken as medical advice!
1) “AT LAST A LIFE – Anxiety And Panic Free” By Paul David
This book, written by Paul David outlines Paul’s own personal experiences of anxiety and the key to him overcoming it completely. The book informs the reader of all the ins and outs of anxiety, allowing them to gain a complete understanding of what they are experiencing – which itself helps as not understanding what is happening to you or why makes it difficult to deal with. Paul’s book carries a strong message that anxiety is not something you should try to ‘solve’ or ‘get rid of’ since it is this which reinforces it, and this book outlines excellent ways in which you can continue with life even when anxiousness is present.
2) Dr Purves – Youtube and Website
While Dr Purves offers courses that you have to pay for (I haven’t tried any of these), his site offer an email subscription service where tips, advice and blog posts get sent directly to your inbox. I found this particularly useful reading as they didn’t get sent too frequently and often were just a light and motivating read. As well as this, there are youtube videos which are helpful to watch, most of which just offer advice and techniques for managing anxiety. These may work for you or they may not but it can be helpful to try new methods.
There are countless apps available for smartphones for various different things: helpful quotes, guided meditation, relaxing background noise, you name it and they’ve got it. Some of these are admittedly quite naff but having (probably) used almost every single one, there are 2 that I thoroughly recommend:
4) A Tip!
Something I myself (and many others) use to cope with pretty much anything is music. Music is so wonderful and so powerful and one thing I have found that really helps is the radio. Sometimes when you’re anxious or have low mood it can feel quite surreal and lonely – like you’re kind of in your mind alone. For me, sometimes listening to my own music on Spotify increased this and listening to the radio brought me back into reality, knowing there were thousands of other people zoning into the same thing as me and hearing the news or an entertaining voice just really helps! Its simple things like this that can make a difference.
5) Another Tip TBH
Though this may not be a realistic approach for everyone, for me this made a HUGE difference in my life and that is cutting out caffeine. At this point coffee lovers everywhere are hating me I’m sure but as a coffee-lover myself I can confirm that decaf coffee isn’t THAT bad! Caffeine is notorious for inducing axniety-like symptoms and while some people can drink cups and cups and not be affected, for me even one caused havoc so I cut it out completely. You may drink coffee or caffeinated drinks and have never noticed this before so watch out next time you do and see if you notice anything, if so, reducing caffeine intake may help.
6) Pukka Herbs – Wholistic Ashwagandha
It was only recently I discovered Ashwaganda – a natural herb that promotes good cognitive function. I was put off by how pricey it was but after reading not a single negative review I brought it as a one-off, I have since repurchased it as it made such a difference for me. I found while taking this supplement that my thoughts were a lot less clogged, my outlook was more positive and my nervous system was all round more relaxed. I have always personally been against using medication to treat my anxiety (just a personal choice) and so herbal supplements seemed like a good alternative. One positive of herbal remedy’s is that generally there aren’t side effects due to them being natural. Ashwagandha isn’t something that ever came up throughout 2 entire years of trying to research anxiety so I’m sure many people aren’t aware of its benefits – I wish I had discovered it sooner!
While this isn’t everything I was going to post, I don’t want to bombard anyone with too much choice so I’ll likely do a sequel to this post in the near future. I hope for now that these are useful to even at least one person 🙂 Do let me know in the comments or on twitter (@ellemaryjane) if there is anything you find useful too!