Friday, 2 February 2018

February's Alphabet: A is for Anxiety

I've written about mental health before, in particular - my anxiety. However, I don't think I've ever written about how I deal with it.

You need human contact - the Yodel delivery driver does not count.
I am classed as an 'agile worker'; meaning that I don't have an allocated desk. Because of this, I work in a shared space (with other workers who also don't have an allocated desk) and from home. Working like this can sometimes leave me feeling isolated and out of touch. I make sure I get some 'face time' with the people who understand me and my feelings.

There is nothing shiny, glamorous or artistically authentic about poor mental health.
It's important to me that I have a plan to keep my spiritual and emotional health in tip, top shape. Ignoring my wellbeing can manifest in big ways - flat mood, procrastination, etc. When dealing with this by myself was no longer an option, I pursued help from my GP and local Depression and Anxiety Service. I received Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (which focused on practical ways to improve my state of mind); Talking Therapy (which focused on issues from my past) and Exposure Therapy (psychological treatment to target the 'triggers' of my anxiety and to help me overcome them); as well as medication. 

Be open and honest with yourself, then be gentle.
If I notice something isn't quite right; I talk to Liam and my friends and if needs be, I go back to my GP and have a conversation. 

Switch off and get offline.
I spend my work days on a laptop or in meetings; at home I'm on email, Facebook, Twitter and here, blogging! Sometimes I just need to switch off. I'll have a bubble bath, read a book or curl up on the sofa - laptop and phone turned off. I have been saying for a while that I would like to have a weekend away with no access to my mobile; but I don't know if I could quite handle the thought of something going wrong and I have no phone to call for help!

When inspiration hits, grab it with both hands.
A colleague and friend gave me a beautiful hand drawn Christmas Card in December and this gave me inspiration to start painting again. Sadly, as my anxiety has been 'playing up' for quite a while, inspiration is far and few - so when I have even just a little seed sown, I grab it with both hands.

Be thankful for what and who you have in your life.
My friends and family who understand mental health have had such a positive impact.

If any of you lovely people have any further tips, I would love to know.

Thanks for reading! See you tomorrow!