Living with anxiety can be extremely challenging, especially as invisible illnesses are not seen as important to treat than others.
From our own experiences living with anxiety we would recommend:
1. Drink less caffeine
Yes. I know. It hurts to even type those words. As someone who lives for coffee and coca cola, it is a big thing to try and do. But stats show that too much caffeine can affect your mental health and make you feel more anxious.
2. Drop the people who make you feel like crap
Yes, easier said than done but some people just don’t understand what it is like to live with anxiety and often make it worse. If friends can’t understand and empathise with cancelling plans – then they are not real friends. Drop the friends that make you feel bad for not drinking, drop the friends who make you feel bad for not going out when you don’t feel up to it and just get rid of anyone that tries to make you feel small.
3. Read other people’s experiences living with anxiety
When you are living with a mental illness you can feel like the loneliest person in the world, but you are not alone. There are loads of lovely people online sharing their mental illness stories and providing tips and support. If you struggle talking out-loud, you can find a great messaging group online to have a chat with. Reading other people’s experiences and literally seeing the words that you have been thinking is such a relief I cannot describe that feeling but it’s worth it.
4. Keep a Journal
Getting the negative thoughts out can really help, even if you are the only person who will read those words. You can also try writing three positive things that happened that day so that when you are waking up, perhaps in the middle of the night, you can see these positive things and try and re-focus from the negative.
5. Speak to your doctor
Seeking medical advice can be an extremely important step to helping live with a mental illness. Whether you choose to take regular medicine such as anti-depressants or anxiety medication or if you are referred to the counselling programme, talking to the doctor can help move this forward in seeking professional help.
If you can afford it – I would always recommend private counselling, this can be expensive but it means you don’t have the usual NHS 20-week waiting to deal with.
What tips could you share? Do you have any advice for anyone living with a mental illness?