Overcoming Sad Days

I often have days where I feel sad. There’s no other way of describing it other than just feeling sad. I don’t particularly want to go outside, talk to anyone, or do anything. I know this is just a massive side effect of my anxiety/depression but it never gets any easier.

Today was a sad day. I didn’t go to my lecture. I didn’t speak to anyone, and all I ate was a Pot Noodle. I cried a lot, but I couldn’t tell you what it was specifically about – just sadness. There are a few things that can make me feel better on days like this.

Reading

For me, there’s nothing that calms me down more than getting lost in a good book. Reading helps me to completely switch off my mind, to forget all the things constantly racing through my brain at 100mph. To become engrossed in an anxiety free world.

Music

I’ve mentioned on this blog before how much music helps me, from the atmosphere of a good gig, or getting lost in a good album. When I put on my headphones, it’s as if i’ve been teleported to a different place, bad thoughts are gone and replaced with good music. When i’m sad it helps to listen to sad songs – a good cry always makes me feel a little better.

researchers found that music releases dopamine, the feel-good chemical in your brain

Mind (Mental Health Charity)

Walking

Long walks, often with headphones in my ears, is always a massive stress reliever. Getting out of the house and clearing my head, observing the world around me, coming up with imaginary scenarios, people watching, fresh air, exercise. It’s not good to surroud yourself with the same four walls. I admit it’s hard for me to do this while i’m at university, i’m very close to London, and as you can imagine there aren’t many scenic walks to go on around here compared to the countryside where I grew up.

Talking

It’s good to talk to somebody about how you’re feeling. I’m lucky I have a supportive network of people around me – some of them don’t fully understand, or know what to say, but they do try and that’s enough. My boyfriend is my ‘rock’, he’s been through similar things and always knows the best things to say, whenever I’m having a sad day I talk to him.

It’s also good to try and talk to someone who’s not directly involved in your life, someone who will be able to give you impartial advice. I feel an idiot giving this advice myself, as I’ve not even been able to- it’s hard to talk about your feelings to a stranger when you struggle to even talk about it with people closest to you.

I’m going to finish with some mental health help lines. Nows a better time than any to talk to someone.

  • ANXIETY UK – Charity providing support if you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety condition http://www.anxietyuk.org.uk
  • MIND – Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems www.mind.org.uk
  • NO PANIC – Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) www.nopanic.org.uk
  • PAPYRUS – Young suicide prevention society www.papyrus-uk.org
  • SANE – Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers www.sane.org.uk/support

Annesar x


Tips on Making Friends at University

I was never nervous about starting University, which is werid. I wasn’t nervous about living away from home.

The day I left for university I cried in the car, I finally realised that I wasn’t going to have any of my home comforts anymore, I wasn’t going to have my mum, or my bed, or my dog.

For someone with severe social anxiety it’s weird how, when I need to, I can throw myself into terrifying social situations.

When I started uni I didn’t know anybody, but I knew I didn’t want to be alone with no friends, away from home. I found myself confidently going into the communual kitchen to socialise with my flatmates, I found myself agreeing to go to the local club that night.

That night I found I didn’t have a lot in common with these people. I even managed to message my course group chat, which is so petrifying for me, messaging a group of people I’ve never met – but am going to be spending everyday with very soon. A girl replied to me, she came and met me – and three years later we’re still close friends.

This is one of the proudest moments in my life. Being able to overcome my social anxiety to go out and make friends, even when I didn’t have anybody to fall back on. It’s something I had to do – for me. And I’m so glad I did. University would have been so different for me if I hadn’t of thrown myself out there like I did.

Tips for making friends at university:

  •  Don’t try too hard – if someone is acting like they don’t want to talk to you, go find someone else.
  • Join group chats – you should be able to find some to join on your university or accomodation facebook pages. If you’re like me and don’t enjoy messaging group chats; try finding someone in the group and messaging them individually.
  • Dont worry – you’ll make so many friends during freshers week, but don’t be upset if you don’t find your new bestfriend straight away, good things come to those who wait.
  • Patience
  • Don’t be upset if you only have one or two close friends – sometimes that’s all you need
  • Societies – find one you’re interested in and go socialise!!
  • Course friends – don’t confine them to juse ‘course’ friends, invite them to hang out outside of lectures and seminars.

Annesar x

Mindfulness Journey: Week 1

I’ve read from many people online that ‘mindfulness’ really helps them rationalise with their anxiety. I had no idea what mindfulness was, or what it entailed until I decided to look it up myself.

From what I gathered, it’s about being present in the current moment, your current emotions and things around you.

“It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour,”

Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre

I decided to try it for myself. For some people it doesn’t do anything, and others say it’s changed their life. So I figured it was worth giving a go.

I have a app on my phone which I use almost daily (I try), where a man talks me through a Mindfulness excersize. The app I’m using has a course specifically for anxiety – handy.

I’m currently 5 days into the course, I have to say it definitly helps me to relax and calm for a few hours after. I’m yet to see any long-term effects, but I am only 5 day in so I’m willing to keep going.

I’ve found somedays I find it super easy to switch off my thoughts and zone out, usually these days my anxiety has been at it’s highest. Somedays I find it hard to switch off, all I can do is think about random things ‘what am I going to wear tomorrow’ ‘Maybe I should wash my hair’. I’m hoping I can get better at it all eventually. Afterall, mindfulness is like any other skill, practise makes perfect.

Obviously I’m going to be writing weekly updates on my progress on how, and if it’s working for me.

Annesar x