Recently, I have suffered with a strong bout of anxiety. Due to a couple of events happening that have been accumulating to create the anxiety I experienced. Most people who generally don’t suffer with anxiety or recognise their own anxiety think that anxiety looks like chaos. They think it tends to be when people are acting chaotic, all over the place and up in the air or loud, but this is so often, not the case at all.
There are those who suffer and it shows externally and those who suffer and become withdrawn as a result and hide it internally.
When there’s too much going on
For me, there has been a lot going on recently with family, running a business, working with vulnerable teenagers, being a mum, being a wife and juggling the whole thing. Over the last month, I’ve been up and down from the hospital to see my dad who had major surgery. The journey to the hospital was an hour and then another hour back. My visiting times, a couple of hours at a time two or three times a week. This has been both mentally and physically exhausting. Even though you don’t think about it at the time, you get on with it and do what you’ve got to do.
On top of that, I’ve been trying to keep things as normal as possible. I’ve been doing a huge amount of work on myself and I have been investing in myself and my business heavily since the beginning of this year.
Working with vulnerable teenagers
I’ve been working with vulnerable teenagers since last September and sometimes that can be very challenging, although extremely rewarding. In the last month things have started to really get on top of me. My self-care hasn’t been as good as it should be, because I’ve been working on so many other areas.
Well this week. My dad came out of hospital after a month and the relief, as you can imagine, brought its own anxieties and emotions. Along with that, I made a mistake at the college, which ordinarily in isolation wasn’t that bad, but where everything else has been going on my mind decided to take this mistake, blow it massively out of proportion, get myself in a place where I was in tears. I got really emotional about it and couldn’t see the wood for the trees.
I went into college the next day, and I totally withdrew. I’ve taken time to recognise the fact that I was in this place of anxiety and to recognise how my anxiety affects me and how I deal with it around others. This is the first time I have fully been aware of my behaviour when in a state of anxiety, but as a result I can deal with it better using the techniques and strategies I have in my Coaching and CBT toolbox.
Recognising my own anxiety behaviours
I realised that I totally withdraw. I become very quiet, loud noise is something that I just can’t deal with. I can’t tolerate people talking about other people or bragging about themselves. I get super sensitive and I totally shut down anything external whilst I’m dealing with what’s going on inside my head.
Now this used to last for weeks or months until I worked out my own strategies for dealing with it. I now use the ‘accept, allow and let go’ strategy.
Firstly, I accept that I’m in this emotion and I have this feeling and this is what’s going on. I don’t try and fight it anymore. I accept it. I then allow myself. 24, hours to have the feeling, be comfortable with the feeling and work out how to separate the facts of what’s happened from the emotions I’m feeling.
After I’ve done that, I then make sure I go and do something for myself, whether it’s going to the gym and going for a run. I find running is great for me It just gets rid of all that negative energy.
Sometimes it’s whilst I’m running and sometimes it’s after, and if there is something particularly going on I will cry for the next few days for what feels like no reason at all, but this is my body’s way of getting rid of all the negative energy that I’ve been storing up.
After that. I’m ready to go again. And by doing that, I am able to let go so much quicker than I used to.
Talking about the taboo
If I’m completely honest, If you’d asked me years ago if I suffered from anxiety I would have told you DEFINITELY NOT. I never would have admitted that I suffered from anything let alone something that people consider a taboo subject.
I truly believe that everybody suffers with anxiety, at some point, in some form, to some level. It’s just whether we recognise that that’s what it is, whether we’re ready to accept it, and whether we’re ready to put the strategies in place in order for us to manage these feelings and be able to deal with them and move forward.
So, with that in mind, please remember that somebody may be suffering right now. Somebody may have withdrawn. Somebody may be very quiet. Somebody may be the complete opposite. Because the opposite to that is that somebody may become louder than usual. They may become more erratic. You may feel like they’re just seeking attention. This is all part of how they’re feeling and how their anxiety may have taken hold. Some people feel a stronger need for control, as they don’t feel in control of their thoughts and emotions, so they project externally on to others.
They may not even recognise that’s what’s happening to them. So be kind. If somebody that you know, somebody you work with, live with, are friends with is showing either of these signs or emotions, just check in with them. Find out if they’re OK. Offer them someone to talk to.
I had somebody at the college this week, who I get along very well with, we understand each other really well and we know when something’s not quite right and she’s been amazing. This week, she’s checked in on me. She’s made sure I’m OK. She’s given me a bit of a talking to. The same talking to the I would give her if she was in the same situation.
We all need support
We all need support and sometimes that support comes from people that you don’t necessarily expect it to straight away.
We all need to look after each other, be more open with our own feelings and what we’re going through, because you will be surprised where that support may come from.
If you feel like you might need help with anxiety, if you need some strategies and techniques to help you manage it, I’m always happy to have a chat.
I offer a 30-minute clarity call where I can give you a strategy straight away to help you begin to manage those more difficult days.
Please don’t suffer in silence.
Book your call here