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It’s the little things, you know?

written by Lowri Pugh 07/08/2014

It’s the little things, you know?
Whether it’s helping a friend with their projects or doing something for charity, it really doesn’t matter what, it just makes me feel so much better knowing that I am helping someone else feel good. It also keeps my mind busy so that I’m not worrying about silly little things which is one of the downsides of living with anxiety.

Trust me, living with anxiety is NOT easy, especially when you’re in university with two jobs. It all gets a little much sometimes but that’s okay.

I have had anxiety since I was 14 and I have good days and bad days. It took me 5 years to realise that on my bad days, what I need is to surround myself with everything that makes me happy, not sitting in my room overthinking everything that’s making me panic in the first place.

Making plans and having something to look forward to help me a lot as I am an incredibly excitable person (to the point where I get excited about what I am having for tea). So when I’m feeling down in work or a little upset I just think about what I have planned and I instantly feel a little better no matter how big or small the plan is. Helping others also helps so much, I love doing things for other people as it makes me feel so positive. Whether it’s helping a friend with their projects or doing something for charity, it really doesn’t matter what, it just makes me feel so much better knowing that I am helping someone else feel good. It also keeps my mind busy so that I’m not worrying about silly little things which is one of the downsides of living with anxiety.

I have to admit that the one thing that made my anxiety a million times easier to deal with was talking about it.

The main thing with anxiety that I struggle with is putting things that scare me or are new off until I literally have to do it. So I decided that when I had to do something, I’d do it as soon as possible to get it out of the way. I am still learning to do this and I haven’t quite mastered it yet (It’s taken me nearly a year to write this blog post, but I’m doing it now! Yay!!) But one thing I have mastered is getting on top of all my university work. It has made me panic less and meant I had a lot more free time to do other things. Now don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly disorganised, but starting work as soon as it was set allowed me to look over it and change anything I needed to and it made me feel proud of the work I was handing in rather than a rushed mess I had done the night before. Despite getting me through my first year, rushing work is not good for anxiety and is also not what gets the good grades, and good grades = feel good mood which also means calmer anxiety, woohoo!

I have to admit that the one thing that made my anxiety a million times easier to deal with was talking about it. It is hard, I know but once you talk about it and realise you really don’t have to deal with this alone is the moment you feel a lot more relieved. My mother and my sister are the best family anyone could have. It took my mam a while to adjust to the fact that her daughter has a mental health issue, but now she just knows how to make everything better. Whether it’s coming to get me from university to spend some quality time at home or surprising me with something nice when I’m feeling down, she just knows how to make everything better (I don’t mean to make you jealous but she is the best). My sister helps by just generally being her amazing self always being there when I need to talk and NEVER fails to cheer me up.

Helping others also helps so much, I love doing things for other people as it makes me feel so positive.

My friends are also AMAZING to say the least; they are by far the best people ever. As soon as they found out I had anxiety they didn’t make fun or tell me I’m being dramatic, they instantly understood. They even read up on how to help me calm down or not worry so much, that is how I knew these are the ones I need to hold onto no matter what. The little things they do calm me down so much and make me feel so happy, things such as a walk down the beach or surprising me with a Chinese and films when they know I’m having a bad day. They just know how to make everything better and I cannot thank them enough for that.

I hope that this blog post gives you some ideas on how to help your anxiety or how to help someone you know with anxiety. With all the negativity in the world, who needs a negative blog post, right? Everyone’s different and everyone has different ways to cope with anxiety and I would love to hear how you cope with it in the comments below, you never know, you might make someone feel loads better on a bad day!

It is definitely time to talk about mental health; no one needs to feel alone! Thanks for reading!

Lowri Smile

If you would like to write a blog post about your experiences of stigma or related issues, email info@timetochangewales.org.uk

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