Hi guys! I recently posted on my Facebook about my experience with my anxiety reaching an all new high and the shame I felt for not being able to get it under control myself. When I was sitting here wondering what I should blog about today I kept wandering back to this and the way that mental health truly effects all of us in some way. Whether it personally effects you, effects someone close to you, or maybe you’re even working in an environment that revolves around mental health. It is extremely prominent in this time and I just wanted to post about it to remind you guys that it is okay if you may be affected by this. It is okay to ask for help if you need it. It is okay to be scared. I just wanted to post about this in another platform to shed a light on this and remind anyone reading it who feels the same way I do, that you are not alone!
So, backstory on my personal story here, I realized something was off my freshman year of college. When I was so worried about school that I could feel myself getting sick thinking about a test, not eating anything for a week before a test and when the test was finally over I would binge eat and sleep for what felt like years. I would drive myself mad over performing in school and when I looked around me, nobody else was experiencing these things. I also had a thing with time, I always have. I never wanted to be late and knew exactly, on the dot, when the bus would arrive outside the dorms and if it even came a minute earlier. I would become snappy and irritated when people would linger and cause me to be “late” (which usually meant 5 minutes early). I finally went and talked to Sharon Dunkel, a doctor at NDSU’s Student Health Service. She explained what was going on in my brain and it made so much sense to me. I had anxiety and I needed medication to help me feel better. She made it easy and understandable.
I began to feel better and realized that I could handle it on my own without the medication, so I stopped taking it for awhile. Fast forward a few years later, I’m in my last semester of senior year and I feel it. It didn’t creep on me this time, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I was out of breath. I found myself fatigued always, no desire to do anything, my heart was racing 99% of the time, and I felt like I couldn’t take a deep breath. I knew I needed to seek out help because I couldn’t do it all on my own. I went back to the doctor’s office and got the help I needed and I am working through it! I know this was a bit of a long story but essentially I just wanted to talk about mental health in a really open way because I think that’s super important to do. It’s a common experience for many individuals and I want anyone reading this to know they aren’t alone and it’s okay to ask for help. I don’t want to leave you with just my mental health story so here are some tips I have learned to help me cope with anxiety at all of it’s different levels.
- Meditation (don’t knock it until you try it!)
- Read (I read a thriller or romance when i’m anxious because it really engrosses me into the story and helps me relax)
- Comforting tv show or movie (a tv show or movie you’ve seen multiple times is comforting to anxious individuals because it brings a sense of comfort and normalcy)
- Bath with Eucalyptus and Relaxing Music
- Calming Drink (hot chocolate or tea)
- Talking With a Loved One
- Journaling (writing down your worries lightens the load)
- Coloring (I don’t know it’s fun and distracting)
- Puzzles (You’re distracted)
- Cleaning (sometimes it’s therapeutic)
- Dancing (it’s my favorite)
- Deep breaths
- Get Enough Sleep (8 hours always)
- Limit Alcohol (always heightens it)
- Therapy (so helpful)
- Watch Funny Videos (Tik Tok is a current favorite)
I hope this blog post helps you in any or some way. It isn’t always fun to reflect on our mental health experiences but I think it’s really important for us to be hyper aware of it in order to help it. However, it isn’t as easy as it sounds, I get that! But, we all have to start somewhere! If you ever need a mental health check in, reach out to me! I would like to help in any way that I can.