Happy anxiety and depression awareness week!
Anxiety and depression (among other mental illnesses) are seen as an “invisible illness” because there are no signs of sickness. But what a lot of people don’t understand is that we are suffering. I say “we” because I have anxiety and depression, hence the reason I’m making this post. It’s almost impossible to get out of bed and face the struggles of the day. Sure, the sun can be shining, the birds can be singing, and nothing bad can happen. But when you have depression, everything is cast a darker, more muted light. Nothing is enjoyable. Nothing holds your interest. And with anxiety, you can appreciate all of the sunlight and singing birds, but there’s a constant nagging feeling that something will happen. You walk on your tiptoes, ready to bolt at the first bad sign.
And the worst part? You know you’re being irrational. You know nothing bad will happen. You know you’ll be okay. But you can’t control it. And when an anxiety attack hits, it’s like a wave that constantly crashes into you, sending your body and mind tumbling. You’re left gasping for air and wondering why you’re so messed up.
But you’re not.
You’re not “messed up.” You’re not “broken.” You’re not any of those things. Your brain just works in a different way, and that’s okay. Not everyone’s brain works in the same way. Can you imagine how terrifying that would be? So be grateful yours works differently than someone else’s.
Anyway, if you’ve ever had an anxiety attack (or a panic attack, for that matter), then read on and hopefully this will help you.
I know it may feel like you don’t deserve anything good, but trust me, you most certainly do.
- Take a shower or bath
- Do a sugar scrub (here is a post I found with 21 different kinds of sugar scrubs. They’re absolutely amazing and your skin will be oh so smooth).
- Brush your teeth
- Wash your face (exfoliate, cleanse, mask, moisturize. The whole shebang!)
- Paint your nails your favorite color. Paint your nails ten different colors.
- Put on your comfiest clothes. Even if they have holes in them. Who cares?
Listen to soothing music or a playlist
This always helps me. Any band or artist that has soft chords and lovely voices with beautiful lyrics. I like to listen to The Icarus Account and Brighten. This playlist is amazing as well (just make sure to have a Spotify account).
Your body just went through a lot. Your muscles are tensed, and you should loosen them. Do some light yoga stretches.
Drink hot chocolate
Cinnamon makes it absolutely wonderful. And you can make it in like a minute.
Talk to a friend
Sometimes talking about what caused the attack helps, but it’s also okay to send each other cute cat pictures.
These sites helped me so much. It’s perfect. Just put in your headphones and follow the screen.
Just breathe slowly and watch these gifs
Breathe in and out with the last one. It’s an instant way to calm your breathing and relax.
Movies and blankets and stuffed animals, oh my
Grab your laptop, fuzziest blanket, favorite stuffed animal, and watch your favorite movie or catch up on a show. Just cocoon yourself and snuggle with your stuffed animal (don’t ever be ashamed if you snuggle with a stuffed animal. I’m almost 22 and I still do it).
Drink a glass of cold water. Or two. Or three
You might have a headache after the anxiety/panic attack, and that’s normal. Drink some cold water and you’ll feel much better soon. Plus, you can never have too much hydration.
Know that you’re not alone
I know it feels like it. And you believe it. But it’s not true. There are so many people who are suffering just like you. Sometimes it’s good to know that what you’re feeling isn’t only felt by you.
You have anxiety. You have depression. But you are not anxiety. And you are not depression. Just remember that.
I sincerely hope this post helps anyone. And please, feel free to share this on any social media so that others can see it and learn how to calm themselves. Let’s show those who suffer that they are still loved.
Once again, happy anxiety and depression awareness week. Remember that just because it’s not visible on the outside, some can still be suffering.