12 Signs You May Have An Anxiety Disorder

There are 12 signs you may have an anxiety disorder which has been highlighted in the infographic below. As an anxiety sufferer myself, I think it is important to be aware of the signs. Several times I have shared posts about my own anxiety as well as tips to help others here & think this information is highly important.

Anxiety disorder is a serious condition that should be treated immediately. When you see signs that you or your loved one is under this mental condition, you have to seek for professional help the soonest time possible. Not doing so may lead to a more serious situation or condition that may not be treatable or may already deteriorate your or your loved one’s quality of life completely. But before you finally decide to seek for a professional help, you have to understand that anxiousness is different from an anxiety disorder. To help you in assessing your condition, read on the 12 signs you may have an anxiety disorder.

12 Signs You May Have An Anxiety Disorder

12 signs you may have an anxiety disorder

 

If you relate to most or all of these symptoms, you can get help & you are not alone! There are approximately 3 million people with an anxiety disorder in the UK. Anxiety disorders are manageable with professional help. Anyone who relates to the signs above, I urge you to seek help.

Treatment Options

If you need help there are plenty of treatment options to manage an anxiety disorder, from therapy to medication. Talking about your symptoms with your GP can help work out the best options. Counselling or CBT may be extremely beneficial. I know how hard it is to live with anxiety day to day & I am on medication to help control both my anxiety & depression.

Having support & professional help can be life-changing for anyone with anxiety so please, check on your friends & family. If you feel you have an anxiety disorder let someone close know if you don’t feel ready to face a GP. By having a close friend or family member aware of your symptoms they may be able to accompany you to appointments.

Helplines

There are many different organisations available & helpful to anyone with an anxiety disorder. I have put together a small list of helplines & services for anyone relating to the signs in the infographic who feel they need help. Most of the sites offer a range of FAQs you may find helpful along with local service locators.

Anxiety UK

03444 775 775 (Monday–Friday 9.30am–5.30pm)
anxietyuk.org.uk

 

No Panic

helpline: 08449 67 48 48 (10am–10pm)
nopanic.org.uk 

 

Mind

MindInfoline: 0300 123 3393

mind.org.uk

 

Anxiety Alliance

Helpline: 0845 296 7877 (10-10 daily)

anxietyalliance.org.uk

 

Do you relate to the 12 signs you may have an anxiety disorder? Please do reach out for professional help if an anxiety disorder is disrupting your life. Things can get better!

 

 

Recovering From A Low Patch

I’m slowly recovering from a low patch. Having felt great following my personal month of blogging challenge, losing my ESA award was a huge blow. It left us struggling financially, we spent every single day and weekend focused on finding a solution. Trying to writing the right letter and applying for the right benefits with 2 kids around can be hellish.

Recovering From A Low Patch

Benefit Changes & Accepting I Need A Carer

DWP Assessors acknowledged all my health issues and agreed they impacted my health. However, I was basically told I could work if I used a wheelchair. Sod my mental health too, just get on with it basically. Luckily I receive PIP and with the Mr spending so much time at home caring for me, doing things I can’t, reminding me to eat regularly, take my medications on time etc allowed him to claim carers allowance which also entitled him to claim income support for us.

Having a Carer

I’m not going to lie, whilst accepting that I do need a carer was hard, it was also a relief. Passing on the burden of having to fill out the form correctly made things less stressful. After 2 months of barely any money to live on, we received the benefit awards the same day as our eviction notice. Luckily that meant we could notify the council and avoid being evicted.

Getting Back On Track

I still struggled for a while, kicking myself for putting us through 2 months of hell because of my health. After a few weeks spent catching up on bills though, things finally turned around. Being able to treat the girls to what they need plus a few extras have been lovely. I felt so selfish when we had nothing, the whole family suffered because of my assessment.

Slowly picking myself back up I’ve managed to get back on track with finding out what’s going on with me. I missed blood tests after losing my award as I felt it was pointless. So what if I was ill? Everyone else was barely able to eat. Obviously now I see it probably would have helped me to carry on with the tests so I have been back to the Dr and getting back on top of it all.

Instead of pushing myself through frustration I’ve slowed down, picked up my crochet hook more and read, having more me time has helped. Recovering from a low patch can be quite wobbly, I’ve had some low days reflecting on these last few months. I’ve also been trying to make the most of being in a better situation and accepting I need more help has helped me feel better about having more me time, something the Mr is always nagging me to do!

Having A Life Again

Knowing the Mr can pick up a few beers to relax after a day of school runs, shopping, clothes washing, reminding me to person and general tidying is a huge relief. The poor bloke barely has a social life, he spends so much time at home helping us. It’s nice he can sit and relax after a long day with a cold beer.

I’ve had the chance to finally try Contact Lenses with a push from the Mr and eventually decided to go with Daily lenses instead of monthlies without feeling hugely guilty. The benefits have outweighed the costs and as the Mr is now officially my Carer he is using it as an excuse to make me listen & treat myself more!

Contact Lens

Months of apologising to the girls because we couldn’t afford to do this or buy that was hard. Luckily we were able to get out to the Dickens festival & spoilt them slightly. We made the most of being out for the first time in months which felt great. Mum guilt is horrible when you are the reason your kids are going without so it was lovely to finally say YES. Izzy was ecstatic to see The Lamplighter and he sung the Charlie Mops song just for her even though he hadn’t planned to sing it!

Eva spent some birthday money and I treated her to a few extras too. Something I hadn’t been able to do for a while! As she has become a huge Harry Potter fan we picked her up some awesome bits like this box and sign!

Being Robbed By Royal Mail & Fonegiant

The Mr made sure I finally have a working phone (LG G5!) too which was a huge relief after months of phone stress. With Fonegiant and Royal Mail both failing spectacularly with Fonegiant sending out a locked phone, in the wrong colour, followed by Royal mail losing the £180 phone.

Royal Mail can only refund the person who paid the postage which is down to Fonegiant who refuse to claim and instead keep resending me the Royal Mail Claims site page. I certainly wouldn’t recommend buying a phone from Fonegiant as there is no guarantee you will receive a working phone and clearly they are unwilling to help once they have the money safely in their account.

Royal Mail did eventually give me £60 compensation and accepted they have lost the phone. They refused to refund me the £180 for the phone as Fonegiant have to chase it.. Which of course Adam who owns Fonegiant is refusing to do. Having been robbed by them both in the middle of all this just made me feel even worse. I felt suicidal for the first time in years.

That refund could have fed us when we had no money coming in! Without a phone, I couldn’t book the appointments needed or answer calls from DWP which helped my assessment fail. I was immensely grateful when Mandy offered to send me a phone to help me out. She warned me it may not work with a big crack in the screen. The phone worked enough for me to make those necessary calls and I honestly can’t thank Mandy enough!

The Mr eventually bought me a G5 for £40 less than the one from Fonegiant. It arrived working, the correct colour, on the correct network! Such a relief!

Recovering From A Low Patch

Since things fell back in place, the Mr has bought me a new (working!) LG G5, allowing me to feel connected again. I can keep up with everything again, I can moan on twitter and harass Martyn and Hannah on Whatsapp (Sorry guys but you kept me sane) again. I can call and book appointments and keep in touch with my brother again. All things I felt lost without!

Hopefully, now I’ll find my blogging mojo again. I’m determined to set myself a few goals over the coming months. Blogging definitely keeps me sane, whatever I’m sharing. From sharing cool products, covering my mental & physical health, crafts, books, it all makes me feel happier. Jibbering moany rubbish helps me get everything off my chest so my head can attempt thinking logically. Sharing our ups & downs has been a massive help to me & it’s lovely to look back & see how far we’ve come.

Looking back over the last few months, we’ve been through quite a lot but there are so many positives to focus on! I have realised I have some fantastic friends I can genuinely rely on, talk openly with and feel supported by.

Going through this has shown me we can get through so much as a family. The last few months have been so stressful for us all yet we still come out stronger than ever! When you aren’t worrying so much about where the next meal is coming from everything feels amazing. I’ve been in agony at times but still, I feel grateful to finally have everything back in place.

If you are ever having a low patch, reach out, there’s always someone willing to listen. My DM’s are always open! Sometimes things like this hit us hard & small things on top can tip us over the edge but we can recover from a low patch!

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

It’s Mental Health Awareness week 2018, organised by the Mental Health Foundation. This runs from 14th – 20th May and focuses on stress, a key factor in mental health problems. Research shows 2/3 of us experience mental health problems with stress being a key factor according to the Mental Health Foundation.

Mental Health Awareness

Mental health awareness week 2018

Stress

Stress can cause or worsen anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Anyone of us can experience mental health problems throughout our lifetime and we need to openly talk about this to help beat the stigma and raise awareness. Stress in the workplace is the Mental Health Foundations main focus this mental health awareness week.

I have written several times on the blog about mental health awareness & my own mental health. From struggling with chronic pain at 25, my anxiety, having a carer at 27 and more. I know I’m not alone as there are some wonderful bloggers & readers out there who have opened up too.

Mental Health Affects Everyone

Young children and teens are also at risk of stress with the pressure to maintain high standards in school, friendships, overloaded with school work, homework and endless tests. Adults have so many different stressors from overworking, lack of wor/ability to work, financial strains, family issues and more, it can be difficult to cope in this hectic world. The more we talk about this, the easier it will be for those suffering mental health problems to speak up. I used to bottle everything up myself and it made things so much worse!

 

Beat The Stigma – Talk!

Talking about my mental health through the blog at times has been extremely cathartic for me. I know from comments left that opening up has helped others to do the same, it’s a chain reaction. Whilst most people may not feel comfortable to write publicly, talking to close friends and family can do the same. The more we talk about mental health and make changes to lessen day to day life stresses, the easier is to admit how we feel and that we need help. The more we talk about mental health and make it everyday conversation the quicker we can beat the stigma and support one another better.

Get Help

If you need to talk to someone my DM’s/Email is always open if any of my readers ever want to chat. Sometimes we need a little more than that and the following charities are here to help, should you need it.

Mind

https://www.mind.org.uk/

Email – info@mind.org.uk

Infoline – 0300 123 3393

Text: 86463.

Lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

Samaritans

www.samaritans.org.uk

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Sane

www.sane.org.uk/support

SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30-10.30pm)

Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: http://www.sane.org.uk/textcare

Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum

 

YoungMinds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.

www.youngminds.org.uk

Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-4pm)

Did you know it was mental health awareness week?

 

 

Having A Carer At 27 Years Old

Having a carer isn’t something I expected to happen at 27 years old. I suffer from Chronic back pain, Sciatica, Depression, Anxiety & apparently (yet to be diagnosed) PTSD.  Due to my ESA being refused after 2 years receiving it, we have had to look at other options. I simply can’t cope with a tribunal, talking to strangers, going through my weaknesses yet again. It is honestly soul destroying, my mental health isn’t at a point where I can fight a battle like that.

For the first time in almost 8/9 years I felt suicidal again. I genuinely felt my family would be better off without me. I  thought about facing a tribunal but because I know it will be a struggle to attend, explain myself & I didn’t want to put the whole family through several more months of stress. Instead we have had to look at other ways to get by & as part of that, the Mr is now officially my Carer.

Having a Carer
Photo by lalesh aldarwish from Pexels

My Carer

Anyone that knows me well will know the Mr has been caring for me fully for the past 3-4 years. We never made that official on paper but it has been the case since Izzy was around a year old. I began to struggle to lift her, the pain would cause me to lose my vision. Things got worse & I know me fighting it & trying to appear healthy did more damage. It took a long time for me to accept I couldn’t manage a lot of daily tasks.

The Mr has done so much for us over the years, kept me going during my lowest points, making sure I take my medications, book & attend appointments, reminding me I have to eat at least twice a day, helping me up, chores I can’t manage, shopping, school runs & so much more that it makes sense for him to finally be my Carer on paper. I often joke about being useless without the Mr & it’s completely true, we’ve had our ups & downs but as my health has declined he has gone above & beyond to help me any way he can.

A Shock & Relief

Receiving the award letter was both a relief and a slight ‘oh’ moment though. As I said to the Mr, ‘This means you’re officially the adultier adult!’. I panicked slightly then, realising I had fully admitted I need help & a carer for at least 35 hours a week. It’s one thing having that help, it’s another seeing it written down on paper.

Once I calmed down it made me realise a few things. Whilst the DWP left me feeling useless & worthless, I do genuinely need the help and whilst ESA may be a nightmare to have awarded due to the shocking state of the system, we are entitled to something! It’s been a rough 2 months with barely any money coming in so it was a relief for the Mr to be awarded & paid carers allowance. I realised I am not admitting defeat like I first thought. Instead, I’m accepting help to enable me to get through day to day life smoothly.

Daily Life

Since my ESA was refused daily life has been a bit upside down. I’ve really struggled to do anything I enjoy, including blogging; feeling guilty for letting the family down. Now we have another solution I don’t feel so bad. I know we are on a low income because of me, my mental & physical health but knowing the Mr’s help is now at least recognised I feel a little less like it’s all on my shoulders. Knowing we have some kind of income other than my PIP is a huge relief. Even though I make it difficult because neither of us can work, I feel a little better. It’s tough being ill, it’s even tougher asking for & accepting help but I think in a way I will find it a little easier to ask for help now & not just from the Mr.

 

 

DIY Daddy

 

 

Rustic By Marney – How creativity helps me manage my anxiety and depression

Rustic By Marney was set up by Melissa Marney who crafts the most beautiful pens! Like many of us Melissa suffers anxiety and depression but found crafting and letting her creativity flow very therapeutic. I’ll be sharing my thoughts and images of a gorgeous purple flower pen she made for me, on the blog tomorrow! Keep an eye out! Until then here is Melissa’s story in her own words.

Rustic By Marney – How creativity helps me manage my anxiety and depression

Looking back on my childhood I now realise that I’ve always suffered with anxiety and depression. At the time I didn’t know anything about mental health issues, and I just thought it was normal behaviour and everyone felt the same way, but I just struggled more with my emotions. I covered my emotions and symptoms well, and looking back had a number of coping strategies, which I wasn’t aware were helping me, to cope at the time.

Hobbies

My favourite hobby when I was younger was ballet. I used to attend two classes a week and looking back now it was a way to shut my mind off, detach myself from uncomfortable feelings and emotions and silence those scary, intrusive thoughts.

As the years went on and I grew older I stopped dancing and didn’t replace this with another hobby. Having nothing to focus my energy on, my negative thoughts became louder and more uncomfortable and my symptoms worsened. Dealing with day to day life – working, paying the bills, maintaining relationships etc. It all became so consuming, and I knew something wasn’t right at the time but tried my best to conceal it (and I did a fantastic job at it!). I didn’t want anyone to know how I was truly feeling or that I was struggling to cope. There were times where I just wanted to scream out for help, but always remained silent and carried on with life.

Shutting Down

It wasn’t until a year ago, Steve and I got married in Cyprus, (which was the best day of our lives, very cliché, I know!) things changed. I pretty much arranged the whole wedding myself and in the lead up to it was unaware of how much stress I was putting myself under. Having perfectionist tendencies I wanted everything to go well, and was deeply involved with the all or nothing thinking. I also wanted to ensure everyone was happy and was having a good time.

While I was busy thinking about everyone else and my ‘perfect’ day I neglected my own needs my health was suffering as a consequence. When Steve and I returned from our wedding I didn’t feel myself at all. I put it all down to the ‘come down’ from the high I had been on the past few weeks. Nevertheless, I powered on and tried to get back into the real world. Unfortunately my mind and body had other plans. Two weeks later I had a breakdown, I completely shut down physically and mentally, I became an empty shell, I was just existing and not living. I knew things weren’t right and something had to change.

Recovery

It took me a while to accept what was happening. It took approximately six months to dig myself out of that ‘hole’ and get myself back on the right track. I’m still in recovery now, but having the right support, and a change in my thinking and attitude has helped me to accept it’s now just a part of me, and adjust to living with anxiety and depression.

During my recovery I found a new love in crafting. Throughout the years I’ve always told myself I’m rubbish at arts and crafts, I can’t do it and I believed it! It wasn’t until I started crafting my own place cards, guest book pens and jars for my own wedding where I realised this was all total rubbish! Silencing that negative voice in my head was a great victory.

Crafting To Cope

I’ve always been ambitious and dreamt of owning my own little business, and finding a purpose in life. During my breakdown Steve had mentioned to me about crafting again, however at the time I didn’t have the energy. As I slowly started getting better I took his advice and I started making my flower pens again. Slowly in time my passion and creativity started coming back, I was starting to feel my bubbly, confident self again. Crafting has been my biggest inspiration and I truly believe it has helped me cope over the past few months. Crafting has refocused my attention and reignited my passion.

Now whenever I feel anxious or have a bad day, however hard it is I grab all my crafting gear, sit down and get stuck in. I’ve found crafting extremely therapeutic and a way to ‘shut off’ from the stressors in the world. Turning my hobby into a business has given me great comfort as I now believe in myself. Having a passion in crafting and weddings, and combining the two is the perfect combination and therapy for me! There’s also that extra bonus of helping other brides have the best day of their lives. When they do then my mission is accomplished!

I recently saw the quote below which sums up my whole experience and filled me with comfort:

 Rustic By Marney - How Creativity Helps Me Manage Anxiety & Depression

Rustic by Marney can be found over on Facebook & Twitter. Whilst she does focus on weddings her gorgeous pens will brighten up any desk. You can find out more about Rustic by Marney and see the gorgeous pen she sent me too!

Do you find crafting therapeutic too?

Burnished Chaos

Improve Finances And Reduce Stress Using Technology

Want to improve finances and reduce stress using technology? I love technology and always welcome anything that reduces stress and helps improve finances due to my own mental health. Here is some advice* to improve finances and reduce stress levels using technology.

Improve Finances Using Technology

 

Use Technology To Reduce Stress And Improve Finances

A recent study has revealed that 14 million people worry about their finances every day. A shocking statistic which rings true for many. Mental health concerns affect many Brits. Whilst you shouldn’t pin everything on how much money you have or haven’t got, it’s difficult not to get stressed about money when the cost of living continues to rise. However, there is good news for the millions of stressed Brits worried about their finances. The key to taking control of your money is to reduce your stress levels. Technology is a great tool to help alleviate stress and there are such great mental health apps available to help you achieve just that.

Utilising technology

Wherever you turn, you’ll find yourself surrounded by some form of technology. Your home is probably full of gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, voice-activated home assistants and game consoles. Whilst over-use and over-exposure to technology has been linked to stress, there are ways in which you can effectively use technology to boost your mental health and reduce your stress levels to allow you to make smart financial decisions.

When stressed, individuals often make poor financial choices, such as purchasing high priced goods to make themselves feel better, only to instantly regret it when the item arrives, thus increasing stress. However, technology can be utilised in these times. If you’re staring at your online bank account and are worried about the balance, ask your voice-activated home assistant to play some calming music, such as whale music which is known to reduce stress levels.

Reading technology

Reading has been proven to reduce stress levels. Before you make any spur of the moment purchases, grab your electronic reading device and lower your stress levels. You can reduce your stress levels by as much as 68% by taking time out and enjoying a couple of chapters of a good book. Just six minutes of reading can make you feel calmer and more relaxed. Be sure to carry reading material with you wherever you go.

Debt and technology

Gadgets allow individuals to check their bank balance wherever they are and at any time of the day. This can be both a blessing and a curse. Students are often knee deep in debt which can cause them much stress. If you’re a student looking to consolidate your student loan, be sure to use organisational software first to get everything in order. That way you can review your finances with a clear, stress-free head.

Stress is a factor which people across the UK and around the world contend with every day. We face a lot of stress especially when it comes to sorting out finances. However, technology is a great tool to use to stay calm, reduce stress levels and stay on top of your finances.

Do you think you could Improve Finances And Reduce Stress Using Technology to?

*In collaboration with Chrissy Gladstone.

 

Mental Health Apps – MentalSnapp

I’ve been looking at mental health apps that can help me cope better on bad days. Mental Snapp is an app designed to help you manage your mental health using private video diaries. I know 2 people who find recording videos of themselves really helpful and love the sound of Mental health apps such as Mental Snapp.

Mental Snapp App Screenshot

Mental Health Apps

Mental health apps are a great way to manage and monitor your mental health. 1 in 4 of us will have a mental health episode at some point and it can be so confusing. Using mental health apps like Mental Snapp to actively manage our mental health can make it much easier. If like me you hate appointments and struggle to ask for help, apps like these can help us get things off our chest when we really need to.

Hannah Chamberlain, co founder of the app and originator of the idea, says; “I came up with the idea for Mental Snapp having told my own mental health story on film and helped other people tell theirs. I’ve been managing my own condition and making films on mental health for twenty years, and seen how telling your own story on film really makes a difference to people. Mental Snapp is a way to make the therapeutic benefits of journalling, rating mood and naming feelings accessible – the camera on your phone can be the therapist in your pocket.”

Mental Snapp

This video recording mental health app, Mental Snapp is available free to download from the App Store and Google Play. This helpful mental health app has been designed to be a space for you to tell your story and gain confidence. You can record short video diaries, rate your mood and name your feelings when using Mental Snapp. Your videos aren’t watched by anyone else so you don’t need to worry about being judged. It’s your version of events, and telling them helps you reflect and get to know yourself better.

Costs

A free app is always a good start and Mental Snapp is available for free. If however you need extra space to save your videos and want to access extra features, you can. The app costs £4.49 per month. The Mental Snapp app has been featured in the London Evening Standard. The idea is welcomed by the DWP too.

The Office for Disability Issues, DWP, says; “We welcome Mental Snapp as an innovative idea to help people manage their mental health. People living with mental health and other long term health conditions have barriers to overcome in living independently. The Government has set out a commitment to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027 and technology has an important part to play in helping us achieve this goal.  Mental Snapp is an exciting example of how technology can help promote methods of recovery that help people to live fulfilling lives.”

Mental Snapp can help you find things out about yourself and learn your moods easily. You simply record your video clip, rate your mood, tag a feeling and that is it! Nice and simple yet very effective. The app organises your video diary clips so they are easily searchable. This fantastic app also provides you with prompts and allows you to see patterns over time using the insights page.

 

Mental Health Apps - Mental Snapp Screenshot

 

The team at Mental Snapp believe you already have the skills you need to manage your mental health. Using the app and recording regular video clips can help you draw out those skills. It can feel a little odd recording yourself at first. Stick with it though and I promise you will see the benefits.

 

Do you think you could benefit from using Mental Snapp?

DIY Daddy

 

Self Care Gift Ideas And 5 Self Care Tips

Self care is something I have been saying I will put more effort into for ages now. Bit by bit I am learning to take care of myself a little bit more. It is hard as I am not used to it but I am making some time for me to relax.

 

Self Care Gift Ideas & 5 Self Care Tips

I have collaborated with a few lovely companies who focus on self care products. These are designed to help those of us who really need to put ourselves first. Self care helps us prevent a major crash and is so important for our minds and bodies. Perhaps you are looking at things to help you with your own self care or know a friend who could do with a little self care? These products and tips may help!

Self Care Notebook

Self Care Notebook Designed By Claire Sheehan

Claire Sheehan is an Artist from very close by in Southend-on-Sea who sells a beautiful range of products on Etsy designed to ‘soothe and feed the soul’. Self care is something that is easily forgotten when there is just so much to do, it can be hard to put yourself first.  Claire has designed this lovely A5 Self care notebook in grey, pink and white to help those focusing on self care.

This notebook is perfect for jotting down notes and reminders to help you plan your self-care. The notebook contains 48 blank pages of 80gsm recycled white paper for you to draw, doodle or write your plans. Available on Etsy for £5.50 plus shipping this notebook is a great treat for yourself or gift for someone who needs a little extra self-care inspiration. As you can see I have started putting mine to use already!

Self Care Notebook & Mantra's

Motivational Prints & Mantras

Claire also designed some fantastic motivational prints including the ‘I am strong and calm’ A6 mini print. This print is available on it’s own for £2.50 plus shipping or part of a pack of 5 mini prints for £10 plus shipping. Sometimes simple reminders like this can really help us feel a bit better about ourselves. Repeating them to ourselves or even just spotting them regularly help lift our mood and fill us with positivity.

Calming Scents

Help me have a mindful of calm spray from Help Me Organics

Help me Organics have an amazing range of organic products designed to help us relax. Everyone loves a gorgeous scent, it can really lift your mood. This is why Help Me Organics have created this fantastic ‘Help me have a mindful of calm’ range. This room spray is 40ml for £7.50. The scent was designed with a blend of essential oils to bring comfort to those who struggle with anxiety. They have combined Frankincense, geranium bourbon and lavender to work in conjunction with Mindful breathing techniques. Spraying 2-3 bursts in a room will help calm your mood and gently relax you. Help Me Organics also have massage oils and candles available in the Help me have a mindful of calm range. They also have several other ranges. I would definitely recommend browsing their site as they have some fantastic products!

5 Self Care Tips

It is so easy at times to forget about ourselves and worry about everyone else. Taking time out for yourself can make such a difference to your mood though. Those of us with anxiety and depression can really struggle to feel we are worth the time and effort. We know everyone deserves love and kindness but we often forget ourselves.

Be still

Do you find yourself constantly rushing around trying to finish all the never-ending jobs? STOP. Take a break, go for a walk in a beautiful park or along the river. Stop and simply enjoy your surroundings and the silence or sounds of nature. Take deep breaths and just be. I have to admit I underestimated the effects of this and am learning to do this more often.

Find an activity you enjoy

Especially as a parent I found I quickly gave up most things I used to enjoy to dedicate my time to my girls. Having a hobby/activity you enjoy and gives you a little you time is so important for self care. It really doesn’t matter what it is but spending even 20 minutes doing something you enjoy can change your entire day. I love to crochet and colour and have started picking up craft bits I have been wanting for years so I can do something for me. When you finish an activity for yourself it feels like a brilliant achievement. Even meeting up with a friend for a coffee counts!

Say ‘No’

Saying yes constantly leads to burn out. Remember we can’t please everyone. It’s ok to say ‘ No’ and put your health and well-being first. You are a priority, if you don’t take care of yourself how can you care for others? This is something I still struggle with daily BUT I have learnt to say No when it really matters and I have seen the difference it makes. Don’t feel guilty, we all matter! I love the saying ‘ You can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first’.

Pamper yourself

I struggle badly with this one but it is so important to pamper yourself and feel good. Make time for that bath, light some candles, relax in the bubbles. Washing my hair is something I regularly put off as it literally takes hours to wash dry and straighten but when I make time for it I feel awesome afterwards. Visit a spa or invite a friend over for a pamper evening for a real boost!

Make notes

If like me you tend to forget about yourself then make notes, leave them where you are most likely to see them or in a notebook. Not only can jotting down reminders help but writing about our feelings can help us process our emotions too. The self care notebook is fantastic for this. Reading back through our writing can sometimes help us see solutions to our problems.

If you or a friend are lacking when it comes to self care then I help these products and tips are helpful!

 

Travelling With Anxiety – 5 Tips

Travelling with anxiety can be so difficult, especially as Christmas approaches everywhere becomes noisier and busier. I don’t tend to travel much, especially alone as I panic quite often. We have found a few ways to manage my anxiety and make my journeys as easy as possible. I have one or 2 trips planned over the Christmas holidays and it got me thinking about others travelling with anxiety too.

Travelling With Anxiety - 5 Tips

It may seem obvious but planning ahead can make journeys much easier when travelling. Here are 5 ways to make your journey a little easier.

  1. Check your route – Google maps is your friend! Make sure you know exactly where you are going, using street view I can look at the front of the building and surrounding buildings. The area feels a little more familiar and I can find my way much easier knowing what to look out for.
  2. Check Travel Options – I tend to look for the quickest routes and the cheapest fares. If I am travelling by train I check to see the train before and after the one I am aiming for in case I arrive early or late. I also check to see what buses run too in case there are any issues getting the train.
  3. Book in advance – Booking tickets in advance make travelling a lot less stressful. Not having to queue up for you ticket can save a lot of time and panic. You can often save a little too by booking a week or so in advance. A lot of the buses now have apps so you can buy your ticket on the go. I love this as it stops me worrying about losing my ticket.
  4. Take a distraction – I find if I have nothing to do I become overly anxious when travelling. Crocheting, tweeting or reading an e-book really help distract and calm me down.
  5. Take a snack & drink – Again this may seem obvious but if there are delays being hungry and thirsty will make you feel much worse. Keeping hydrated and sugar levels up is important when travelling, especially on longer journeys.

C2C Digital Display Boards

I was really pleased this week when Your Thurrock announced C2C are currently installing new digital display boards at their stations which show how full each carriage is. This simple little thing has made me really happy as I struggle with crowded noisy carriages. I know plenty of others find it hard too and these displays can make travelling with anxiety easier. Being able to avoid overly crowded carriages will make travelling easier for so many people.

Travelling with anxiety can be really stressful, do you have any tips for easing anxiety whilst travelling?

De-stressing With Thrive: Feel Stress Free

I’ve been de-stressing with the  Thrive : Feel Stress Free  app over the last fortnight. I introduced Thrive here, a fantastic app created for mental health conditions and designed to gradually build resilience to and manage stress, anxiety and mild depression. Using clinically proven techniques such as mindfulness and CBT over a few weeks can have huge benefits.

De-stressing with Thrive: feel stress free

De-stressing with Thrive

Me being me I haven’t managed to religiously use the app. I had hoped to use it much more. The Zen garden and Zen challenge does keep drawing me back in however and I feel it’s been beneficial for me. Most evenings I will sit and design a Zen garden or try one of the challenges. I can feel the stress disappearing as I rake and arrange my pretty little gardens. The challenges are simple, a little bit of thinking involved but it’s very enjoyable. With a star rating you can go back and try to think of better ways to solve the challenges too. It really does help me de-stress.

Zen Garden

Managing Better

Anyone who has seen my tweets this week will no doubt know we have had a stressful month which seems to be continuing. Normally these stresses would have me in tears, feeling helpless and useless.We had our washing machine breakdown the first week back at school. Although we managed to borrow money to replace it only for it 2 breakdown less than 2 weeks later.. with school uniform in.. AGAIN! Using the Zen garden each night seems to be helping me stay calmer. Whilst I am annoyed and frustrated I am managing to keep a hold on my temper and emotions much better. I’m not instantly reacting and being much more mindful.

Using Thrive

As mentioned in my previous post there are subscription costs for thrive, having used the app I feel they are actually very reasonable prices.

The Thrive app is available on all Android and Apple devices. 3 different subscription packages are available.

Monthly –  £5.99

Quarterly – £14.97 for 3months of unlimited access. That’s just £4.99 a month!

Yearly  – £47.88  a year brings the cost down to £3.99 a month.

For my readers however I have a special code to use through October so you can try out Thrive: Feel stress free for yourself and hopefully start de-stressing like I have! Use code FSFOCT300917.