Maybe your family is far away. Maybe you’re living on your own. Maybe you truly do feel like no one is with you and no one hears you. You’re wrong. I’m here. I’m listening.
2. Your life isn’t nearly as bad as your anxiety is.
Your anxiety has a nasty habit of giving you a heightened sense of panic. It’s just a bad few minutes. Find an empty room, a bathroom stall, a closet–it doesn’t have to be pretty. Just find one, and take a moment to breathe, and you’ll realize that life isn’t nearly as bad as it feels right now.
3. Every tiny victory is one you can use to help someone else.
There’s one thing I always told myself when I was having a rough day, and that was this: every tiny victory, no matter how small it is, is a chance to help someone else. I’ve been on the edge, and I’ll take every opportunity to talk the next person off it.
4. There’s always someone to talk to. You get have to raise your head and take a look around.
There’s always someone there. For me, it was the one lonely star outside my window. I could see it just peek out from behind the trees every night. It was what I talked to. It was always there. You’ll get there too. You’ll find someone that understands, and you’ll realize that they are just a phone call away.
5. Realize the world is so big and there are so many things left for you to do.
You will survive this day. You will go on to do all the great things that I know you can do. You will make it. I know it.
6. The rest of the world doesn’t see your crippling anxiety, they see your beautiful smile.
You’re going to have to learn to show it more often. It sure is beautiful.
7. You always somehow end up surviving.
Funny how that works. Even when you feel like you’re going to die, even when you’ve given all you can give, even when you’re so close to breaking that you can see the fault lines–we always somehow survive.
8. You are so much more than just your anxiety.
You are a sister or brother, a daughter or son, a friend, a mentor. You are somebody’s everything. Someone wakes up every morning thanking God you’re in their life. Keep it that way.
9. Don’t let it label you.
You aren’t simply what your anxiety tells you to be. You are better than it. You can overcome it. You can be so much more than just a list of symptoms. You just have to believe in yourself.
10. Don’t go. You have so much left to teach us.
This world needs you. It’s not your time just yet.
At 23-years-old, I have now only just started to live my life for the very first time. Everything before was such a blur. Every sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste was only something I had heard of. Every experience was mediocre. Life was bland. There was no substance. There was no sense.
It’s hard to put these feelings into words, but I will try. The best way I can describe anxiety is going through each day feeling as if you’re underwater. Nothing is clear. All of your senses lack functioning. You’re overstimulated, and the only thing you can do is shut down. There have been soo many endless days of crying. It became my outlet. I allowed myself to feel, to be vulnerable.
Anxiety is something that is all too familiar to me. Since the age of six, it has haunted me. It has controlled me, and it has torn me down more than once. It didn’t come alone though. It came hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly, with depression.
Depression. You know that rainy day that feels like it’s never going to end? Your mood is sad. You’re exhausted. You can’t get out of bed? It’s like that, only times 1,000! It’s not just one day, two days, or even three. Sometimes, it lasts for months, sometimes years. You start to become a sucky person, flaky, insensitive and just overall a buzz kill. Not yourself.
From ages six to 23, until the day I hit rock bottom and had no other choice but up, anxiety robbed me of my freedom. I’ve been to dark places. Imagine if you must. Never physically hurting myself, but I’ve sunk into a few deep black holes where scary thoughts laughed at me while I wept.
Anxiety disorders are extremely debilitating. No, I couldn’t just stop worrying. No, I couldn’t just relax or just breathe. I couldn’t just get over it. Trust me, I wish I could, but I couldn’t.
This is one of my many but not my last attempt at describing anxiety. My mission is to educate those who are dealing with it and who have loved ones who struggle with it. There is help, and there is hope. I’m so thankful this experience has allowed me to turn my mess into a message.
Here’s what I have learned to be the do’s and don’ts of anxiety:
1. Do speak to someone!
Anyone, a friend, a therapist, your significant other, or even me!
2. Don’t think it’ll just pass on its own.
Sometimes we put way too much pressure on ourselves, thinking we can fix everything. It’s OK to ask for some help every now and again.
3. Do everything possible to try to stay positive.
Show gratitude. Show compassion. Surround yourself with loved ones. Journal. Meditate. Anything can create even the slightest glimmer of hope!
4. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Not on Facebook. Not on Instagram. Not in the magazines. Not in real life. Trust me! If everyone threw their problems into a pile, then you would act fast to grab yours right back. Just saying…
5. Do redirect your thoughts.
Distract yourself. As soon as a negative thought attacks, be prepared. Think happy. Like I said, anything is better than nothing when it comes to overcoming adversities. I have had my fair share of struggles that I honestly came to breaking point at one point so trust me when I say that I honestly was ready to do anything and everything to regain my life!
6. Don’t forget: Out of your vulnerabilities, will come your strength.
7. Do what feels good to YOU.
8. Don’t be embarrassed to see a therapist.
Here are a few sentences from a book I recently read and really found helpful when I was going through my funk: “No study has ever suggested that people in therapy are, on average, more troubled or demoralized than people who are not in therapy. Rather, they tend to be distinguished by the fact that they have chosen to confront the problems of poor self-esteem and inadequate contact with the self. They, thereby, offer us an opportunity to learn of a great deal about the psychological condition of the general population.”
You are not bound by the things of this world—by the way you look, the choices you make, the moments you go through.
This life is fleeting, so we cannot be forever tied to these short slivers in time, and especially not to the days that buried us, to the brokenness that temporarily weighed down our hearts.
Pain is part of being human. Like breathing, like thinking we will face it inevitably, and as much as we try to build ourselves up, keep our chests beating strong and our heads held high, we will crumble from time to time. We will lose our spark. We will wander aimlessly through our days, struggling to find purpose, and passion, and patience.
But the pain that we experience will not last forever. Though it might cause chaos in our hearts, it will not make a permanent home.
The heartbreak, the loneliness, the bitterness, the exhaustion—those things are temporary, even when it feels like they are all we know. One day we will steady our breathing, find our footing and step forward again. One day the heaviness will lift and we’ll look up at the sky with a renewed sense of self. One day we won’t think of what we no longer have first, but be filled and encouraged by all that we possess, all that is within us.
One day that pain will be a mere memory—never a definition.
When we go through trying times, sometimes we wear our pain on our faces, in our bodies, in the way we carry ourselves. We become so surrounded, so caught up in the emptiness that we let it consume us. We forget who we are.
Sometimes we allow our pain to be the first thing people see when they look at us; we become owned by it, instead of our true identity.
But we must remember the truth about pain—it is not who we are. We are not the times we’ve fallen, the failures, the tough days. We are infinitely more.
We are laughter and jokes, embraces and connections, family and friendship and moments of celebration. We are human—imperfect, but still capable of extraordinary things. We are all the small moments of our lives complied together, all the ways we’ve grown, and shaped, and changed ourselves and our world.
We are not just the times we’ve lost our way, not just bodies aimlessly wandering around here on this earth. We are not lost causes, and our value is not determined by the weight of what we’ve gone through.
Who we are as people is not comprised of the negative pieces of our lives, but the positive. By the ways we’ve stood back up after being pushed down, risen after falling. By the way we’ve continued, and never given up.
Pain is a component of our humanness, sometimes even necessary to teach us, to build us, to help us become our true selves. But it is not the determining factor of our worthiness, not the one thing that we carry or label ourselves with.
We will lose our way, lose loved ones, lose our strength and spark from time to time, but we’ll never fully lose ourselves. We may be broken, but never destroyed. We may change, but never become unrecognizable. We may experience hard times, but never embody those moments.
At some point in your life you will feel like every choice you’ve made has lead you to the wrong path. You will question yourself whether you really know what you want, where you want to go, who you want to be with. You will force yourself to close your eyes when no one’s around you and allow yourself to finally let your tears flow.
You will have moments when your mind will be clouded by so much confusion. You will have days when you will feel stuck and paralysed and be afraid of the unknown. Your passions will fade and your heart will be filled with so much resentment. You will have days when you will just want to go through the motions, waiting for something to happen, waiting for everything around you to change.
But there comes a time, too, when you will realize that nothing in life stays the same.
You will realize that there’s always an end in every darkness. There’s always a hope despite your brokenness. And there’s always a tomorrow to feel excited about regardless of how terrible your day has been.
You will realize that you can always pick yourself up after you stumbled and fell to your knees. You can choose to look at the sky, after all the times that you kept your head down, and see how beautiful the world is, how beautiful life is. You can smile no matter how heavy your heart feels. You can go outside, take a walk, breathe the fresh air, and let go of everything that’s dragging you down.
You can begin from scratch all over again. You can forget all the people who brought suffering in your life. You can distance yourself away from any kind of environment that doesn’t inspire you. You can go somewhere new, somewhere you know you will be safe and secured, somewhere that no one knows your name.
You are allowed to decide what kind of story you want to tell to people, what kind of nickname they should give to you, and what version of yourself that you want to show to them. This is your life and you get to choose whether you want to continue feeling miserable in one place, or leave and start living the kind of life that you envision for yourself.
Forget about the fears that are preventing you from making a big move. Forget about what other people have to say. Forget about the what ifs that are haunting you on the inside.
You have to learn how to take risks, how to be brave, how to be independent, how to make a decision for your own good. You have to know how to fail, how to be broken, how to win, how to open your heart and love someone new. You have to believe that there’s a wonderful life that’s waiting for you out there and all you need to do is take a huge leap and trust.
You need to forgive yourself and allow yourself to heal. You still have more incredible memories to make. You still have new trustworthy people to meet. You still have plenty of days to laugh, to remember, to cherish, to keep in your mind forever. You are still young and you have so much more room to grow and so much more opportunities ahead of you.
There’s nothing that you can do about the past anymore. You only have today to prepare for a brighter, bigger, and better future.
You have today to push yourself to achieve your fullest potential. And you have today to prove to yourself that it is never too late to build a new life that you have always been dreaming of.
Do you feel as if 24 hours a day isn’t enough? I hear ya! With so many goals and tasks I set for myself I sometimes feel pretty disappointed if I can’t complete them all. Upping my productivity game whilst keeping my self-care regime in mind I decided it was time to consistentlystart waking up earlier and boy-oh-boy the benefits of waking up early are a game changer. And it’s about time we share them badass benefits on the blog.
However, before we dive deep into the marvelous benefits of waking up early I believe it’s important to address that you should consider if waking up early suits your needs. In other words, have a clear motivation on why you want to wake up earlier and what the direct advantage would be for your life.
Is it a loving gesture towards yourself or are you demanding something exterior to yourself?
Choosing to wake up earlier needs to be a conscious decision you make for YOURSELF. And not because we say it has benefits, or your partner says you should wake up earlier. However if you want to and you’re looking for some extra motivation, keep on reading… hehe
Personally, waking up early means I create the possibility to stress-free undertake a self-care morning routine. When waking up later I feel stuck in between what the jobs need, what I personally need and what the family needs all under the pressure of a ticking clock. No fun at all.
From Buddist monks to the world’s most successful CEO’s. Waking up early seems to be amongst their best habits. All of them dedicating that extra time to their own needs. From meditation, reflection, and practicing gratitude to working out, studying or even cleaning the house!
Badass benefits of waking up early:
You create routine & consistency
This is one of the most welcomed consequences that seems to occur with deliberately waking up early. And believe it or not, consistency is the hidden key to success.
Besides that, I experience this added consistency as a level up in my quality of life. It creates accountability. And consistency allows you to grow and progress in whatever you choose to do with that extra time you have on hand.
For example, if you choose to work-out in those early hours, within a couple of weeks you’ll find that by coming back consistently you’ll have built up muscle and a higher endurance, you’re much more at ease with certain exercises etc. Similarly, whatever you choose to do you’ll see that by consistently coming back you’ll progress significantly.
As much as I love freedom and no-planned days, the routine of waking up early makes my days so I can enjoy the unexpected instead of having to juggle the chaos otherwise.
Another great one amongst the benefits of waking up early: having the pleasure of a productivity boost! Remember I mentioned I wish a day had more than 24 hours in a day? Well, by waking up early it seems my wish is being granted… By being able to utilize the hours that I have more productively.
Waking up early is giving yourself the advantage of being ahead of what is coming. You have the time and space to allow yourself to mentally prepare for the day. What do you want to get done today? What needs to get done? etc.
You get to choose how the day goes!
Nothing external has power over you. Utilize the early mornings in such a way where you can create your own moment where you decide with which intention you step into the day ahead of you.
Besides all the above, if you’re not set on exactly what you need or want to do in the mornings you can use that precious time to get nagging tasks out of the way. Clearing up space mentally for a more productive day. Those tasks won’t distract you during the day as you’ve already tackled it when everyone else was sleeping.
Good time to make decisions
For some reason, the fresh morning energy is super contagious (love it!). After a night’s rest, you’re able to exploit that clarity of the rising sun in your own mind. Making important decisions goes with less effort and more positive rationality.
I believe a great reason for that is during the day we easily get (subconsciously) overwhelmed by external stimuli. From people, from emails, social media, the weather, the news etc. After a period of disconnecting (sleep), we’re more likely to be in tune with our true and intuitive selves.
A rested mind is a useful mind. Use it to your benefit and voila, life will thrive before your eyes.
Another reason why its easier to make decisions in the morning is scientifically confirmed. Researchers found that the prefrontal cortex, the frontal lobe of the brain, is the most active during and immediately after waking up. And this part of the brain is related to the ability to differentiate conflicting thoughts and is capable of arranging thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals.
Active creative thinking
Another one of those yummy benefits of waking up early! Similar to being able to make clear decisions, your creative thinking is more active. And you can use this to your advantage. By doing some activities that require that extra creative alertness and input. Such as creative problem solving, brainstorming a new concept, or writing something.
Juggling the daily demands of work, school and family life isn’t easy. Between work deadlines, school exams and raising children, many of us experience different levels of overwhelm and stress. Finding the time to relax may feel impossible but it is achievable with the right tools. In today’s post, I will be sharing 5 ways you can reduce the stress in your life.
Getting Enough Sleep
Our body undergoes a series of biological responses when we experience stress. Certain hormones and neurotransmitters are released as a result of changes affecting the natural state of the body. In fact, several hormones work together to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. When prolonged stress occurs, this cycle becomes disrupted setting off a cascade of physiological effects such as moodiness, cognitive impairment, and behavioral changes.
Based on these effects, I think it’s safe to say that getting enough rest is vital to daily functioning. The struggle for many is creating a daily routine that promotes good sleeping habits. As someone that has experienced many restless nights, I know the importance in creating a sleep routine.
Lately, I’ve been trying to take the following approach to get a good night’s rest.
Putting my phone on silent an hour before going to bed prevents me from checking any alerts and notifications that go off. This approach is helpful because it allows me to start my nightly routine without interruptions, which can further delay going to bed on time.
Having a bright light on acts as an external stimulus, encouraging the body to stay awake. Therefore, similar to putting my phone on silent, I turn off the lights at least 30 minutes before I’m ready for bed.
Reading a book is something I do most nights. It’s a great way for me to relax and to catch up on some of the newer books I’ve purchased.
Creating a sleep schedule will benefit you in many ways. Play around with different methods to determine what works for you. Once you figure it out, become consistent with implementing it. Over time it will become second nature and you’ll feel much more rested each day.
2) Eat A Balanced Diet
I don’t know about you, but whenever I miss a meal or go a long time between meals, I can become HANGRY. The slightest things suddenly become irritating and my energy level is almost nonexistent. Relief from this momentary madness is only provided once I eat something.
Getting proper nutrition provides your body with essential vitamins and minerals. These nutrients allow you to have the physical energy needed to make it through the day. A poor diet affects the way your body responds to stress. Research studies have shown when the body experiences stress, GI absorption, intestinal permeability, and mucous & stomach acid secretions are affected.
In order to limit some of these negative effects, I started meal prepping. When my meals are planned in advance, I eliminate having to scramble at the last minute to cook something. This alone makes my day easier and I feel better knowing I’ve put fairly nutritious food in my body that will give me energy.
Pinterestand Instagram are excellent sources if you’re looking for recipe inspiration. Before creating a grocery list, I suggest saving a few meal ideas from these platforms. This approach allows you to determine what you need to purchase and helps to reduce overspending which is a bonus.
3) Create A Daily Schedule
I LOVE being organized, so much so that it’s probably a bit obsessive. There’s nothing more stressful to me than having a million things to do and not being organized enough to complete each task.
Each weekend I sit down and compose a list of important things that must get done. I rank each from highest to least important, including any important due dates. After writing everything down, I will input them into my digital and physical calendars.
You can create a similar daily schedule with the following approach:
Make a list of your daily non-negotiable tasks (ex: work, school & home)
Rank the order in which you want to accomplish each task (easiest to hardest or vice versa)
Create a time block to work on each task
This is a great way to reduce your stress level because as you cross things off your list you build momentum. There’s nothing better than when you reach the end of a long to-do list!
4) Engage In Physical Activity
Taking time to engage in physical fitness is very beneficial to your health and an excellent way to reduce stress.
Exercising increases endorphins released in your body. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that produce what’s referred to as “runners high”. When you exercise these levels increase, resulting in you feeling energized.
It’s recommended to get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week and around 1 hour of vigorous exercise such as jogging or swimming. Creating a workout plan will help you develop good exercise habits which will help to reduce daily stress.
5) Schedule A Self Care Day
Setting aside time to treat yourself is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Neglecting your mental, physical and spiritual well-being can add to the negative emotions experienced during stressful moments. Spending time enjoying your favorite things helps you to deal with stress in a positive and productive way.
I’ve designated Sundays as my self-care day, each week. I spend this time doing things that are meaningful to me. I will give myself an at-home manicure, do a little shopping, or curl up with a good book. While I appreciate each day that I’m given, I look forward to Sundays because I know it’s the one day of the week that I have something scheduled for myself that I want to do.
Whether you decide to spend time with family, go to a spa, or sit in bed watching TV, practice scheduling a self-care day. You will be surprised how engaging in meaningful activities during this time improves your overall mood.
I hope these tips provided you with some useful ways to reduce and manage stress. Learn to take each day as it comes. No matter how difficult things may be today, tomorrow is a new beginning. Let go of whatever may not have gone your way, and make the most of what you have at this moment.
In Australia we have had 37 Deaths from the virus. What I am more personally concerned about is the rise in suicide. The last data captured in 2015 had 3027 Deaths.
The overwhelming messages in my inbox of people loosing their jobs, riddled with fear and anxiety of the unknown and isolation with unhealthy vices which can all lead to a deterioration of mental health and high risk of suicide deaths. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I have battled with mental illness , hence why it’s my number 1 priority to stay on top of my mental health at this time and encourage you all to as well. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1. Check in daily with a loved one or friend. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 2. Join free groups, online soul circles and fitness challenges. Community is important so I’ll be running a free call this Sunday at 6pm for anyone who needs connection and a safe place to express. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 3. Seek professional help if you consistently depressed , anxious or suicidal. Life life number is 131114 – I’ve had to call once and it was such a beautiful loving experience. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 4. Daily movement , journaling, meditation, dance , breathe work, essential oils . All the things in your tool kit make it a non negotiable to force yourself to do a task that makes you feel good each day. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 5. Eat nourishing foods!!! Our food has a huge impact on our mental health. Refrain from emotional eating and binging. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 6. Be gentle on yourself, nurture your heart at this time melt into that softness. If you need help, guidance or healing be willing to ask. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 7. Reach out to people in your life and check in on them. Create meaningful conversations and deepen the togetherness. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I am sending deep healing to you all. To those who have read this post and are feeling the waves of emotion I invite you to reach out. You are not alone.
Feel free to share this with someone who might need it.
The thing about life is it’s not always easy, and you can’t always win. At some point in life, it hits you. It hits you really hard. The person you love doesn’t love you back, you get fired, you lose a family member. At some point in your life, you’re gonna hit rock bottom.
You’re paralyzed, you’re like, ”why?” and that why can really really destroy you. Once you start asking yourself ”why me?” why not the others, why me? I’m actually a good person, I never did something significantly bad, why the hell did it hit me? Because that’s life.
Life is unfair. Success is not measured on the days when the sun shines. Success is honestly measured on the dark, stormy, cloudy days. And if you can’t absorb failure, the honest truth is that you may never meet success.
Sometimes it takes things falling apart, for better things to fall into place. Sometimes it takes the most uncomfortable path, to lead your life to the most beautiful place. There’s gonna be bad days, there’s gonna be dark days, but you need to embrace it. Because that pain is what makes you stronger. Failure is what makes you stronger. you have to accept those down times, because once you realize those down times, are just as much part of life as anything else, you are then able to strive again.
You’ll never see the purpose of the storm, until you see the growth it has produced. You will never understand why you went through, until you see the strength, the power, the resilience that it built inside of you. Ask yourself why. But this is a better why, “why am I doing this? Why am I failing? Why am I even getting myself in a situation where I could fail? Because I have a dream. Because I have goals. And the more you’re thinking back to those original goals, the easier it is for you to get back up and say “Alright, it might be difficult, it might be painful, it might be stressful, there might be no people that believe in me, but i believe in me.”
You know it might have been the case that you should have gone through that harsh break up, that you should have gone through that heavy loss, just in order to find something even better. The only way to get that even better, is to get back up and work. To get back up and put yourself out there again, to rise up again, stronger, better, wiser, ready to grasp that new opportunity.
You gotta believe that the tables in your life will turn. That pain will become power, that weakness will become strength, and that confusion will become peace. Better things are coming. Everyday is a new beginning.