Good Day to you lovelies! Ok, so I thought I would do something a little bit different today for my blog post because it is something I have been more aware of than usual recently. It isn’t necessarily weight loss based but it is related in a sense.
NB: The products linked in this post are linked just by my choice. I am not being paid for any of these and am only sharing with you with the links in the hope that if you find it useful, then you know where to find the products.
So, those who know me will know that I suffer from anxiety. It is something that began a few years ago in a previous job that was highly stressful and was just something I clearly wasn’t prepared for. Since one such occasion in the early hours of a weekday morning, where I began shaking out of nowhere; having heart palpitations, sweating and the sudden urge to go to the toilet, I have read up on anxiety and what causes it and how to prevent panic attacks from taking hold.
In the years since my anxiety came to the fore, I have learnt techniques to put into a daily routine to help me remain calm and also to help me sleep.
Exercise is MASSIVELY linked to this because it helps get rid of excess energy and alleviates stress. Also, after a workout, your body releases endorphins, which trigger a positive and happy feeling in the body. Just don’t exercise too close to bed time or it may keep you awake!
I have invested heavily in lavender and camomile scented products. I currently use the Avon Pillow Mist but can’t find it on their website so this is a similar one.
I spray this a few times on my pillow every night just before bed and the scent is so calming and lovely. I also like to have candles burning (only in the rooms you are in!) with calming scents to spread throughout my home. I find watching the flame flicker really soothing and relaxing (ok that may just be me that thinks that…nutcase!).
After I have a shower, recently I have taken to moisturising my face and neck before going back downstairs for the evening, purely because it feels a little like pamper time and adds to the calming down and winding the day to a close. At the minute I use Boots Botanics All Bright Hydrating Night Cream just because it’s a good all-rounder and helps calm my skin after a session at the gym.
My skin gets really dry and can crack if I don’t moisturise so this just makes me feel lovely and pampered. I would say anything that makes you feel pampered and treated helps reduce anxiety; whether its painting your nails, having a face mask or having a nice bath. It just helps take your mind off your anxiety for that moment to concentrate on looking after you.
If I’m feeling quite anxious, I make a cup of tea for bed. My favourite is Earl Grey, just because it brings back memories of being at uni sat in the cafeteria feeling really posh before my lectures with my housemate Christina.I just love Earl Grey tea but try to have decaf on an evening. I also have the Twinings Sleep Tea at the minute…
It doesn’t taste fab as you have it without milk but it does ease off the worries and stress of the day, to calm you and relax you. Even if it’s a placebo effect, a good cup of tea before bed is a great stress reliever (if it’s decaf).
I find that breathing techniques when crazy anxious are really helpful because they force you to breathe slow and steady, counting your in-breath and then your out-breath. This all may sound like utter crap to those of you who have never experienced anxiety. But trust me, this feels like a true life saver if you have ever had a panic attack or are on the verge of one. I sit on my bed with my back leaning on a pillow and feet either straight out in front or cross-legged and breathe in slowly through my nose for 4 seconds, pause for 4, then breathe out through my mouth for 5-7 seconds. Do that 10 times whilst holding your diaphragm with one hand and your chest with the other. The aim is to eventually, with time, breathe from your diaphragm and not your chest but this comes with experience. I tend to do this straight out of the shower.
One thing I have found a massive life-saver and have been using for over a year now is the Happier app.
This is the best thing I have ever found on the internet hands down. It’s completely free and is used as a daily gratitude journal to remind you of those happy moments to focus on, even on bad days. This app has changed my life and I see things in each day to be grateful for now, that before went unnoticed. The app has a courses section where there are mostly free 5-10 day meditation courses for you to complete at your leisure. I am currently doing the Sleep Deep and Dream Sweet Course and listen to this whilst in bed in the dark, with my eyes closed.
I know it’s not best practice to use electronics right before bed but this works for me and I almost fall asleep while the course is playing through my earphones. You really need to try this app because it is fantastic and will help anyone with anxiety, even if you only use it for the courses.
Anxiety and Panic Attacks are horrible; there are many blogs on the internet which focus solely on anxiety and panic attacks but I felt the need to post after watching a few videos about them on YouTube and remembering how hard it was when I had no idea what was going on with my body. I felt like I was going to die and was very emotional at the time.
I wanted to post this as an unrelated post to weight loss but having said that, weight loss has massively reduced my anxiety because now I feel less anxious about my health than before, which is a really good thing.
Sorry for the massively long post guys but I hope it helps some of you shed light on how to relax and reduce anxiety.
Love you all and I welcome any comments if anyone does anything else to reduce anxiety. I am always looking for tips and ideas!