Sunday Seven: Ways to kick anixiety’s butt!

I know that sometimes, it can feel like you don’t have anxiety, you are absorbed by the sneaky bugger. Right now, I’m pleased that I’m managing my anxiety, but now and again, of course, I have my moments where I wonder if I’ll feel ok again. It’s on these days it is that little bit harder here are 7 things you can do.

Write a list of things you need to do 

Only what you need to get done, don’e be consumed by something you need to get done tomorrow or next week. Break big tasks down and take it day by day.

Be kind to yourself

When I’m in an anxious state, I know most of the time that it’s not logical. That there are things I’m anxious about that I don’t need to be or I’ll beat myself up over small things. Know that you’re just having a bad day, it will pass.

Get some light in!

Natural sunlight is a great mood booster even five minutes can help you out so open those windows.

Make sure you have contact with positive people 

It can be really hard, particularly if your anxiety means you want or need to be alone but make sure that you can contact people who make you feel comfortable.

Do something you enjoy 

Read, watch a TV show you love, colour do something you enjoy that you’ll find relaxing.

Express how you feel!

Only you will know the best way to calm your anxious mind but don’t bottle it up. For some doing something creative will help unleash how you feel, for others making something or solving a problem. Whatever works, you do you!

What are your tips? Let me know in the comments below!

Mental Health, my story so far

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So, to kick start Mental Health Awareness Week I thought I would share with you my own personal mental health journey. I’ve written a lot on this blog about how I live with my mental health, what helps me and some of the not so great times.

If you don’t know me or my blog hello and welcome! I’m Chloe, a 22-year-old blogger, graduate, writer, musician and mental health campaigner. I’ve been living with Depression and Anxiety diagnosed since I was 18 but undiagnosed from around 15 (it took a long time to get a diagnosis).

I’ve had quite a lot of time to think about myself and the fact that I am more than an illness, more than a diagnosis. I struggled throughout my teenage years for a lot of reasons, I was bullied a lot which definitely kick started my illness. I spent a lot of time isolated and desperately unhappy, with no professional help. That was pretty shit. Moving on to college I was slightly better with a new start but still struggling with my mental health, I did have some councilling at the time and sought out my diagnoses, which I got at the age of 18.

Little after that, I went to university after starting my first trial of medication, freaking out and not taking it (not something I’d recommend). I spent my first year pretty sick and being incredibly unhealthy with my mental health, I’d spend days locked in the dark of my room alone, not eating and avoiding people. Towards the end of that year I went back on medication because I was at a really low point, where everyone had noticed.

For my second and third year I was better with the help of my mentor who I had talking therapy with once a week for 3 years. I also started to speak out more about my mental health and working towards educating others, I was also lucky enough to make a speech (watch here) which made my passion even stronger.

I will admit I’ve had a really rough time in the past year since graduating with figuring out who I am, getting used to not having the professional support I had at uni, trying to work on being a graduate and getting used to new doctors (not my fave).

So, that’s a little bit about me. My illness is a part of me, but not all of me. I’m hoping you’re going to enjoy this week. If you have any questions for me drop me a comment below, email me at chloefmetzger@gmail.com, or tweet me @chloemetzger. I can’t wait to hear from you all!

Sunday Seven: Thoughts everyone has the night before starting a new job

Tomorrow I start a new chapter, it may be a little sooner than I thought but nonetheless, it’s happening. I start my first temp assignment and as I write this the nerves are ramping up and I’m hoping I at least get some sleep tonight. So here are seven thoughts everyone has the night before starting a new job.

Damn, I ‘m nervous 

I have SO MANY butterflies right now, so, so many.

Will I get any sleep tonight?

I’m awful at sleeping before a big day, there will be a lot of clock watching tonight.

I wonder what the people are like?

It’s always nerve-wracking going into a new situation with completely new people. Luckily the few people I have met have seemed really nice.

What’s the food situation? Am I supposed to eat in a canteen, go out, is there a microwave?! 

I never know what to do in terms of food, it’s always something I think about. Luckily I know the area a little so I can hopefully pop out and grab something.

I’m a professional, I’ve got this… shit, I don’t know what I’m doing! 

The constant battle between the angel and devil on my shoulder this one. The angel knows I can do this but the devil throws in a nice bit of doubt.

I need to check my outfit again

Because you definitely want to get it right on your first day.

Let’s do this

I’ll never know if I don’t do it. Let’s do this!

Overwhelmed.

Mental illness doesn’t disappear, even when your life is on the up.  Tomorrow is a big day, tomorrow I put some bags and my hamsters in a car go to my parents and start the next part of my life. I’ll pick up my new car (!!) and then in the morning go to my new job that I’ll hopefully have for a long time to come. Everything is on the up, life’s getting better and better but I still find myself at times suffocated by my anxiety and feeling like I can’t breathe. I’m excited and terrified at the same time but it feels like everything is going so fast and I need to hold on to something. I guess this is normal, it’s a normal thing for someone who’s having this much change happening in their life to feel. I do have a bonus, I’m moving closer to my family and as of next weekend I’ll have Ali back by my side. I know everything will be ok and this is just a phase in my life but either way, my anxiety is kicking up a notch and I’m going to make sure I can live with it and not let it take over my life.

What have I done this summer?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the expectations of summer today and for the past few weeks. As we creep closer to September and the evenings start getting darker that little bit earlier summer is scampering away before our very eyes. While I was lying on the bed at my appointment yesterday, as my physio was telling me to slow down and not push the muscles too hard something in me snapped. NO! I wanted to scream in my head, No I’m done, I want a summer do over, I want to go and explore the world and write books and go all over London. Just give me a do over. But I was sat slowly trying to pull my knees towards my chest and having my reflexes checked every week to make sure that I wasn’t getting worse. I was waiting on doctors appointments and adjusting medication levels every few weeks. What the hell was I going to say once I got back to uni?

Almost on queue my anxiety  kicked in today, with a days of depressive thoughts too. What if everyone just ignored me when I couldn’t keep up or go on nights out properly? What if I just sat in the corner while everyone talked about how awesome their summer plans were and how they were glad they spent their last summer before graduating having fun and being young? All I could say was that I fractured my spine, got to go in an ambulance and slept a lot.

So I got sad, got angry, and tried to convince myself getting out of bed and getting dressed was going to be a good move. I threw on some clothes after a while and scraped back my hair, intending to take some pictures of Kingston in the sun. The short story is that it didn’t happen, the long version includes a lot of muscle spasms and swearing. So I moped even more and did housework. Now I bet you’re thinking why do I want to read her moaning about life being sucky, WAIT, this bits almost over, I promise.

I thought the words, what have I done this summer? After waves of negativity I had a lightbulb moment, I managed to get my spine to heal back together. I realised how awesome and amazing my body had been this summer. I might not have done anything that other people I know will have done like a trip to Australia or going to Reading Fest, but my body has managed to piece itself back together and escape never being able to use my legs again.

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I realised that it was pretty awesome that I’ve gone from needing help to get out of bed, to walk even the tiniest bit and helped out of the bath every time (now it’s not as often) to having the independence to go to work and my physio appointments without everyone being anxious about it. I’ve learnt to deal with doctors and have a love for nurses. I’ve learnt that I can handle levels of pain I wouldn’t imagine and that if my determination ever needed testing this would do it. I didn’t back down on going to Athens or performing at Basingstoke Live, as people keep telling me I’ve been pretty bad ass.

I still have a long way to go, more appointments, more physio and having to adjust my plans but your body healing itself is a pretty awesome thing and it even makes me forgive the stretch marks that have caused me so much upset lately. Even with all that and the chance I’ll never be able to ride again/ it will be too much of a risk, the experience has made me grow, as cheesy as it sounds. I’ve picked myself up from lows I never thought I’d have and I’ve seen the beauty in the people around me.

So that’s what I’ve done this summer, how about you?

My First Book Club!

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Yesterday was a busy day, after spending most of the day in the office at Kingston Hill working on The Student Room for results day I was pretty exhausted by the evening. I could have easily gone home, microwaved something and curled up in bed but I’d been looking forward to my first Young Adult Book Club all month talking about Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story which is next Thursday’s review. Book Club is something I’ve never done before and after missing out last month because of Basingstoke Live so I was determined to go.

Buuuuuut, determination is hard when you’re anxious. As usual my anxiety reared its head as I was walking to town with thoughts swimming around my brain. What if everyone knows each other? What if I’m the oldest? What if no one shares the same opinion as me?! Part of me wanted to run (ha, I wish I mean struggle to quick walk) away and forget about it.

As usual the staff at my local Waterstone’s were lovely and engaging. I got there half an hour early and had a lot of conversations with different members of staff and got compliments about my jumper again ( It’s says – Me? Wrong? Never. on it and it went down a storm at the office). Then I bumped into a girl who bonded with me over books we loved and that’s just the beginning.

At this point let me introduce Becky who is scarily similar to me and feels like she’s been a friend for years! I think she’ll feature on my blog again! We hit it off straight away, she’s heard of my band (!!) and ended up talking way after the evening had finished. The only worry that came of my anxieties was that I was the oldest non staff member of the group, but that didn’t matter. The girls were great and I’m already thinking of some people from uni I want to bring down.

It was a big step for me tonight to do this when I didn’t know anyone. It’s the kind of situation that makes me incredibly anxious and panicky but I did. It’s nice to do something that only I’m really interested in and meet other people who like it too. I’m definitely going to be going for the rest of the year which is super exciting and something to look forward to every month. So I would say it was a success! I also treated myself because I was proud with two next YA books (of course), a new fox keyring, some pens, an about me type book, a to-do notebook, a new academic diary, Harry Potter Pop and some brightly coloured pens! 🙂

Are there any other YA readers out there who can give me some good recommendations?! Throw them my way!

My self conscious mind

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It’s been 7 weeks since my riding accident now, 7 weeks and I’ve had a lot to get used to being slower, having to rest constantly oh and the staring, yes the staring. I’ve always had a part of me that was self conscious, even when I was younger I never wanted any excuse for the other kids to make fun of me.

Fast forward to the age of 20 and I’m finally happy with the way I look, I’m feeling confident and wanted to go out more, then I fall off a horse and get stuck in a back brace and occasional wheelchair. Not the most flattering thing..apart from the fact it pushes my boobs out, as in totally in your face out. I get stared at either because of the brace or because of my boobs, I’m not quite sure. So combine that with my normal anxiety and I’m constantly worrying what people are looking at me for.

This is what normally happens in my brain:

Oh god they’re staring again. Why do they always stare, don’t they know it’s rude? Urgh is it my brace? Why do I look so weird in this, I hate it. Or is it the wheelchair maybe? Oh, nope that guys looking at my boobs, yes they are attached to my body. Should I be wearing this top? Maybe I can throw a jumper over next time, but then the shape looks weird. Urgh STOP STARING AT ME. 

So yeah, my anxiety doesn’t mix well with people staring at me a lot. I got to the point where I really didn’t want to go out today, basically because people are rude. I’ve had to change my life a lot in the last few weeks because of my spine but I think this is the thing that makes me the maddest. Even on my mums birthday people I knew in my home town either avoid seeing me or see me in town and make awkward eye contact and I just want to scream I’m still the same person! I’m still me!

I didn’t want to write an angry or moapy post but I’m still the same person. The depression and anxiety sometimes makes it harder to just brush off other people’s ignorance.

I’d love to hear from the rest of you, how do you deal with being anxious?

Image from https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/378935756118394408/