Coping with Anxiety and SAD

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have suffered with my mental health over the years. I currently have anxiety and am also coping with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) as the days get shorter. I recently spoke about how this affects me, but today I wanted to share some of the ways I cope when I do struggle with my anxiety and SAD.

Go for a Walk

Sometimes I feel like I can’t stand or sit still if my anxiety is high. The fight or flight instinct kicks in and I feel the need to get out, to feel like I am escaping from my thoughts. I find walking really helps, whether it’s a long walk in the New Forest or by the sea, or just a short walk around the block. It just helps to get out, get some fresh air and a change of scene.

Watch Netflix

I am obsessed with Friends. When I struggled a couple of years ago with my mental health, I found the only thing I could watch without setting my anxiety off was Friends and it became a bit of a security blanket. I watch it now when I want to chill out, but I do still rely on it when my anxiety peaks, as it is comforting.

Have a Bath

I never used to a bath girl until a few years ago but I must admit, they are great if you are feeling anxious and need to switch off. I try not to take my phone into the bathroom with me, or if I do, I put some music on and leave it on the other side of the room.

Write it Down

I find that writing down the worries and thoughts in my head when I’m anxious really helps me. Writing it down helps to get the thoughts out of my head, calming my mind and helping me to relax.

Get some Sleep

I am awful with sleep. I have to get up fairly early and yet I struggle to switch off in the evening, which means I don’t have enough sleep, which really doesn’t help with anxiety. I have been making a conscious effort to try and get to sleep earlier, especially during the autumn. I have a brilliant sleep spray from Feather & Down, which I swear by, and I also use rescue remedy night to help relax at bedtime.

Read

I have also been trying to prioritise reading, as it helps me to switch off and calm down. I find reading helps me to escape from my own mind, and it’s great as an alternative to scrolling through my phone at night. I still have a huge TBR pile from my lockdown birthday presents, and a few library books, so I have no excuse to get stuck in and read plenty this month.

Light Candles

I struggle a lot with the gloomy weather. I have a SAD lamp, which helps during the day, but when it comes to twilight, I just want to feel cosy and protected. Rather than darkness, or harsh bright lighting, I find candlelight helps me to feel safe and calm as the evenings get longer. I’m biased, but my favourite candles are from 1102 Candles, which is a company founded by my brother and his wife. Lighting one really helps me to find an inner calm, and the scents are gorgeous.

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