May is Mental Health Awareness Month. One in four people will suffer from some sort of mental illness. It's okay if you're one of them.
If you have known me for years or followed me from my blog, The Fashionista's Diary, then you know that I've suffered from anxiety and depression since I was 19. While I shouldn't say "suffer," it does sometimes feel like I'm living with an uninvited guest that I can't seem to get to leave.
When I first got diagnosed with anxiety and depression, I was in a really dark place. I didn't know how to cope with it, I refused to leave my house most days and I felt as if there was no hope for me. I didn't understand why this was happening and why I couldn't just "shake it off," as most people who don't suffer from it like to tell you.
What a lot of people don't know is that you can't just shake off mental illness. You can't just make it go away. You can't kindly ask it to leave. It's one of the hardest and longest struggles you will face in life but it's not impossible to live with. Given that this month is Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to share some of my tips for dealing with anxiety.
MY TIPS FOR DEALING WITH ANXIETY:
This is something that I don't do as often as I'd like, but when I do, it helps. Even if it's just writing down something in my notes on my phone, it helps me get my feelings out of my head and on to a piece of paper (or virtual paper).
This one is huge for my anxiety. It's evident that when I don't work out, I feel more stressed and anxious. Try to exercise even just 30 minutes a few times a week and see how much your mood improves.
This sounds silly, but it helps. Whenever I feel extreme anxiety coming, I focus on my breathing. It really helps me re-center.
My mom got me these for my birthday and I find that lavender really helps me when I'm feeling super anxious.
Talk to someone:
Whether you can talk to your best friend, significant other or parent, talk it out to someone. Sometimes just speaking about it helps you reason through why you're feeling that way.
It's no secret that mental illness impedes on your daily life. It's not an easy thing to deal with. And you're so strong for having to go through it. But, just know you're not alone. You will be okay. Don't bottle your emotions inside of you. Talk to someone. Write it down. And, most importantly, never feel ashamed or embarrassed for feeling the way you do.
You are so much bigger than your negative thoughts.