Mental wellbeing

What does anxiety look like?

If you have never suffered from anxiety it can be really hard to understand. If you suffer from anxiety it can be really hard to explain. The main problem is that the person suffering will often be quite good at hiding it. Take this photo below.

This was taken one morning before work. I was in the middle of a week of feeling extremely anxious. I was often close to tears and just had a feeling of butterflies in my stomach constantly. I tried to pinpoint what it was. My husband was away for work, we’d just got back from holiday, work was busy – but none of them seemed to really be significant to this episode. I now feel this may have been hormonal. I’ve lost a lot of weight this year and I think my hormones haven’t quite caught up. I may also be heading for peri-menopause.

The point is I’m not sure many people would realise from the picture that I was trying not to cry and trying desperately to “pull myself together”. I’d made an effort with my appearance, wearing some favourite colours, I’d even put some lipstick on!

I eventually started to feel a little less anxious the day my husband arrived home, but even then I had to go and be on my own for a bit. I sat down and did some crochet in the garden and lost myself for a bit and just started to feel calmer. I sound like a right old granny but you know whatever gets you through 🙂

I got quite annoyed with myself. I had done so well with managing anxiety the last 6 months or so, why had I “let” it get the better of me now? I then realised that trying to over analyse it was quite futile, there may simply be times that I have to allow it to happen, much like how I eventually have to give in to a head cold and rest. Anxiety needs the same care and attention.

Having said that there are things that I try and do now to help manage anxiety and they do seem to be having a positive effect.

1) I prioritise myself and my health as much as I prioritise any other important things in my life. This means making time for exercise, for hobbies, for doing nothing but rest and not feeling guilty for it.

2) I eat well consistently but I also don’t deny myself. I think my body has got good at telling me what it needs nutrition wise.

3) I have started taking a 40+ woman supplement plus magnesium. My nutritionist recommended it and I hadn’t given it much thought until I had been taking it for a few weeks. I was out for a lunchtime walk and suddenly realised how much calmer I had been feeling and then the penny dropped. Even if it just a placebo effect I’ll take that!

4) Not everyone will understand and that’s OK. Even if I explain it, for someone who doesn’t suffer with anxiety it can be really hard to understand. I’m content with them not understanding but just respecting that for a few days I may be a bit below par.

I’m happy to say that the “attacks” seem to be getting fewer and farther between but I accept that I may get one at any time. Just like the common cold it can appear out of the blue but with some consistent self-care I hope to make them fewer and fewer and much less disruptive.

2 thoughts on “What does anxiety look like?”

  1. This is so true. Anxiety is so hard to see and very misunderstood. It’s great that you’ve got the awareness and understanding to be able to accept that you need to be kind to yourself and rest when you need to.

    Like

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