Unprecedented times can sky-rocket anxiety that is already high for those of us with mental illness. Let’s not be too hard on ourselves if we are feeling particularly out of sorts during this craziness. Let’s remind ourselves that it will not last forever and that life will go back to the way it use to be relatively soon. In the mean time, let’s make a plan of ways we can cope with our anxiety and get through each day, moment by moment, knowing that there is no shame in merely doing the best we can no matter what that may look like.
Make sure to get plenty of sleep. Eat healthy. Get exercise. All the usually advice. Take time each day to do something you enjoy. A hobby or special interest. Watch relaxing or funny videos or movies or shows. Read uplifting or positive material. Create a soothing environment in your home with soft lighting, pleasant aromas, de-cluttered rooms, and quiet or calming sounds.
When you are in the midst of an anxiety attack, try the following coping statements, suggested by http://www.healthyplace.com:
- I’m going to be all right. My feeling are not always rational.
- Anxiety is not dangerous. It’s just uncomfortable.
- Right now I have feelings I don’t like. They will be over with soon and I will be fine.
- That picture or image in my head is not a healthy or rational picture.
- I’ve stopped my negative thoughts before and I’m going to do it again now.
- It’s not the first time I feel anxiety. I am going to take some deep breaths and keep on going.
Finally, remember this: “You have survived everything you’ve gone through up to this point. The best day of your life is still yet to come. There are still people you haven’t met and things you haven’t experienced. YOU CAN DO THIS.” (Source unknown)
Good tips! I think your comment about not being hard on yourself is key — I’ve been working a lot on my self compassion these last several months and it’s incredible what a difference it makes. Also remembering that you’re not alone in feeling this way — that in fact, A LOT of people are feeling very similarly. I like the suggestion of coping statements too — I’ve been taking a lot of comfort from the following phrase recently: “I am safe. I am strong. I am resilient. I am resourceful.”
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Yes, it is true that a lot of people are feeling this way even those who don’t have mental illness. Self compassion is key for me too. It’s the only thing that gets me through some moments. I like your phrase too.