Mental Health

How I manage anxiety at work

If you’ve been following my journey for a while you’ll be aware that I suffer with anxiety. It ranges from severe, to periods where it’s near non existence. I don’t have particular triggers, it just seems to fluctuate between good and bad. I’m studying for a degree currently, so only work part time. Here is a few tips that help me when I feel anxious/panicked in the work place.

  1. Distractions: This is the best way for me to prevent having an anxiety attack. I need to be distracted from my thoughts, otherwise I’ll go into overdrive. It’s naturally easy when my work place is busy, it’s simply too much rush to give any attention to the symptoms I start experiencing. If it isn’t busy, I distract myself by finding a task to complete that takes my focus.
  2. Recognising my physical symptoms: I sometimes get anxiety attacks that are more physical than mental. I can be mentally calm, but still get deliberating symptoms. When this happens I avoid certain things during my work hours, such not drinking caffeine and wearing comfortable clothes.
  3. Ice: It may seem odd but when I am very anxious I like putting an ice cube on my left wrist. It brings me to my senses, and really helps with dissociation that sometimes occurs with anxiety.
  4. Being open: This one is really hard for me, but one I have started using. I let my manager know, and they’re always supportive. I can go outside or sit down for a couple minutes.
  5. Lavender roll on: I think this is a placebo for me. But I often roll lavender essential oil on my pressure points as it’s known for calming. ( added benefit as perfume)
  6. Reassurance: It’s okay to feel anxious. I have to constantly tell myself that it’s okay to feel this way, and my colleagues don’t think I’m terrible at my job because of this. I’m so grateful I’ve got a positive work environment and that I’m well enough to cope with a job!

These are just a few little things that I do to help myself feel less anxious whilst at work. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them down below!

Mental Health

Current update on my mental health

I’ve had a little bit of a hiatus and this is mainly because I’m in the middle of a blip. I thought I was doing horrendous but as pointed out from my partner I’m managing well. Despite my current brain, I’ve somehow kept going. I’m still at work, I’m still meeting my degree deadlines. This in itself is showing me how far I’ve come.

Thoughts to self harm have returned. I know I’ll stay safe, it’s just a matter of rationalising and waiting for them to pass. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to, I’m just aware I shouldn’t. It’s mentally exhausting trying to get through them. I haven’t cut myself in over 5 years, and the majority of that time the thought to harm myself hasn’t been present, so it’s a little hard that they’ve returned after so long.

Worthlessness is playing a huge part in my life currently. I’m finding it difficult to see why I should carry on doing all the things I am. I don’t want to engage with anyone as I don’t want to be a burden. I want to go without it affecting anyone. I rationally know this isn’t possible. I don’t even want to leave. I love my partner so much that it’s worth staying alive just to spend time together. I don’t want to burden him. I feel incredibly guilty and worthless that he has to deal with me. He deserves the world.

I feel guilty about the space I’m taking up. I don’t know what I currently should do. I know this feeling will pass (I hope) it’s just a matter of getting through. I’m currently home alone for a few days, so this will be testing. I’m annoyed that I’m experiencing this now. I have so much to do, so much to live for. I want to be alive.

I’m okay. I will get through. Just struggling.

Mental Health

Opening up about my mental health for the first time..

This is another odd post for me to write about, as I never thought this day would occur anywhere in the near future. This week has been odd.

I hadn’t been having a ‘bad’ week as such. If you read my last post you would know that I have been alone for a few days, which is a difficulty for me. I wrote about how well I was doing at the time, which I was. That wasn’t a lie. Ironically enough, that changed the next day.

I woke up with intense suicidal thoughts. I went to work at my part time job as usual, and thought the distraction would be good for me. I enjoy working, and it gives a good mental distraction. This day, the distraction didn’t come. I could not think about anything else but my thoughts, and this was making it extremely difficult to concentrate. My co-workers noticed this, and repetively asked if I was okay.

As my job does not know about my mental health, I put on a facade and tried to act normal. I couldn’t. My thoughts were too loud. I went outside and tried to compose myself. My colleague followed, and I broke down and told them how I was feeling. I genuinely cannot believe I spoke aloud to someone how I was feeling.

They were very supportive, and tried to challenge my rationale. They did not want to send me home on my own, so I stayed at work, with the support that I could take a step out whenever I needed. I am glad they made me stay. I guess I can recognise it’s best not to be left alone when feeling this way.

I am always comforted by telling myself that these thoughts are temporary and will soon pass. A few hours into my shift, and I was feeling a little better, and reassuring my management I would be safe, I went home.

My manager, as well as the colleague who supported me, both messaged me that evening, making sure I was feeling okay, and reassuring me that they were always there If I ever needed anyone. This made me feeling eternally grateful! And less embarrassed about them knowing about my brain. Every day since this incident, my manager has messaged to check up on me, which makes me feel very supported.

I can’t believe I am okay that others now know about my mental health… But as they said you should never try and cope alone, and that there is always someone who will be there for you. Considering my recent loneliness, this is so lovely to hear. It has come to me, that maybe my brain is wrong, and that I am not worthless and alone, thus would not be best to leave the world.

I am proud of myself for opening up, as it was extremely difficult, and I have been silent about my suicidal thoughts since they began. I am SO grateful for the support I have received, and cannot in words, express how appreciative I am.

I am still trying to reassure myself that it is okay that others know. I will return to work in a couple of days, and seeing them since the incident will be a hurdle… but I’m sure I can jump! I’ll be okay.

Mental Health

I can’t think clearly when there is mess?

This is a little odd thing for me to write about as every time I try to describe this in real life, it doesn’t quite represent what I am actually trying to explain. The title of this post is very reflective on what I am going to write about haha. It is more of a mental mess than physical, but applies to both. I am a typical ‘neat freak’. I feel uncomfortable when items aren’t in the place they are supposed to be. I thrive on tidiness!

My partner is not a tidy person, and I do not mind this as I get to tidy up after him too, haha. My issue is not just having things in the ‘correct’ place, but to have them out of vision. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is a great saying for me! I physically cannot think clearly where there is other things that aren’t needed. For example, a desk. If I want to study, the desk has to be completely empty, as in pens, notebooks, cups or material that is not being used. If I need to use more than one text book, only one can be on the table and open at a time. Otherwise I feel I have to have the content from both books in my mind. Odd, I know.

My main focus of this ‘issue’ is to not have excess ‘space’/memory in my mind cluttered with non useful/ only parts of information. I aim to have only in my head the amount needed, and be confident I am fully in control/fully known the information.

It does and can affect my day to day life. I only allow myself to listen to 3 different artists. I don’t mind too much, but it would be nice to be able to comfortably listen to new music. I have 3 albums on spotify,one for each artist. I have to know all the songs before they go in. Therefore when a new album comes out by one of my artists I have to constantly listen to it on repeat for a few weeks. One of the three artists no longer makes music, therefore this is my most comfortable and relaxing album, as the extent of this space in my brain is already filled.

I could write lots more different ways in which this idea of having mess in my brain affects different things. Would you like me to write about more? Do you also experience this? I’d love to know your opinions. Do you think this is a quirk or an issue?

Mental Health

What to do for mental health awareness week?

It is known that I struggle with mental illness, and considering it’s mental health awareness week 2019, I want to write a post but I want to make sure my post is important/helpful/what others want. What would you like to see this week? Open to any suggestions! or here is some I could potentially do:

  • How to tell someone you are struggling/ its okay to ask for help
  • My medical experience with mental illness/ going to the doctor
  • Why I don’t use medication as treatment (anti psychotics, anti anxiety ect)
  • How I overcame self harm/ 5 years on
  • Education/ working with mental illness advice
  • Q/A, answering any questions relating to mental health (can be general or personal or advise)/ comment them below
  • My therapy experiences (CBT, online and psychotherapy)