Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Looking after your mental health

As a mum it is so easy in a way to look after the kids but at the same time completely forget to look after yourself. At the moment I am coping quite well with my anxiety during the day because I am so busy and this blog has been a huge help too as it gives me something else to focus on. But and its a big but, it's now hitting me a night. I go to bed and just lay there with all this stuff just going round and round in my head. Then when I do fall asleep I have been having the same horrible nightmare around twice a week. 

For the best part of the last year I have had issues with agonising pain in my jaw. I obviously went to the dentist after a while thinking I had something majorly wrong. Nope, I had been clenching my jaw so hard in my sleep that I was causing my jaw to ache pretty much constantly. If I wake up in the morning with jaw ache now it's pretty much my personal warning that things are getting on top of me. 

A few weeks ago for the first time in around four years I had a panic attack. These plagued me in my early twenties and even though I had experienced so many of them it was still awful. You forget how truly terrifying it is. After it had passed I was so upset and I remember saying to my husband 'if this is starting again I don't no what I'll do'. This was me at my absolute lowest and looking back I should of been proud of myself for getting through it and not been putting myself down. Thankfully I have not had another one since and I'm trying my hardest not to cling on to the thought of what if I have another one.

I mainly wanted to write this post to share a few things that I find helpful when my anxiety level is high.

The first thing is getting out of the house, I cannot stress this enough. Some times when your feeling low or anxious you just want to stay in your safe place and for most people that is home. Going out for a walk really helps me whether it be on my own or taking the kids out on their scooters/bikes. It helps me clear my mind even if it's only for a bit. If you feel up to it meet friends too. Having a laugh and a bit of fun is like medicine for me. Try not to cut yourself off from the outside world. I do occasionally get into the habit of it just being me and the kids and that's ok but it's important to put yourself out there too.

The second is talking. If your feeling like your not doing so well then just spending half an hour talking to someone can make you feel like a different person. Whether it be your closest friend or someone you have just met you will be so surprised how many people are going through the same situations. It's always a good idea to have a chat with your GP if your not feeling yourself too.

The third thing I have to mention which I have recently picked up is a thankfulness diary. Now you don't have to buy a fancy one, a cheap notepad will do, just write the date and three thinks you are thankful for. I normally do this in the evening and it really helps lift my mood and it's great to look back on too. If you do want to buy a ready made one then I picked this one up for £2 from Wilko. 

Have a bit of me time. Whether it be a bath (normally scolding hot in my case) or doing your nails these things can really boost my mood and calm me down too. If your like me my anxiety makes me feel so tired because I'm just fighting it all day. I would recommend having an early night at least once a week to recharge your batteries too (she says wishing she could sleep).

Lastly I find having things to focus on really helpful. Whether it be a date night, your children's birthdays, plans with friends, anything really. Having something nice to look forward to is so important. It's how I tell my anxiety that it's not going to win. I have such and such planned and you are not going to stop me doing it.

I really hope this post has been helpful, I feel like I could go on and on. If your feeling low or anxious then please remember I know exactly how you feel and I am always here for a chat. 

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