I think we all suffer from anxiety at some point in our lives. Job, break-up, loss, move, changes, anything stressful can trigger some anxiety, which sometimes escalades into panic attacks (and these really suck!) or worse case scenario into depression.
I had an interesting conversation recently with my sister about anxiety. She had read that anxiety was like a messenger that meant well. The only thing, it speaks a foreign language and it keeps coming back until we’ve finally understood what it is trying to say. “I love the idea” says Elodie but “I have absolutely no clue about what I’m supposed to understand and this little shit keeps waking me up with its crypted message in the middle of the night!”. This made me burst out laughing at a time I felt like crying but I think it’s really helpful and calming to look at anxiety like an omen that genuinely wants to help us.
Changes is stressful and no matter how much of a positive outlook you try to have on life, changes move you out of your comfort zone and then there is the fear of the unknown, which is a shitty, unfounded feeling too so here are a few tips that may help you to deal with anxiety:
When anxiety turns up on your doorstep or most often in the middle of the night, just welcome it. If it prevents you from sleeping that night so be it, you will sleep better the following night. Read a book, watch Netflix, go on Pinterest and just get used to its presence. I’m against pills, tablets or anything chemicals so I wouldn’t advise to give in and take a sleeping tablet to get over it. You’re just pushing the issue down rather than dealing with it and it will come back and bite you twice stronger. Just make peace with it and get used to it. Look at it as an obnoxious guest that turns up in your home and you’re such a gracious hostess that you are going to welcome this little undesirable character with an open-heart…you can do this!
2/ Observe it to understand it
I think it changes everything when we start looking at anxiety as something that is meant to help us and to deliver us a message. Sometimes the delivery is painful but hey, we need a bit of darkness in our lives to appreciate the stars so bear with me on this one and try to work out what the message could be. That will make your sleepless night a lot more interesting and I’m pretty sure, you will get some answers at some points or experience a real breakthrough.
3/ Eat clean
I know I keep going on about it on Instagram but I can’t express enough how much changing my lifestyle these past few months, had a positive impact on my well-being and I’m not talking about losing weight (which is an added bonus). No I’m talking about genuinely feeling great about oneself, feeling confidence, feeling in control because I know that everything thing I do or eat is a small step in the right direction.
Stop eating processed foods, refined sugars and all this crap. If you want to feel good inside out, you need to stop feeding your body bad food. There is no miracle solution. They are plenty of research that shows that processed foods, fizzy drinks and refined sugars will lead to depression because not only they are nutrients deprived but they have so much chemicals in them that they keep you addicted for the wrong reasons and seriously, there is so much pleasure in having fresh, tasty food. You will be amazed! If you are new to this whole clean eating business, make baby steps.
- Switch milk chocolate for dark chocolate,
- Coffee for green tea or mint tea,
- White pasta for rice and quinoa
- Drink water
- Snack on fruits
- Try to buy things that don’t come out of a packet (fruits & vegetables)
RE-INVENT the way you’re eating: avocado on rice cake with a bit of lemon is to die for so is sardines on toast! You can follow my happy food posts on IG under #bodieandfouhealthystyle
4/ Set up mini challenges for yourself
My sister challenges herself to go through a pack of frozen beans a week which is a good way to ensure she has at least, a small portion of green vegetables every day. I challenge myself to drink min. 1.5Lt of water (now 3Lt as per advised by my Nutritionist) and do some kind of exercises at least 30 min a day and 30 min. is peanuts! You can walk to work!
5/Soak up the sun
I know the sun is limited in the UK but on a sunny day, don’t sit at your desk at lunch time. Go and eat outside, go for a walk. Even in winter times, a walk will do you the world of good. When I got hit by mild depression two years ago in November, the first two months were incredibly dark in my head and outside.Worse period ever and I don’t wish it upon anyone but we flew to New-Zealand to spend Christmas with Steve’s family and within a day, I felt the massive dark cloud lifted and spent the next three weeks making the most of this break, walking every day, running, eating healthy food and by the time we came to the UK, I started seeing a counsellor for 12 weeks and making changes to my lifestyle to never experience this dark place ever again.
6/Surround yourself with positive people
The best people to have in your life are the ones who will make you laugh when you feel like crying but if your friends and family are not nearby, make social media works for you to support you the way you need it. There is a wonderful community of women on Instagram (minus the few negative ones :-) I use Instagram a lot to remain motivated on my health and fitness goals and follow people who have a healthy lifestyle, who will inspire me or will make me laugh. Laughing is mega important and you can watch plenty of comedies all weekend long on Netflix if that’s what it will take to put you back in the right frame of mind.
7/ You are not alone
I know it feels that way sometimes but you are not. There is a whole world of people out there who will listen to you and be there there for you if you reach out but you need to reach out.