Published 9th January 2019
Living with Anxiety
When we say living with anxiety this could mean all manner of things. It could be that you suffer from anxiety yourself or that you are supporting somebody who does. Either way, it is all too common for anxiety to become a part of your life, a daily challenge and one that is not that easy to overcome.
Here at Carers Matter Norfolk, we don’t have the magic answer and we also know how easy it is to give out tips and advice but how hard it is when you are the one living it. So the notes below are really some suggestions, which we hope may be useful in some way, either big or small.
The feelings of anxiety, physical and mental can be both debilitating and scary. If you can work out and address if there is a fundamental issue behind it then this can sometimes be the only way forward. And that in itself can be a scary thought. There are lots of causes of anxiety but it can sometimes come from a very specific situation; a toxic relationship, stress at work, financial pressures. If you are able to unpick these triggers and make changes in your life (which we appreciate is easier said than done) then you may find that over time your anxiety eases a little.
Asking For Help
Sometimes anxiety can be much more deep-rooted. It may have been caused by a traumatic incident or it could be partly physiological. If you or someone you love is feeling as though anxiety is taking over life and impacting on the ability to function on a daily basis then it could be time to seek help. For example, when fears take over it can lead to catastrophising and cause further issues such as insomnia or even agro phobia. We know that this can be daunting but it does not necessarily have to be a medical professional that you approach in the first instance; perhaps talk to your teacher, employer, partner? Or find support online (see below).
Some people find that making changes to their daily routines and diet can help to alleviate anxiety. Serotonin boost feelings of positivity and 90% of our bodies serotonin is produced by the gut so eating a healthy balanced diet can have an impact on this. Similarly, exercise helps to metabolise the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol and it also causes our bodies to produce endorphins that make us feel happier.
Don’t Be Alone
When you are feeling anxious sometimes the last thing you feel like being is sociable. But seeing friends, family, and neighbours can help to reduce those feelings of anxiety and above all confirm that you are not alone. You may feel as though you do not want to be around people especially if your anxiety is having an impact on your self-esteem. But please try and remember you are important and you are loved and there are people who want to help.
Look After Yourself
A recent survey from Anxiety UK revealed that 78% of respondents felt more anxious as a result of being a carer. Caring for a family member or friend can cause a lot of change in your life. As well as being rewarding and often being something we very much want to do, it can also be extremely challenging and stressful and this is not to be under-estimated. Just by acknowledging this you are being kind to yourself and that is crucial. If you are caring for someone it can be all too easy to let your own physical and mental wellbeing take a backseat but you are allowed to put yourself first as well, once again we know this can be hard to do.
Anxiety UK has a great pool of self-help resources. They also have a Digital Online Therapy Service. Visit https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/ for more information.
If you are caring for someone and feel that you need support please contact us here at Carers Matter Norfolk. You can call one of our advisers on 0800 0831148, contact us via the Live Chat facility on our website or visit The Pod on our website to access our online community.