Friday, 21 December 2018

Socially anxious at Christmas? try these simple and effective tips to cope.

Socially anxious at Christmas? try these simple and effective tips to cope.


Are you dreading the awkward Christmas conversations? Are you imagining how uncomfortable you're going feel when you have to sit with all the family, playing games, eating dinner and opening presents with everyone's eyes glaring at you? Are you already envisioning what you're going to say to that elusive distant relative? well, you're certainly not alone it's incredibly nerve-racking and honestly, makes me want to stay at home and not visit anyone.


As I've said in a previous post, I've always liked Christmas and always tried my best to make it amazing but dealing with anxiety makes it near on impossible. My family, friends, and in-laws are very much looking forward to seeing one another enjoying some drinks, playing games such as monopoly or charades and handing out presents. Which is all great but its the small talk in between that scares me, having to find something to speak about whilst trying my hardest to not stumble over my words and unintentionally embarrass myself by saying something stupid.

I've sat staring into space each night, trying to come up with an excuse to stay at home and not put myself through the whole scary situation but being a mother, I cannot put my child through the same anxious childhood I endured. So I really must find a way to keep calm and content which is why I've come up with a list of discreet ways I can help myself without drawing any attention to myself take a look below.

Don't Overthink

Let's face it overthinking ruins everything instead of doing this try your utmost hardest to empty your mind and refuse to listen to your anxiety. People often go with with the flow and don't imagine every situation in their heads before it's happened so try to understand that nobody is laughing at you, nobody is talking about you, and nobody is judging you. If somebody wants to speak to you, there's no ulterior motive they just want to make kind, pleasant conversation and we can definitely do that.

Deep breaths

You can take deep breaths, without attracting any attention to yourself, I do this all the time, just breath in really deep, and breath out. Do this as often as you like and if you find yourself sitting down feeling that nervous panicking feeling building inside, then excuse yourself and go to the bathroom, lock the door and just breath for a few minutes until you compose yourself. Deep breaths work wonders.

Opening presents

When it comes to opening presents try to give your gifts out at the same time as this will keep whoever brought you a gift busy, and you can open yours, without everyone watching your reactions. However, if you do find yourself in that horrible situation when you're the only one receiving a present, then wait until everyone's talking amongst themselves then open it.


Eating dinner

When its time for dinner, try to sit with somebody you feel comfortable with, and can have a good conversation with that way you will feel more at ease and can eat confidently. There is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable eating in front of people. 

Limit alcohol

I understand its so tempting because alcohol can make you feel much more relaxed. But you will most probably get so drunk and start talking nonsense in front of people, which can cause so much embarrassment especially the following day when people tell you exactly what you said. I'm not saying don't have any because I for one know its like magic when you cant loosen up but just have a few glasses until you're comfortable enough to chat confidently then switch to something else. 

Go home when you want

I normally have to stay at families houses over Christmas because of travel, but it always worries me so much I don't want to stay out I never feel comfortable I end up sitting there wishing I was home and upsetting myself. If you feel this way, then this year arrange a lift home or save some money for a taxi if you live close enough. You don't have to stay out if you don't want to. 

Christmas is supposed to be a happy, feel-good experience with good company and no stress. So let's not let our anxiety ruin yet another year, let's make this one a good one filled with joy and Christmas spirit. Use these steps above if your feeling unable to enjoy yourself, Im, definitely going to. Will you be trying any of these out?  

If this helped you then please share, comment and subscribe to my blog or follow for future updates xx

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

What I keep in my handbag, to ease my Anxiety throughout the day.

What I keep in my handbag, to ease my Anxiety throughout the day.

I can't go anywhere without my handbag which is full of some of my most favorite calming products, because I know at some point during the day I'm going to become incredibly anxious and need something to help calm me down.


Some of the products below are affiliate links which means you will not be charged anything extra, but I may receive a small commission.

  • Lavender and chamomile oil - This isn't supposed to be for anxiety its actually for babies, but that's how I discovered it when using it for my son. However, I now use it for myself all the time it smells delightful and truly helps me feel calm and peaceful. I place a few drops in my hands rub them together and take a long deep breath. It's also great if you have difficulty sleeping at night. If you wish to purchase this amazing stuff, then click here

  • Bubbles- When I'm feeling out of breath because I'm starting to panic, a great thing to have is some bubbles it really helps regulate my breathing, and let's face it, blowing bubbles is so much fun. 

  • Stress balls- Having something to reach in my bag and squeeze really helps me to ease any anger thats built up inside, they make me feel a little calmer and de-stressed. If you wish to purchase these ones then click the image below. 


  • Chewing gum-When my thoughts are racing, chewing gum is a great way to help focus my mind on something else like the flavor and each time I chew. Bubblegum is my favorite. 

  • Photos- I keep some of my most favorite photographs in my bag just in case I'm having a  depressed day and feeling incredibly sad. Looking at the pictures can help me remember past experiences and pleasant times. 

  • Scented tissues- When I'm having persistent crying episodes, or feeling depressed in general, scented tissues are a pleasant way to relax. I hold them to my nose and take slow deep breaths while inhaling the lovely fragrance. These lavender tissues smell great and are very soft as well. Click the image below if you wish to purchase. 


  • Earphones- I almost always listen to music when I'm out and about. It blocks out all sounds around me, and I don't feel like I'm being talked about or laughed at. It's an excellent distraction. 

  • Compact mirror- When I'm feeling like I'm being looked or laughed at I'll immediately think there's something on my face or my make up looks stupid, so having a small mirror in my bag helps end those worries and at least I know I look okay. 

  • Chamomile tea- I carry this tea everywhere because it helps me calm down and feel much peaceful and relaxed. 

I feel anxious, almost every single day, and as long as I carry these items around with me I will have many distractions to help me focus on different things. If you find yourself feeling the way I do, try and put some of these in your bag and let me know if they help you or not. 


I hope this helped, don't forget you can subscribe or follow my blog for regular post updates. xx




Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Capture the magic of Christmas with these festive favourites

Capture the magic of Christmas with these festive favourites

I love nothing more than to sit and relax with a warm hot chocolate and a nice cozy blanket all snuggled up watching some of my favorite Christmas movies old and new, It helps me get into the Christmas spirit and reminds me of being a child way too excited to sleep without any real worries and fears. So here is a list of some of my absolute favorites and what they are about, just in case you haven't seen them...



On Christmas eve Scott accidentally kills Santa clause after he falls off his roof. He now has to magically transform into Santa and fulfill all his duties taking his son Charlie along for the ride. This movie always puts me in the holiday mood. 


An absolute classic, eight-year-old Kevin must protect his home from burglars after his family accidentally leaves him home alone after embarking on a Christmas vacation. 


The Christmas Chronicles is an amazing new film which is available to watch on Netflix. It's absolutely hilarious and very funny. A brother and sister must help Santa save Christmas after accidentally crashing the sleigh. Very magical and loads of fun. 


Love actually tells the story of 10 different people and there love lives another absolute classic. 


While you were sleeping is about a lonely hopeless romantic who saves a man from a deadly train accident, He is in a coma, and she is mistaken for his fiancee. A very feel-good movie that I've watched thousands of times and I still absolutely love it. 


This film always gets to me I truly don't know why I watch it its very sad but also a beautiful, magical film about a boy who creates a snowman which comes to life and takes the little boy to meet Santa clause in the north pole. Sad but a classic.  

These are a few of my absolute favorites which I enjoy year after year. 

What are some of your festive favorites? 



Tuesday, 11 December 2018

How social anxiety makes me embarrassed to make and keep friends

How social anxiety makes me embarrassed to make and keep friends


Do you ever walk towards a crowd of people and feel...
your body sweating, uncontrollable trembling, your mouth feels dry, your breathing becomes heavy, you suddenly feel sick, you become dizzy, and your thoughts are racing so fast in your mind, one after the other telling you to turn around and run straight home. I feel like this on a daily bases and it makes socializing extremely hard to deal with.

Ever since I was young, I've always had trouble relaxing in front of people even my closest friends if there's suddenly a gap in the conversation I'll feel like it's my fault, am I boring to talk to? do I sound moody and miserable? do we have nothing in common? would they much rather be talking to somebody else?
Because of these thoughts, I much prefer to be alone being sociable is extremely stressful for me. When I do make a friend I'll be way too anxious to keep in touch, I can't send a text message, without feeling those nervous butterflies in the pit of my stomach I'll begin to read through what I've written a dozen times before I press send and then comes the long agonizing wait until I receive a reply then when I do I'm too anxious to look in case I said something offensive. I'll feel like everyone hates me, and instead of enjoying my company, they're just putting up with me because they have to and see me as some kind of burden.

When a family gathering or work party is approaching, I'm immediately thinking of excuses to get out of it and stay home but there's only so many lies I can tell people before they begin to notice. I've written previously about how I handle evenings out and all the worries, and fears that accompany it you can read that here. However, there is usually three things I'll do during the entire evening, and I've spent countless times attempting to figure out why I do these things, and if they're normal or not particularly when I notice I'm the only person in the room experiencing these worries.

Bathroom breaks

Honestly, the amount of times I've taken bathroom breaks is ridiculous. Whenever I'm feeling that nervous, anxious feeling bubbling up inside, everything will become hazy and it feels like the walls are closing in I'll quickly get up and excuse myself, smile my way through everyone, and close the bathroom door, place my hands on the sink, and take long deep breaths until I feel able to compose myself and rejoin the party. 

Fiddle with my phone

I cannot go anywhere without my phone it's the perfect distraction when I'm feeling unable to join in conversations, or if I find myself suddenly sitting alone I'm scrolling through phone menus or re-reading old conversations while having a look of confusion on my face, to make it seem as if I'm doing something important.  


Follow a friend


It's weird because I love to be alone and feel a lot more comfortable when I am but I also hate it at the same time. So when I'm at a social gathering I usually have that one person who I kind of follow, laugh along with and try to act like I'm having a great time just so they want to spend time with me.


Social anxiety sucks, its one of the loneliest feelings I drop plans with friends, become jealous of my friends spending time with others because I feel like they have found someone better than me. I don't interact with friends unless they talk to me first because I'm frightened of saying something embarrassing then they will judge or laugh at me. I'll often push people away by pretending I'm not well or makeup plans so I can stay at home and feel safe away from judgment and negativity. Truth is, I would love to spend time with others, have fun and feel even slightly normal but anxiety prevents this and makes me feel very isolated and it's sad and upsetting.

Please share this post if you found it helpful and don't forget to follow me for post updates


 
Do you struggle with social anxiety? 






Monday, 10 December 2018

How social anxiety ruins every single night out for me


Nights out when you have social anxiety can be so scary, just the idea of walking into a packed place is horrifying especially when you probably only know like two people there.


This past weekend I attended a close friends wedding and I wanted to get out of it so badly but having stupid anxiety prevented me from cancelling because I was too embarrassed to make that dreaded call. The wedding was okay actually because there was no focus on me, it was the reception afterwards when I felt like a massive spare part. I felt anxious, self-conscious, embarrassed, afraid, and lonely during the entire thing.  Everyone was enjoying themselves dancing, laughing and genuinely having a great time but I could not get in the right frame of mind all I wanted to do was go home and get back to my isolated world where I can relax and be myself. Below is pretty much how my evening began and ended. Do you experience anything like this? If you do then let me know in the comments, I'd love to know that I'm not the only one.

Getting ready



Getting ready took so long I couldn't figure out what to wear whatever I decided was either too small, too big, made me look too under dressed or too overdressed. My make up didn't go to plan, trying to style my hair took forever, and I told myself I wasn't going a million times but thanks to a small glass of wine I finally got my shit together and accepted how I looked.

Arriving and slipping over



After trying to persuade myself to go for the hundredth time, I arrived and tried to act all confident, so nobody would suss that I felt uncomfortable and anxious. Of course, I slipped over which could have possibly been from the glass of wine, which could easily affect me seeing as I'm such a lightweight these days. So as I got up off my arse,  I smiled said whoops😳😱😦 and frantically walked away, but I could practically feel everyone's eyes on me laughing at my misfortune.

Introductions




I hate introductions at the best of times, but having to introduce myself to groups of people I've never even met was terrifying, I mumbled each word, laughed at the wrong times, and smiled during serious conversations.

Pictures




Then came the time to have pictures taken I tried my best to avoid anyone with a camera but it was inevitable, I was going to have to suck it up and pose for at least two pictures. I never look good and always pull some ridiculous face. 

Eating dinner



As it was one of my close friend's wedding and I've known her since school, she had one to many drinks and began to ramble on about some pretty embarrassing memory from years ago leaving me mortified. Total strangers began asking me questions about it and I was the topic of conversation for the next half an hour.  I felt incredibly awkward and could feel myself burning up. 

Dancing




Sure enough, I'll be asked to dance, and unless I'm seriously drunk, I'll probably say something like ' No I'm not drunk enough yet, maybe later' then I'll just quietly watch from the sides with my drink smiling and awkwardly nodding my head to some music I've never even heard off . 

Clock watch




By the end of the night, I was so ready to go home, everyone was drunk by this point all having fun, but all I could do was watch the clock wishing time would hurry up so I could leave. 

I wished I had the courage to join in, but it was impossible. I felt unable to breathe and had to take several bathroom breaks just to calm myself down. It's horrible and makes me dread any social occasion. 


As I said comment below If you have ever felt like this, I'd love to hear from you x

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Signs your happy and unhappy in your relationship

Signs your happy and unhappy in your relationship

Do you ever have feelings of unhappiness in your relationship and often visualize a better life? I certainly do. I've been with my partner for several years now, and while we do love one another and live a relatively happy life we often argue and resent each other for days afterward, and most of our arguments are petty and ridiculous.


If you struggle as I do with anxiety and depression, you can sometimes create tons of drama up in your head and take your partners witty comment and turn it into something hurtful and upsetting. You can conjure up all sorts of dilemmas and start to believe you're the reason it feels like its falling apart. However, there are some signs out there that really show if it's the entire relationship, in general, that's making you feel this way or if it is just your own vulnerabilities, creating lots of unnecessary problems. A lot of couples will be so unhappy but stay together so their children can have a proper family or have just been together for so long that they've become so used to having each other around and they can't imagine them not being there.

To truly determine if you're generally happy in your relationship you should be feeling all these things.

Signs your happy and unhappy in your relationship

  • You get butterflies whenever you're around your partner or are very excited to see them 
  • You love watching movies and tv together 
  • You have regular intimacy 
  • You barely argue
  • You love spending time together 
  • You miss each other 
  • You pay each other lots of compliments
  • You enjoy buying each other presents
  • You make tons of time for each other 
  • You only argue over important matters
  • You enjoy planning a future together 
  • You're both very affectionate
  • You have little playfights 
  • You cuddle a lot 
  • You cannot imagine being apart 
  • You only have eyes for each other

If your feeling unhappy for some reason but feel most of the above, then that's a great sign it can mean you need to be a bit more open and honest with each other and try to work towards ending those insecurities and feelings of self-doubt. However, If you're feeling any of these below then its a clear indication that your no longer happy and it may be a good time to call it a day to save you both from living a life of unhappiness and upset.


Signs your happy and unhappy in your relationship

  • You don't trust each other and will secretly check each other's phones
  • You don't want to spend time together and wish for your own space
  • You argue over everything
  • You cannot be yourself
  • You can't be bothered to do anything together
  • You don't feel happy anymore
  • you imagine a better life
  • You flirt with others 
  • When you have free time you spend time apart
  • you dread going home each evening
  • you feel trapped
  • you feel insecure
  • everything your partner does annoys you 
  • Lack of intimacy
  • You don't feel respected
  • You constantly complain about your partner to your friends
  • You don't put each other first anymore
  • Lack of conversation
  • You don't laugh and have fun anymore
  • Nights outs are always ruined by fighting
  • You keep secrets from each other
  • You sit in separate rooms 
  • You have nothing in common anymore
  • You ignore your partner's texts and calls
  • Your constantly threatening to leave

Living with someone when your unhappy is extremely tough. I witnessed my parents argue like cat and dog until they eventually split up and after months of upset they went on to live much happier contented lives. Relationships are bloody hard and if you want to stay and fight for what you have then that's amazing, but if you have no energy left, and have completely given up then its best to get out before you both end up miserable, and start resenting each other.

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If there's anything you would like to add to the happy or unhappy lists which I've probably forgotten to mention then let me know in the comments x



Thursday, 6 December 2018

Dealing with a cold? try some of these tips for quick relief


Dealing with a cold? try some of these tips for quick relief


I know this is not my usual type of post because its nothing to do with anxiety, but I'm feeling like absolute rubbish right now. One of the worst times of year for me is winter I'm constantly suffering from colds, and they can litrally last for weeks the sneezing, sniffing, coughing, dizziness, and high temperature makes me want to sleep the entire duration of it away.

Colds are horrendous and can leave me feeling so weak and disgusting my hearing becomes muffled, I often suffer laryngitis, and no amount of medicine will shift it. However, there are some things I try to do at home, which won't cure it but it can make me feel a little better. 

Sore throat relief



Honey 

Honey has many antibacterial properties it can help to soothe a sore throat and relieve pain and irritation. Either take a spoonful of honey every now and then or make a warm honey drink. 

Lemon

Lemon is really good at healing a sore throat, as the acidic nature of it can break up any excess mucus, it's also loaded with vitamin c so it can really help to relieve it. Mix some lemon into warm water and knock it back. 

Honey and lemon combined

Prepare a warm drink mixed with both honey and lemon, it can help soothe your throat and give you that extra vitamin c.

Saltwater

Disgusting I know but it works. Mix some salt into warm water take a deep breath, get it to the back of your throat, gargle then spit out. Saltwater can quickly help to heal anything do this several times a day for relief. 


Suck on lozenges

I've just only discovered fisherman's friend lozenges and oh my god do they work, they numb my throat and actually taste okay. 


Runny blocked nose



Nasal spray

If you're struggling to breathe because your nose is so blocked then using some nasal spray can quickly help you to breathe more easily. 

Steam

Sometimes I just run a boiling hot shower for a few minutes and then sit and inhale the steam, it helps open up the nasal passages and eases a blocked nose. 

Sleep with your head elevated

When you lay down use a couple of pillows to prop yourself up, it will help you breath and allow the excess fluid in your nose drain naturally. 


Coughing



Drink plenty

When I'm experiencing a cold and cough, the last thing I want to do is drink water, but it is essential to keep hydrated. Try to avoid milk as it can make mucus ten times worse, either water or honey and lemon will work great. 

Vapor Rub

Rub a generous amount of vapor rub on your chest and throat and it can help you breath more easily and stop the constant coughing at night. 

Covonia 

I cannot stand the taste of this stuff but it does really work just hold your breath and have the stated amount, it can help quickly relieve a cough and can be used throughout the day. 

If you're generally feeling rubbish which you most probably are, then try to get plenty of rest even if its just sitting all comfy watching a movie with your honey and lemon. Usually a cold can last up to two weeks, however, If your cough is getting worse and you're coughing up thick green or yellow mucus, then it could be a sign of an infection go see your doctor for advice. 



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What kinds of things do you do to help ease a cough and cold? x



















Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Comforting gifts for anyone with anxiety or depression

Comforting gifts for anyone with anxiety or depression



Are you struggling to buy birthday or Christmas presents for your anxious or depressed friend?
Then take a look below at some of these comforting gifts which will be extremely well received.
This post contains affiliate links.


Click the image to purchase


Relaxing under a big, snuggly blanket can be very soothing after a long stressful, anxious day it can help you feel safe, comforted and warm. A soft weighted blanket is a perfect gift for anyone and guaranteed to be a winner.

Click the image to purchase

Each night while I'm in bed I can't relax unless I'm watching tv or listening to music through my headphones because I can't stand the silence I begin to overthink and have terrible difficulty sleeping. That's why these pillows are fantastic, there comfortable and easy to use perfect for anxiety or depression sufferers.


Click the image to purchase

Lavender oil is very good for anxiety and depression it has an extremely calming effect and truly helps soothe your mind. When I'm anxious and sad smelling this can instantly make me happy. 


Click image to purchase


Journalling helps release any built up tension and helps us to let go of all our negative emotions. Anxiety and depression can make us bottle everything up, so writing everything down in one of these beautiful journals can help us feel very calm.


Click image to purchase


Incense sticks smell amazing and can help us feel calm. I love nothing more than to sit under a warm blanket breathing in the soothing smells it helps clear my mind and eases any built up tension. 


Click image to purchase


Having anxiety can make you fidget and its very hard to keep your hands still. A fidget spinner can help focus your mind on something else quickly. It's easy to use and makes a perfect gift for anxiety.


I hope this gave you some ideas, these are guaranteed to make anyone happy, xx 





Tuesday, 4 December 2018

How my anxiety affects the most simplest things


So this morning I once again woke up late but I managed to keep on schedule and get my son to school on time, then got on a bus and awkwardly sat down wishing it would hurry up so I could get home. Once I arrived at my stop, I got off the bus felt in my pocket for my phone and realized my weekly rider wasn't there it must have fallen out. The bus was still sitting there allowing people on and off, but I just stood fidgeting in my pocket pretending I was searching for something to save any embarrassment. Now considering the price of that bloody ticket, I should have quickly got on and got it back, but no I decided to stand there looking like an idiot and instead walked away while silently panicking. 


I went home and phoned the bus company they took my number and will phone if anybody hands it in. I was so angry with myself it would have taken two seconds to get on grab it and get back off, but once again anxiety prevented me from doing something so simple. So I started to think about some other times when my anxiety has acted up in public can you relate to any of these?


  1. Needing to wee in a public restroom, I've sat watching the toilet door seeing people go in and out waiting for my opportunity when its quiet. I'll begin to wee then suddenly stop when I hear somebody come in, and the second the hand dryer starts or a toilet flushes ill try and do the quickest pee ever, and I'll wait in the cubicle until that person has left. 
  2. Grocery shopping, I'll casually walk around each aisle pretending I'm trying to find something so I don't have to wait in the long line full of people. 
  3. If people ask me for directions, ill say I don't know I'm new to this area, even though I've lived here for around six or seven years and I know exactly where they're looking for. But the idea of having to explain it properly scares me, I know I will end up stumbling my words and look silly. 
  4. Outside my son's classroom, they usually stick letters for us parents to read on the window, everyone will walk over and have a look but I physically can't I worry that everyone will look at me and laugh. 
  5. If I'm rushing to get the bus and its already at the stop, I'll quickly walk over but if it leaves before I get there, ill carry on walking so nobody notices and just go to the next bus stop hopefully not missing the next one. 
  6. If I'm waiting to pay for something I'll count the money in my had a million times praying that I have enough, or if I'm paying by card ill start to worry that it will decline. 
  7. If I'm eating something crunchy in front of people I'll litrally try my hardest not to make any noise, let's say I'm eating a bag of crisps instead of chewing them I'll just leave the crisps sitting on my tongue to dissolve until I hear some kind of noise then I'll bite down.
  8. Needing to pass wind in public is the worst, I stand still and hold it in then quickly pull my phone out from my pocket and pretend I've got an important text then when the feeling passes I'll carry on walking. I mean who hasn't actually done that? 
  9. When I'm walking down the street and trip up a little, I'll laugh to myself walk a little bit faster and feel mortified.
  10. I always have my phone on silent when I'm outside which is really annoying as I miss so many calls, but I hate it when my phone rings and everyone looks around its even worse when I have an embarrassing ringtone. 


I would love to know that I'm not alone in some of these, they're so embarrassing sometimes.

Please share this post if you found it helpful and don't forget to follow me for post updates x 

Is there anything else that makes you anxious?