Girl, It’s Okay: 3 Tips for Anxious Minds

My anxiety and I have a very complicated relationship. We started dating when I was in 6th grade. He constantly assured me that I was too tall and too loud to have any sort of confidence in myself, even when I wanted to participate in ANY school activities. Even when I got reassurance about my height being just a growth spurt.

By 8th grade, we got serious. Suddenly, the only opinions that mattered were his. If I did not have things under control, my body would respond immediately, trying to decide if I should fight or flee this situation. I was thirteen years old when I had my first panic attack in front of my grade level chair. 

That was 2010. 

Coming clean about my issues with anxiety is not easy. My personality contradicts my symptoms like night and day. I guess that's the thing with mental disorders. It removes the very essence of your identity. 

The moments leading up to your diagnosis seem like a turning point you did not ask for.

Healing and learning to live with an anxiety diagnosis are very much trial and error. It is the most unclear and difficult part of the journey. It is easy to feel alone when going through a trial and error situation. It takes time and patience to find what really works for you.

For me, it took about a year and a half and it is still a process to figure out what will continue to work for me. Ironically, I am almost done with my undergraduate degree in psychology. Now, I have a routine that works for me.

Let Your Loved Ones In

Sometimes admitting your anxiety is a cross to bear is difficult, but you do not have to bear it alone. Anxiety is heavy to handle alone. You have nothing to lose when it comes to letting your friends or family know you are struggling. Of course, if you know there is some stigma with certain people, don't tell them. You do NOT need that negative energy in your life. At the end of the day, you do care about what others think. Nine times out of ten, anxiety is there because you care so much about things in your life. Your loved ones will help you manage the symptoms, not make them worse. Let the good in.

 

Diet & Exercise 

Being able to keep a steady diet and a routine for yourself is key to staying on top of your anxiety. Keeping routine along with your daily responsibilities will ease the tension you feel. I am able to work out at SFA with the Rec membership all students have and that routine has helped ease my anxiety. 

 

Do NOT Be So Hard on Yourself

The biggest lesson I have learned is to not be so hard on yourself. Sometimes I tell myself I could do better, but I am already doing the best I can. Remember, take the steps to love yourself and cut yourself some slack. We are all flawed humans. We all have our issues. It does not affect your self-worth. You must deflect the negative self-talk with positive self-talk.