Being Kind to Myself through Anxiety

Jul 07, 2021

Blog written in February 2018 whilst experiencing General Anxiety

I write this blog as therapeutic writing for myself, but I’m sharing it with you as it may be helpful.

It’s been a rough couple of months. And I don’t think that I’m alone. I think at this time of year, most of us are ‘hanging on by our fingertips’ as we are so over Winter, needing Spring to come to give us a spring in our step.

To summarise my past two months, they have been challenging! I started off the year with a second chest infection, shortly after recovering from the first one! At the end of January I took a tumble on the ice and did more damage than I thought, a sprained arm and soft tissue damage to my knee, and recovery is taking time.

To add to the above, and this is a really short summary, I had a job interview in January – against the odds I got the job and was delighted, but two days afterwards I suffered an anxiety attack of which was very unpleasant. After seeking advice from two important people in my toolkit, I made the decision to decline the job as I know my health is more important.

This anxiety attack was my body reacting to some unspent trauma. The anxiety is still with me, and the pockets of anxiety that come in waves have been difficult and challenging. So that’s my past two months – difficult and sometimes debilitating! I’m trying to work through it.

This leads me onto why I started to write this blog. I had a sluggish start to this morning. I’d been worried about ‘The Beast from the East’ weather. It was a hyper-vigilant worry which consumed my mind and my body. I got up, dutifully showered and dressed as I usually would, and hyped myself up ready to take on the morning. But then I looked out of the window and saw the snow! And I panicked that I couldn’t drive in that snow and how was I going to do it - I was far more panicked than I should have felt. Fortunately I had a friend close by who was taking her child to school, and she offered to collect and drive my son to school. Second panic, I had planned to drive to Tesco after school to pick up a few bits for dinner. Plan B – Tesco is a 10 minute walk from my house, so walk to Tesco! I still felt very anxious, but I knew it was doable.

As I walked to Tesco, I knew I had been kind to myself this morning. I wasn’t beating myself up about not being able to take my son to school and I was glad that I had encouraged myself to walk to Tesco.

When I got home from Tesco, I sat down with a cup of coffee, and wrote down what I was grateful for at that time.

  • My hot shower this morning.
  • That we have central heating to keep us warm at home.
  • My morning coffee.
  • My friend dropping my son to school.
  • My walk to Tesco and the feeling of achievement by doing this.
  • My acceptance of anxiety, and learning tools to help me cope with it.
  • The knowledge that anxiety doesn’t last forever and I will get better.
  • My support network, who continue to support me and ‘have my back’

When I look at the above, it’s a lot to feel grateful for. One thing I do know, a FACT, is that it put me back on track from my sluggish start. And of course, I’m grateful for that too!

On my walk back from Tesco I was reminded of a wonderful thing – Two Acts of Kindness. The aim is to do at least Two Acts of Kindness a Day and one of them has to be for yourself! It can be the simple acts of kindness that have a pleasant rippling effect on others. The simplest but best one I can think of is to greet people with a ‘Good Morning’.  Quite often, you’ll get a ‘Good Morning back! It’s an act of kindness and it feels good.  I listed my acts of kindness for the day:

  • I said ‘Good Morning to the Tesco checkout lady. (Kindness to others)
  • I said Good Morning to a building contractor on my road, who greeted me back with a Good Morning and asked how I was doing. (Kindness to others)
  • I brought myself a new knitted jumper in Tesco, when actually I was looking for tights for my daughter! (Kindness to myself)
  • I called my friend for a chat. (Kindness to myself)

I think anything that can give us a boost through a challenging time is a helpful thing.

I am one of the many that are currently ‘hanging on in there’. But I do know that being kind to myself has really helped me today. I’ll aim for more of the same tomorrow - even if I only get to wish people a ‘Good Morning’

Donna X

Footnote: Donna wrote this blog when she was unwell with Anxiety in February 2018. Her good health did return and she has remained well ever since. Donna continues to engage with wellbeing activities to help maintain good mental health.

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