How To Feel Better After An Anxiety Attack

We all feel a bit stressed out or anxious at certain points in our life. For some people though, anxiety can be a part of their everyday life and it is so consuming and scary to live with. I’ve spoken in the past about my experience with anxiety and how I deal with it on a daily basis but today, I want to highlight the things that I do which help bring me back into the moment following on from an anxiety/panic attack. Panic Attacks are terrifying when they happen. They are mentally and physically draining and can really take a toll on your body. Each attack can be completely different and new from the last one which makes it all the harder to deal with. It is so difficult to come out of that feeling and back into the moment. Even once the panic subsides, something just feels off and it can take a while to return to a calm, “normal” state. You’re going to feel crappy for a while after but there are ways you can help yourself to feel better.

Breathe.

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A panic attack can affect your breathing so much and so it can be helpful to focus on taking deep breaths, in and out post-attack. This will help return your body to a state of ease. It helps me to focus on taking a really deep breath and then exhaling slowly.

Drink Water.

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If like me, you get upset and teary during a panic attack, rehydrating your body is so important and will help you to feel a bit better. This can also help to make your head feel a little less fuzzy.

Talk to Someone.

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This is especially important if you are alone during your state of panic. I understand that the idea of sharing your thoughts may make you feel even more anxious but even texting a friend or family member and letting them know you’re not feeling great and need a helping hand can be enough. You don’t even need to discuss the anxiety, it can be a great tool of distraction and hearing someone’s voice can be enough to bring you back into the moment and feel less alone. During one of my recent panic attacks, I reached out to a friend for help and I am so glad and grateful that I did as I was able to come out of it so much quicker. It was the best thing I could’ve done at the time.

Cuddle.

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This is one of the best things to do post panic attack as feeling someone’s arms around you and just letting yourself be held can do a world of good. It can make you feel safe, comforted and less alone. If you are on your own, cuddle your pet or even a soft, cuddly toy. Cuddling into my cat when I feel anxious or have just come out of a panic attack is so incredibly wonderful at bringing me back into the moment. My fiance also gives the best cuddles and can make me feel a million times better.

Distraction.

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A good way to rid yourself of the anxious thoughts or feelings is to distract yourself from them. Put on some music, meditate, colour in, read, watch Netflix, go for a walk…just find something you enjoy and focus your energy and time on that. I often like to play a game on my phone or get lost in a book.

Sleep/Rest.

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Most likely, following a panic attack you are going to be feeling pretty exhausted. It really does take a lot out of you. You may feel a little sore if you have been tensing your muscles so take time to rest, have a nap. Make yourself a blanket fort, take a big bubble bath or stay on the couch/your bed for the rest of the day. Just look after yourself, relax and let your body and mind heal.

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Most importantly, you are going to be okay. There is nothing wrong with you so don’t beat yourself up. Use this as an excuse to spoil yourself and take time to focus on healing your mind. You can do anything you put your mind to. You are not your anxiety. And you are most definitely not alone.

Some Resources To Help

I hope that this post helps you to feel a little better after an anxiety attack and if you have any specific ways of dealing with anxiety or panic attacks, please leave a comment below ❤

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

*All GIF’s taken from https://giphy.com.*

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8 pieces of advice for anyone suffering with Inflammatory bowel disease

 

I am Rebecca, I’m 22 years old and was diagnosed in May 2013 with Ulcerative Colitis. 

Ulcerative Colitis is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. There are two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, those being Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Crohns Disease can affect the digestive tract from the mouth to the rectum whereas with Ulcerative colitis, it it usually the colon that is inflamed.

Although the symptoms are very much physical, a lot of people forget (including doctors) about how this can affect your emotional and mental well-being.

With IBD, no one can see what is going on with you as it is all happening inside your body. This is what makes it so difficult for people to understand just how ill you can be as when you have IBD, mostly you don’t look ill.

There can be days where I am in so much pain and so fatigued, yet you wouldn’t know it to look at me.

No two IBD journeys are the same, so what works for one person might not for another. Life would be boring if we were all the same!

I know from speaking to people with IBD that it can be lonely and isolating, especially if you are having to go to the toilet 10 times a day.

It can be frustrating and depressing and most of the time you wish you were normal and you curse your disease.

I want you to know though, that it is not all doom and gloom. There are periods of remission, where you feel good and things get better. It is all about being grateful for those good times and appreciating what you have.

I feel that having IBD has changed me as a person, I am stronger and I try not to take things for granted. I am not perfect and still have the days (sometimes weeks) where I get angry and I hate my body, but I have this disease for life so I need to make the most of it and live every day to the fullest.

These are the 8 pieces of advice that I can offer to those living with IBD, having learned them from my own experiences:

1. There will be days when you can’t get out of bed. That’s okay. Rest as much as you can.

2. Don’t take your health for granted

3. Make the most of the good days

4. Love yourself during the bad ones

5. You are stronger than you think

6. Don’t push yourself too much

7. Don’t be afraid of speaking out about your symptoms

8. Not everyone will understand your struggle, don’t worry about them

To anyone who is suffering from any kind of digestive issue, I urge you please don’t wait to be seen by a doctor. They will be able to help and put you on the right path to recovery.

Thank you for reading and please just keep in mind that illnesses/disabilities are not always visible. Be mindful of people’s feelings and remember that everyone has their own struggles.

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

The Importance of Self-Care to Mental Health: DIY Self-Care Box

Self-Care.

Self-Care means taking care of every single part of you; body, mind and spirit. I see so many people talking about how they take care of their body by fuelling it with healthy foods and exercise and, yes this is very important but what about the mind? Your mental state is so so important to how you function daily, yet it is often pushed to the back burner as we rush through our days, pushing and pushing to get to the next task.

I have shared my experience with mental health before and I wanted to update you that I am now no longer taking anti-depressants for my anxiety. This was a hard decision to make as I was terrified that my symptoms were going to come back full force if I stopped the medication but I also felt that I would be able to cope without them. I gradually reduced the dosage over a few weeks after coming back from holiday. In hindsight, this was probably not the best time for me to come off them as I had a bad case of the ‘holiday blues’. However, I am so glad that I did it and I think that if I left it any longer, I would’ve been more reluctant to stop them. It hasn’t been plain-sailing due to some horrible side effects and withdrawal symptoms for the first couple weeks but it’s now a couple of months on and I feel better.

Recently though, I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts. I can’t really put my finger on what feels wrong, I just don’t feel exactly like me some days. Just…distant. Like I’m going through the motions of my day without really being present. It’s a strange feeling and most days it comes and goes.

To help myself feel better, a few weeks ago I created a Self-Care box filled with inspirational quotes, books, messages etc to pick myself up. This was not only for me, but for my fiance who was having a bit of a rough time. I wanted there to be something we could both go to when we needed a helping hand. Any time I’ve been feeling a bit distant or sad, I go to this box and pick out a card or quote or read a page from the book inside and it lifts my spirits. Not in a massive way, but just enough.

I want to share this with you today in case you are feeling down and need a pick me up or you have a friend or family member who is struggling with their mental health and you want to show them you care.

What You’ll Need:

  • A box/bag of any size
  • paper
  • pens
  • pictures/cards/postcards
  • inspirational quotes (handwritten/printed)
  • cellotape
  • scissors
  • books
  • paperclips (optional)
  • trinkets
  • anything that makes you/the person smile

Where To Find Resources:

To start I used this box that I was gifted by my grandparents. It’s so pretty and perfect for this with all the little quotes. You can use any box and use wrapping paper or decorate it to look how you want. I wrote a little note and stuck it on the top of the box. You can customise this however you like to make it more personal.

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I decorated the inside of the box with a couple of cute quotes.

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I filled the inside of the box with a variety of cards, quotes, messages and cute little trinkets.

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I hope you like this and if any of you make your own Self-Care box, please send me some pictures- I’d love to see your own personalised creations!

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

Accepting Where I’m At

via Daily Prompt: Acceptance

It feels good to be writing on here again after a short hiatus, which feels like forever! I have been going through a phase of feeling uninspired and unmotivated but then I had an itch to post something today. However, I kept having thoughts of I don’t know what to write? and it’s been so long, what if it’s not good enough? I started scrolling through the reader feed and came across a daily prompt: Acceptance. Wow. As soon as I read that, I knew that was exactly what I needed to do. Accept where I’m at and honour those thoughts and feelings.

Acceptance has always been a difficult thing for me to practice. I struggle with change and things not going the way I plan. So, the moment I read the word, it hit me like a ton of bricks- I have been doing the exact opposite of accepting.17467930_10211874244753597_1974983819_n

There’s been a lot going on within the last couple of months that has been causing stress and anxiety. I have started a new course at college and I’m struggling with the workload. I am so exhausted all the time– my fatigue has come back with a vengeance. I’ve had too many days where my stomach is extremely painful and I feel sick. And I am in constant fear of my ulcerative colitis flaring up. I’ve been trying to push these feelings away and just keep on going. But I think by doing that, I’ve subconsciously been worrying even more about it. I still have thoughts of I hate this, why me?,  I just want to feel normal. I shouldn’t be thinking so negatively. I am beginning to realise though, that having these thoughts is okay. I just don’t believe that it is possible to think positive thoughts all the time. Yes, I blog about positivity and choosing love over fear etc but this is real life and it is not that simple all the time. There are days where I struggle to move out of bed or to get up and cook dinner. And there are times when that’s not because I physically can’t- sometimes I’m just so mentally drained that all I want to do is curl up in a ball.

When it comes to acceptance, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I don’t want to look at it like, Oh, I’m not accepting this situation so I’m making things harder for myself. I want it to be a learning experience in which I can say Yes okay, I understand that it will be hard work to accept this but I am willing to do so and I will get there eventually.

So this is me promising myself that I am going to look after me, my body and mindset by accepting all emotions, thoughts and situations that come up. That being said though, it is okay for me not to accept it every single day. It is okay to have off days where I want to curl up in bed and just order food in. Or even to just be angry or upset about being in pain or feeling down.

I hope that you are able to come to terms with and accept the current situation that you are in and if you are not in that place yet, that is perfectly okay too.

Love and Light ❤

I was inspired to write this after seeing what the #dailyprompt was for today and also reading  this post on acceptance.

30 Things To Be Happy About!

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  1. Lazy mornings
  2. Snuggles in bed
  3. Cats (and all cute animals)
  4. Unicorns
  5. Nature
  6. Bubble baths
  7. Fairy lights
  8. Hot chocolate with cream…yum!
  9. Having a tidy house/room
  10. Spending time with family and friends
  11. Netflix
  12. A cup of tea in your favourite mug
  13. Freshly baked cakes
  14. Delicious food
  15. Scented candles
  16. People who smell good
  17. Watching the sunset/sunrise
  18. Songs that remind you of a special person or memory
  19. Forehead kisses
  20. Beautiful tattoos
  21. Travelling to new places and watching the world go by
  22. Long showers
  23. Knowing every lyric of a song
  24. Holding hands
  25. Reading a captivating book
  26. When your pet comes to cuddle you
  27. Clean water
  28. Being warm and cosy when it’s cold outside
  29. Making new memories every day
  30. Being alive!

There are a million and one things to be happy about and I could honestly write on this topic forever. I loved writing this and it made me feel so grateful to be alive and be able to experience all of these wonderful things!

I hope that this made you smile and I’d love to know; what would you add to the list that makes you happy?

Love and light, 

Rebecca ❤

10 Inspirational Quotes To Help You Through Tough Times

“She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head,And whispered to her neighbor- -Winter is dead.” (1).png

I have a little notebook that I fill with quotes that I have read or found online that make me feel happy. I wanted to share some of my favourite ones with you today that help me through tough times in the hope that they help you too.

1. “Suffering is temporary, and it will get better.”

2.  “Each day is a new beginning.”

3. “Change what you can and make peace with what you can’t.”

4. “Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

5. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

6. “Everything happens for a reason.”

7. “At this moment, I am exactly where I need to be.”

8. “When you feel blocked, emotionally distressed or overwhelmed, turn to your breath.”

9. “I can think my way out of fear.”

10. “Focus on the good things in life, no matter how small and they will multiply.”

I hope you found some inspiration and joy from these quotes. I would love to know your favourite quotes so please leave a comment below!

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

An Honest Letter to My Illness

Dear Ulcerative Colitis,

When I first heard your name, I did not know what you were or how you would change my life. I had no idea of your magnitude. I thought you were something that would disappear with taking some pills. Little did I know, I was going to be stuck with you for the rest of my life.

What a crazy three years it has been since that day I first became aware of you. It hasn’t been the easiest or most glamorous of times. You have brought me so much pain, sickness, stress, anxiety and isolation from the world.

However, I do not blame you. I know that you appeared because I needed to learn how to take care of myself better. At the time, I was under so much emotional stress and I  didn’t take care of my body or mind. You came to me with a message;

“You need to stop and slow down. You didn’t listen to the signals your body was sending you and so now I am here to push you into self-care and learning about your wounds.”

I am grateful for this, because without you I wouldn’t have begun this journey of self-love and healing.

I have come to accept that you are part of me and you are a constant reminder to listen to my intuitions about my body. However, that does not mean that I do not fear you. I am always worried about pushing too far and upsetting you. Our relationship will never be one of love but it does hold qualities of gratitude and acceptance.

Finally, I would like to thank you for pushing me to explore who I really am and find my authentic truth. I don’t hate you, not really.

I hope that one day we can be good friends and I will fear you no longer.

Love,

Rebecca ❤

Break The Mental Health Stigma #WorldMentalHealthDay

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As most of you are aware, I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease which is classed as an invisible illness due to the symptoms usually being unseen. However, I also have another invisible illness; anxiety.

Mental illness is invisible and there is a stigma that comes with that as people find it hard to understand what’s going on when they cannot physically see it. I actually find it so much easier to talk about my bowel movements than I do my anxious thoughts and feelings. It’s crazy!

It really upsets me that people find it so difficult to talk about their mental health for fear of what other people might think or how they might be judged. It is such a taboo subject to talk about any mental health issues. However, it is perfectly okay to talk about our physical health. I would love to see the day where it is considered normal to say, “I’m feeling a bit anxious today” or “My depression is really getting me down at the minute” just like saying, “I have a really bad cold.”

It is so important that we raise awareness of mental health as there are people who are suffering and are too scared to speak out. I know that I was for a while but when I did, it helped so much.

My Experience with Anxiety

My anxiety began a couple of years ago due to my health. I was experiencing a bad flare up of my ulcerative colitis and under a lot of stress. I had to take a few months off from working and it totally knocked my confidence. I felt panicky any time I left the house. I could hardly walk into a shop without feeling like I was going to pass out. I found it extremely hard to breathe a lot of the time and had a constant tightness in my chest.

I eventually gave in and went to the doctors and was given anti-anxiety medication. This helped immensely. Alongside taking medication, I made sure to do yoga every day and began writing helpful quotes in a notebook that I looked at every time I felt the anxiety creeping in.

Now, my anxiety is more manageable. I had a few months off of my medication but I have recently had to go back on it. I do still have days where my anxiety levels are higher and I have panic attacks occasionally. I am not perfect and sometimes when the panic attack strikes, I can’t stop it and just have to breathe my way through it. A panic attack may be different for everyone but when I have a bad one it is so intense and can be terrifying. I can’t take a proper breath, my chest is tight and it can feel like I’m going to die. Seriously, it can be that bad! There are times when I get anxious and I don’t even know why. There is no valid reason. It’s such a complex thing to describe and it is different for everyone. There are certain things that can trigger my anxiety but it can also be different day-to day.

So, I invite you today to make one step to support mental health awareness and help break the stigma. Some ideas are:

  • If you suffer from a mental illness, please speak to someone about it. This could be your friends, family or see a doctor. Don’t ignore your symptoms!
  • Raise awareness by sharing this post and also reading up on mental illness and becoming clued up!
  • Support someone that you know is struggling.
  • Speak up when you hear someone speak wrongly/negatively about mental illness.

Check out the following resources to learn more about mental health:

I hope this helps to provide some insight and I just want you to know that you are not alone.

“Suffering is temporary, and it will get better.”

Love and light ❤

Rebecca xo

A Letter to My Younger Self.

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Dear me,

You are beautiful no matter what you or anyone else may think. You are enough. You do not have to change any aspect of yourself in order to make someone like you more. Being you is the most important thing in the world. Try not to compare yourself to other people out there, yes they may be beautiful or successful but they are not you. Life would be boring and dull if we were all the same.

Every feeling that you have is valid. Honour it. Accept it. You are allowed to feel any feeling or emotion that comes up. Listen to these feelings and breathe through them. It will all be okay.

You need to become your own best friend. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one. Stop beating yourself up and saying mean things to yourself. You wouldn’t do it to your best friends, so don’t do it to yourself. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy and exercise (yes I know, you hear it all the time but trust me, it will be worth it!)

Life is tough and it is most likely going to get tougher but YOU are tough too. You can get through anything. Don’t be afraid of reaching out to your family and friends for help and advice, they love you and will understand.

Don’t let people walk all over you; stand up for yourself. And stay strong! Mistakes are meant to be made, they hold lessons for the future. Forget and Forgive.

Step out of your comfort zone. Do things that scare you. “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!” Go have fun. Open yourself up to trying new things. Experience life fully.

You’ve got this!

I believe in you, always ❤

Love from Rebecca, your future self xo

 

I wrote this in my radical self love bible as it is one of the tasks and honestly it felt so empowering. I wish I had known all of this stuff and been given this advice when I was younger. Even now, some of this advice I need! Normally, I give other people advice but do not take it for myself so writing this to me at a younger age felt sort of like giving advice to another person and in that way it was easier to write. I recommend that you try this, it’s a really fun and enlightening experience.

Love and Light xo

 

Acceptance

Hey lovely readers, sorry I haven’t been as active on here recently…I have been struggling with things to write about as I wasn’t feeling so positive within myself and felt that blogging about positive things just wouldn’t be authentic. So today, I want to talk about my experience with accepting change.

ACCEPTANCE:  willingness to tolerate a difficult situation.

Within the past couple of months or so my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome(different from my IBD: inflammatory bowel disease)) has been flaring up. I’ve been having pains in my stomach almost every day and have been feeling generally unwell. I continued with taking my medications and trying to reduce any stress. I knew I had my annual hospital checkup on the 7th of July so I held off going to my doctor until then. When I went for my appointment, the consultant seemed happy that my Ulcerative Colitis (IBD) was under control and that it was my IBS playing up. He told me to try cutting out dairy to see if that would help my symptoms. Coming away from that appointment, I was quite happy with how things had gone and feeling positive that I had something to try.

However, a few days into going dairy free and my thoughts and feelings about it weren’t so positive. I started thinking of all my favourite foods that I could no longer have; pizza,chocolate, cakes, ice-cream etc. I realised that this was not the way to go about it so I researched into alternatives and have been finding it not so bad since. I’ve even been able to go out for meals and find something to eat that I like with no dairy.

I have still been feeling a little down and not really sure why. I think it is a mixture of change and hormones. Change has always been something that I’ve struggled with, even if it is a positive change. I’ve always found it a little hard to accept the transition to a new experience in life but I am willing to stop resisting. I really want to share this ‘Acceptance Prayer’  with you as it is what I have been reading every day to shift my mood.

I have realised how important acceptance is. Acceptance allows you to be free of the power of your life circumstances as you are making the choice to accept whatever is going on. Acceptance is also you trusting that life will work out and that the universe has your back. It will stop you from feeling fearful of change. So whenever something comes up for you, take a deep breath and repeat “I accept” until you feel the stress and angst melt away. Trust and have faith that everything happens for a reason and all will be well. It will not happen overnight but if you are willing to accept, you are on the right track to long lasting happiness.

Thank you for reading and I hope this has been helpful to you ❤

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo