Susie's top tips for controlling anxiety......(in times of stress, planning, shopping and other stuff...)
I'm making this list mainly for myself as I don't want to forget them, but maybe someone else will find it helpful too!
1. Don't put pressure on yourself. Get rid of it. Its unhelpful and a pain in the arse.
2. Have a plan A, but most importantly have a plan B. You could go wild and have a plan C too. Why not. Remember that you always have options, ways out, exit routes, etc. And of course, you don't have to stick to any of the plans at all, you can leave it till tomorrow, or the next day, whenever!
3. Make a list. Always a good one. Maybe make two. Manageable lists of course. Don't write down everything you have to do for the next month, yuk. Far too overwhelming. Start small. And if you're memory is as bad as mine, a list is very reassuring. Stops me worrying that I've forgotten something.
4. Talk to someone. You might be getting your knickers in a twist for something that seems silly, but I bet its not. Sharing the load is a great plan. And often clever people have lovely suggestions to help you.
5. When out in busy places, stick the ipod on. Keep a relaxing playlist all ready and waiting to soothe your brain cells. Air, Zero 7, and classical tunes always help me.
6. Have a break. Have a kitkat. Or a sausage roll. Take time out, have some space, and recharge your batteries. I always carry a snack in my bag for such times.
7. I also always carry a little something to hold in my paw when my anxiety is bad. Its a technique that I find so useful. It could be a stone, or I used to have a shell that I liked, then it was rosary beads, and now its a tiny glass pig. Just holding it, rubbing it, putting my energy into something else, instead of my anxiety, works wonders.
8. In the age of technology, my phone is a god send. When I'm feeling anxious and uncomfortable, I can have a bit of a text, a browse on the Internet, and know one would know whats going through my head. Its pretty obvious I guess, but makes a huge difference to me.
9. Don't worry about tomorrow. Just concentrate on getting through today.
There might be a few more that pop into my head later... (a list of 10 really would sound better..) But for now I feel quite pleased that over the past year I've been able to teach myself these coping strategies. Of course, sometimes it all goes completely out of the window, and a panic attack will pounce on me out of nowhere! It feels like progress though, and that's got to be good.