April 5, 2019

Distractions For Anxiety.

Anxiety is a bitch, I think we can all agree on that one. I have struggled with anxiety since I was younger than Lily (3) and it’s always been there like a big ass cloud of adrenaline waiting to tap me on the shoulder at any point. Over the years I have both actively and accidentally came up with a bunch of different ways to try and keep the anxiety simmering rather than bubbling up right over the pan and burning onto the hob leaving that gross burnt water smell in the air. I thought it would be helpful to share some of the ways I’ve been trying to keep my shit together lately in the hope it might help someone else too!

|| Listen to music

I think this one is on a lot of people’s anxiety and panic distraction lists bur for me music is very hit and miss. It depends how far into the panic I am because once I’m over a certain threshold, music is unbearable. Everything feels so, so loud and overwhelming once I’m past the point of no return if you will so if I’m in panic mode this one won’t help me at all but for longer term really raised anxiety level music can help calm me down a bit sometimes.

My current anxiety playlist faves are:

break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored | Ariana Grande
2002 | Anne-Marie
Autopilot | Kodaline
Up | Olly Murs
bloodline | Ariana Grande
There’s No Way | Lauv
Cactus In The Valley (feat. Owl City) [Acoustic] | Lights
Alarm | Anne-Marie
Vox Populi | 30STM
Lions! | Lights
Saturn | Sleeping At Last
goodnight and go | Ariana Grande
Holocene | Bon Iver
Maps | Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Lazy Eye | Silversun Pickups
Marmalade | Macklemore

|| Jigsaw puzzles

Again, if I’m mid panic attack I’m literally not going to be able to do a jigsaw but for the distraction, before it gets too much they’re really great to get your mind concentrating on something else. At the moment I’m working on a super cute cat one from Ravensburger who are like the jigsaw royalty. The one I’m doing at the moment is called “Crazy Cats…Knit one Purrl One” which is pretty self-explanatory and obviously involves a heck of a lot of cats and what isn’t made better with cats? Nothing, that’s what. I love Ravensburger puzzles, they’re always the ones that last forever and I hope this one ends up in my random cupboard of stuff when I’m 84.

|| Read/write poetry

Nothing like a sad, melancholy or sad, melancholy and motivational poem is there, I actually don’t think I read any particularly cheerful poetry, does that even exist? Anyway, I’m a huge fan of poetry, it’s one of my favourite things ever although I only really find myself reading it when I’m struggling with things. One of my absoloutely favourites at the moemnt is one by Charles Bukowski, who is also one of my all time favourite writers and it’s called Bluebird. If you’ve not heard of him then go google him immediately. I also find writing poetry wuite theraputic,

“there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see

Bluebird by Charles Bukowski

|| Clean the house

For the most part, I really love cleaning. It chills me out when I have a nice clean, tidy home and I defintely clean more when I’m feeling more anxious than normal. When you’re feeling panicky, your body releases adrenaline which is the same hormone that is released in fight or flight situations, it’s desined to give you a huge boost of energy to essentially run away from whatever the life or death situation is. Now, if you have an anxiety disorder you’ll know that very rarely are the situations that make us panic life threatening so this adrenaline just sits in our bodies. Cleaning or any other physical activity will help get rid of the adrenaline and in turn help make you feel less worked up.

|| Watch YouTube

Specifically YouTubers I have watched previously when I was more relaxed. I find it kind of tricks my mind into feeling relaxed if that makes sense(?) and distracts me for a bit. Nothing too heavy, normally fun 24 hour challenge videos or vlogs normally.

Some YouTubers I love watching at the moment are:

Anastasia Kingsnorth – I love her 24 hours challenge videos! they’re great for distractions!

Lucy Elizabeth – I’ve watched Lucy’s videos for so long now that they feel super nostalgic and therefore calming.

Rhiannon Ashlee – Another lovely lady who I’ve watched for years. I find her voice so calming and I love her vlogs so much!

|| Open up my windows

If I’m feeling really panicky, which normally happens in the evening then I will open up my bedroom window and look out and breathe. If I need a bit of extra brain distracting to calm down I will touch each of my fingers in turn and count to 100 in sets of 10.

I hope there have been some ideas that perhaps you haven’t tried and that could help in some way if you are here looking for some ways to help with your anxiety. Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing so great.

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