Anxiety’s a strange thing and it shows up in different people in different ways. For me it started as a niggling, unsettled feeling in my tummy and, over time, became constant pins and needles in my shoulders, regular headaches and an inability to stay asleep past 3am.
I didn’t pay much attention to it at first, after all I’m a working mum of two teenagers so life’s always busy and often emotionally draining! But, over time, I noticed that I was feeling increasingly unwell and it was starting to have a more direct affect on my ability to do all the stuff I needed to do.
At this point I decided something needed to change and I started to investigate how to look after myself a little better. Often referred to as “self-care”, I prefer to reference the safety briefing on every plane you’ve ever been on:
“Put on your own oxygen mask before you help others”.
Because, for me, that’s what it’s about. If I don’t look after myself then I end up in no fit state to support anyone else.
Well, I meditate every day using an app called Headspace and I spend as much time as I can outside – look up the Japanese practice of “forest bathing” (shinrin yoku).
I also find that spending time with the people I love brings some useful perspective and, as well as my lovely family, I’m lucky enough to have some amazing “proper” friends with whom I can laugh and cry.
If you’re reading this and, at any point, thinking “oh yes, I sometimes feel a bit like that” then I have good news! Reason being that the first step to taking action to look after yourself better is to notice how you’re feeling – without awareness you are powerless.
So, ask yourself, or find someone you trust to ask you the following couple of questions this week: