What I Do When I’m Feeling Anxious

What I Do When I’m Feeling Anxious


Hi everyone, I’ve tried to film the
beginning of this video several times so I’m just going to go with whatever I say
this time. A few months ago I made a video talking about living with anxiety
and intrusive thoughts and catastrophizing [linked below]. A lot of my feeling
anxious is tied up with hospital trauma and spending a lot of time in hospital
when I was younger, having loads of operations and also living with health
condition whereby I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next 10/20 years,
there is a chance I could lose my sight, I have complicated health stuff which
I’ve spoken about on this channel before. In the comments section of that video I
had lots of requests from you all asking if I could make a video talking
about how I cope with feeling anxious, what I’m doing when I’m not having a
great day, so that is what this video is but before I get into the things that I
have listed on this sheet of paper, I wanted to highlight that this is a list
of short-term things that I do. These are mostly ways to distract myself from
feeling anxious and we’ve all got to deal with the root course of why we feel
anxious, as well; we can’t just distract ourselves indefinitely, so as much as I
recommend the things on this list, if your mental health isn’t great, if you
are feeling whatever way you happen to be feeling, whatever kind of mental
health stuff we’re talking about, please do talk to somebody; please talk to a
friend, family member or colleague, healthcare professional etc. Since I made
that video at the beginning of the year, the rare diseases clinic where I go have
offered me psychotherapy, so I go there once a week — thank You NHS. So whatever
works for you long-term please do also do those things, this is not a list of
things that will help you indefinitely/ forever, these are just fun things and
also some of the basic things that I sometimes forget to do when I’m feeling
anxious. So with all of that let’s get on to the list, so this list is in no particular order. At the top of my list this list I have Yoga with Adrienne.
I don’t do yoga to be fit, I’m probably actually not that
great at yoga if someone came and looked at you know the way that I’m moving etc
that’s not why I do it, I do it to help myself feel calm and I’m sure that many
of you are familiar with her channel I’ll link it in the description box down
below but I bought myself a yoga mat and I try and do a little bit every morning.
It’s not always possible. Because I’m not doing it for keeping fit purposes I
actually tend to do the same one again and again because I think the repetition
also helps calm me, it was one of her 30-day challenges that she did a few
years ago I think and it’s one called Trust and I tend to do the first 15-20
minutes of that which is mainly actually a lot of breathing and stretching, it’s
very slow helps to calm me but I think also helps to frame my day. As I’ve
mentioned, I’m freelance and that means that I have to be really organized. I
have made a video where I speak about how I organize my life, how I organize my
time etc so if that is is of interest to you then I’ll link that in the description
box down below — hey you can watch it even if you just like stationery, but as well
as using it for work purposes if I am overthinking things I find that it helps
to externalize those things and that works in many different forms, obviously
talking to someone about something you’re anxious about is great but if
you’re just overthinking all the things that you have to do/that are occupying your brain and that’s making
you feel panicky, putting that into a list makes you feel as though you’re
starting to process those things, you’re starting to think about the order in
which you’re going to do them, so even if it’s not work stuff sometimes I like to
make lists just so that I feel a little bit more organized and that helps me
feel calmer, too. Tying in with freelance life, if I don’t have meetings in town I
don’t tend to leave the house very much which isn’t very good for my headspace
so I try and get outside every day. I try and take the time that I would commute
to an office to walk. I mentioned on my channel before at weekends Mr. M, that’s
my husband, and I like to get out of London and go
on day walks wherever we can. There’s a brilliant website that we use called The
Walking Club which I’ll link in the description box down below;
they have day walks that you can get to you on trains easily from London and it
is a fantastic resource, I will insert some footage here as a recent walk that
we did which is one of our favorites which is from Milford to Haselmere with a
pub lunch stop in Thursley on the way. It’s a really, really beautiful walk, so I
recommend getting outside even though it’s just walking around the block a few
times just changing the space that you’re looking at and it will make you
think in a different way, so that is one of my main recommendations and another
basic thing, and I know it’s really basic but I have to mention it because as I
said sometimes I forget to do the basic stuff when I’m feeling really anxious,
and that is am Idrinking and am I eating properly? So am I drinking lots of
water/staying hydrated, which will help me focus as well and am I eating healthy
stuff? Yes it’s nice to eat treats and treat yourself and all of that stuff and
I am an advocate for that but I find that my sugar levels do this [go up and down] if I’m
having too much sugar and caffeine throughout the day and that just makes
me feel a bit miserable as well and it certainly does not help with my anxiety.
Something that is a problem for me when I’m feeling anxious and I’m overthinking
and I’m catastrophizing is that I can give my brain too much time and space to
think, so I need to focus it but I need to focus it in quite a specific way. When
I am working, my brain is focused and generally I’m absolutely fine because I
have — well, not absolutely fine but I have a task that definitely takes up all of my
attention but when I’m not working and, say, I’m reading, I think it’s very easy
even though that’s a task that requires focus to allow your mind to slip away,
so I often use something else when I’m reading, another sound that’s in the room.
I really enjoy the Harry Potter ASMR rooms that I’ve seen knocking around on
YouTube which I’ll link down below Netflix and other places also have fire
settings so it’s like your computer has a warm fire in it and that crackling
noise in the background I think helps my brain
keep focused on the other tasks that I’m doing. In the evening there are two
things that I like to do and I would say that both of these fulfill a similar
criteria. One of those is cooking and one of them is playing board games.
Cooking is a necessity: you need to eat, board games, some may say, are less of a necessity
but I would perhaps argue otherwise. [laughs] Cooking gives you a set of instructions
and you can follow them and I find that quite therapeutic and I will often
listen to an audiobook while I’m cooking as well. As for the board games, I have fallen in
love with board games over the past few years. I used to love them as a kid and
then I didn’t really play them and then as I said a few years ago I started
collecting new board games again and if you would like me to make a video where
I talk about some of my favorite board games I would absolutely do that, so just
let me know if you would like me to do that but one of my favourite games or
I should say these ones here fall into the category of some of my favourite
games and I wanted to quickly show you them today. This part of the video is
very kindly it sponsored by Oxford Games which is a company that I have worked
with in the past; I’ve done their podcast, I’ve done live events
with them and then last year I included some of their games in my Christmas gift
guide because I really really loved them. The reason that I’m including them here
is because 1. board games make me feel calm as I said also 2. these are book
board games and I have a feeling that many of you will like that because most
of you are here because you, like me, really love books. So let me show them to
you. This is the book game that I think they are most known for, it’s certainly the
game of theirs that I came across first and was actually the game that I played
on their podcast when I did it. It’s called Ex-Libris
the game of first lines and last words and this is about bluffing your way to
victory. In here there is a pile of cards and on those cards you get the
title of a book and the blurb and then you and your fellow players are all tasked
with writing a fake first or last line of that book. You then shuffle them all
together along with the real first or last line, whichever
one you’ve been told that you need to write, and one of you who hasn’t written
anything down has to read all the lines that everyone has come up with and guess
which one they think is the right line. If they guess correctly they get a point,
if they guess incorrectly then the person who have made up that line gets
the point, and it can be really hilarious because
you can take it really seriously and try and write what you think would really be
the first or last line, or you can try and write something quite outrageous
which sometimes people fall for. Something that is similar but also
different is this game here called Flummoxed: the foreign language bluffers
game, and in this you’re not making up the first or last lines of a book you’re
making up the definition of a foreign word and then the other person has to
guess which definition is the correct one and as well as this being really fun
you also get to learn stuff which I think is really fascinating. Even though
these I would say a best played with a group of people, you can play them with
two people because you could make up several fake definitions and shuffle it
in with the real one and then the other person has to guess which is real. In
fact, Jean and I recorded a podcast where we played Flummoxed and it was so much
fun, so I’ll link that in the description box down below if you would like to go
and take a look. The third game is this one here which is Bookworm: a game of
reading and remembering. This is a board game as opposed to a card game so I’ll
insert some footage here so you can see what it looks like after it’s been set
up. In this, on your go you are read a card by another player that has a paragraph
from an actual book on it and that paragraph is going to be really heavy on
the detail front, so how many stairs a character climbs up, the colour of the
wallpaper, how many sugars they put in their tea, exactly how many minutes it takes
them to get to work, so all this information that you couldn’t possibly
try and remember all of but you have to try because then immediately after that
they ask you questions about the paragraph that they just read to you and
for every answer you guessed correctly you get to move forward a square.
It can get quite intense and also for some reason makes me very giggly. The
final one is this one which is called Anagram: the ingenious
game of juggling words, so an anagram based game. These are all so much fun and
as I said board games help me feel calmer, they distract me, so if you are also
interested in board games let me know if you would like me to make a video where
I talk about lots of different kinds but I thought these ones would be of
particular interest to you as they are book related and if you would like 20%
off anything from their website you can use the code Jen20 at checkout. They
ship internationally, they’re also just a mother and daughter company so you’re
supporting a small business which is always really wonderful and these would
make great Christmas gifts. I will leave details in the description box
down below. I have three more things that help me out,
two of them are apps and I think I’ve mentioned them both on this channel
before so the first one is the Calm app; I actually use this on quite a basic
level, I think. I know that it has lots of functions that I haven’t made the best
use of. You can use it for meditating and it takes you through different steps and
it has a seven day program or something like that; you can check it out, but
mostly what I use it for is their scenes so they have a lake scene, they have the
sea, I think. I mostly use the rain setting and they have some calm music, as
well, so they just bring up an image well, a short video, that repeats itself
again and again with sound on and that’s really great with headphones if
you’re on the tube and it’s really busy or you just you want to take a moment
for yourself somewhere. The thing that is frustrating about this app but
is also really good actually is that you can’t use
your phone and do other stuff when you’re using it so if you have the
screen open with rain and it’s making that noise you can’t then go on to
another app and scroll and do other things whilst listening to the rain and
that is very good for focusing especially if you’re using it for
meditating as well so I would recommend that one, and the other app that I use is
actually a game and it’s called Monument Valley.
I discovered it about four or four years ago, it was a long time ago and I fell
completely in love with it. They have a couple of versions now, it’s
beautiful, definitely play it with headphones if you can because the way
that the music fits in with the graphics it’s just astounding, it reminds me a
little bit of Miyazaki, not in drawing style but but just in
the overall feel of it; it’s like a weird Alice in Wonderland. It’s a game that’s
centred around logic and impossible geometry and it is tricky sometimes but
you will get there, it’s a case of almost like going through a maze, lots of
false starts, you just work your way through it and you will find out the answer
and you will be able to get through to the next level and I find that
reassuring in a way, just to try and solve a problem it’s very
satisfying, and as I said beautiful so I’ll insert a little bit here so that
you can see just how beautiful this game is. The final thing that I wanted to mention
is something I have recently mentioned on this channel as well and that is that
Mr. M and I have started collecting houseplants, now I know that that is a
trendy thing to do but we’re doing it because we find it fun and also
therapeutic it’s fun to do all the research into the plants that you could
have for the conditions that you have in the place that you live, going to a plant
sale or a garden centre; I love a garden center which definitely means that I’m
old now, and just seeing the fruits of your labour, but not in a literal sense
because these plants don’t grow fruit, but seeing how the plants fare
under your care. I will show you some cutaways of some of the plants we’ve got.
We have Hagrid who is a mistletoe cactus we have Ed who is a donkey tail
plant we have several spider plants called
Anastasia, Dimitri and Anya and we have a prayer plant called Zima, so that’s
something that we’ve really enjoyed along with then going to see plants out
and about, which I suppose ties in with the walking element, but we went to Kew gardens at the weekend for instance and looked around all of
the hot houses there which was really really beautiful and it was fun to see some of
the house plants that we have on a much bigger scale yeah ,so
that’s a list of some of the things that I do on a day to day basis to distract
my brain and make me feel better. I hope that in whatever capacity this list is
helpful for some of you guys. I would love to know in the comments section
what you do either when you’re feeling anxious or when you’re just in general
feeling stressed out. As I mentioned thank you very much to Oxford games for
sponsoring part of this video and if you would like to go and check out their
website I’ll link it down below and you can use the code Jen20 at checkout to
get 20% off everything in your basket. I hope you’re all having a great week and
I will speak to you very soon. Lots bookish love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *