I wanted to take the time to talk about something that affects 1 in 4 Canadians – that’s approximately 9,072,500 people! Anxiety is a mental health disorder that often gets brushed aside or disregarded as being a ‘legitimate’ concern, or excuse for being unable to do something. I am here to tell you that anxiety is a very real and potentially very scary disorder to live with. First off, there is so much stigma in our society about calling mental health disorders ‘disorders’ – even just now, I felt myself hesitate before deciding to choose the word ‘disorder’ rather than ‘concern’ or ‘troubles.’
As a 20-something growing up in Canadian society, I too have experienced my fair share of anxiety and panic attacks…sometimes over something so tiny that I cannot fathom why I am possibly feeling this way over something so small. But the fact of the matter is that Anxiety is serious, and if you too have ever experienced an anxiety attack, or maybe you deal with anxiety everyday of your life – then it is my sincerest hope that you can find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone.
As I am not a trained medical professional, I am simply here to talk to you about my personal experiences, and hope that they bring you some inner comfort when facing your own anxieties. In my own personal experiences with anxiety, I have never actually had a ‘full-blown panic attack’ so to speak, where by one feels as though they cannot breath. Rather, my experiences have been subtler, and more constant. I am a bit of a perfectionist, which is not necessarily a bad characteristic, however, it does mean that I have a very fine threshold between which I go from calm to stressed in the blink of an eye. And lets be honest, sometimes there are just days when it feels as though everything in your world that could go wrong, does go wrong.
The best way I have been able to describe my anxiety to my friends and family is through the following analogy: it feels as though there is an old film reel flashing by in my mind and I cannot turn it off or slow it down... it just keeps flashing… sometimes faster than others as if I am on a treadmill and someone keeps turning the speed higher and higher and I cannot get off. I am not sure if this is relatable to anyone else, but if you have ever felt this way, then talk to a loved one about the possibility that you too could be experiencing anxiety.
Now for me, I often find the best relief is to take some time for myself to do something that makes me happy. Something that is completely unrelated to school, work, or any other aspect of your every day life that you feel that you have to focus on. My ultimate serenity is lighting a candle (I am currently obsessed with Snowy Pine & Balsam Fir by IndigoScents —> Click HERE to check it out), turning on the Piano Comfort playlist on Spotify and curling up in my fuzzy blanket with a warm cup of tea.
What is your saving grace when you feel overwhelmed and anxious? Comment below to share your tips for dealing with anxious days!