FINDING YOUR WAY FORWARD WHEN LIFE THROWS YOU LEMONS

As we come into the winter months, perhaps you are starting to feel anxious about what lies ahead?

Following more than a year and a half when Covid stopped the world, many people developed severe anxiety, stress, depression and loss of self-confidence.

Putting things into context, most people are resilient and have not had problems. However, even when you are resilient and seen as the strong one, your emotions can be heightened to perceived stress often driven by postings on social media which make you question your ability to cope.  Understandably, people are openly discussing their feelings of low self-esteem and the huge challenges they face in their daily lives and against this backdrop it is not unnatural to question your own emotions.

It is important to recognize the signs of anxiety, stress, panic attacks and depression so you can detect and reach out to family and friends who may need your support.  However, fundamentally it is important to also recognize the signs for your own well-being.

So what are some of the signs?:

Anxiety & Stress

  • Restlessness and/or irritability
  • Excessive worrying
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling on the edge
  • Unable to sleep

Panic Attacks

  • Sweating/trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pounding heart rate
  • Feelings of dread
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Feeling faint

Depression

  • No energy
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Guilt
  • Feeling worthless
  • Insomnia or can’t get out of bed and sleeping too much
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

The problem with anxiety, stress and depression is, depending on the severity, it can be difficult to detect in someone until it is at a heightened state. 

So what do you do?

  • Firstly, reach out and let them know you are there for them.
  • Listen and be empathetic.
  • Help them find the correct support whether it be medical, counselling or therapy.
  • Support them in their ongoing treatment and/or therapy
  • Set boundaries – remember not to get to drawn or you will become stressed yourself and be unable to help.
  • Look after yourself – it is important to remember your own self-care

How to avoid anxiety and stress

The best thing to do is review your lifestyle and daily activities.

What are you doing on a daily basis?  Are you spending all day at home, or in a bar? 

Are you conscious of your health and wellbeing? Or are you in an unhealthy rut?

It is so easy to get caught up in life’s dramas and forget about your own purpose?

Now it’s time for you to stop and rethink what you want from your life.  It’s never too late.

  • How about new job?
  • New hobbies? – take up painting, dancing, join a walking or cycling group
  • Get out and make new friends
  • Join a yoga group
  • Practice meditation and mindfulness

Whatever you decide to do – do something.  Life is too short…you owe it to yourself to make the most of it.

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