Disclaimer: I am not a professional. I don’t have any letters before my name, I have no training. If you are looking for professional advice contact a doctor or councilor. If you are looking for facts, statistics and proper information about mental health I recommend websites like www.mind.org.uk. All my knowledge is from personal experiences, or those of the people closest to me.
So this week I want to talk about taking time out from what you’re doing. And the first thing I want to say is it is OK to want to be alone. Seriously as stupid as it sounds, some people really do struggle with just being alone and having time to calm down, or taking themselves away from situations that are making them feel worse than usual and having time alone. Today I am going to give you some coping stratergy ideas if you have an anxiety attack or other kind of stress/worry induced problem, in various situations.
Since I’m still in school this can be a real problem for me. In break times and lunches everyone is my form room, to the point where it feels like I can’t really breathe. So I have come up with a simple coping strategy that I recommend to you.
- Breathe. For a second just take a breath, and understand what you are feeling. Crowded? Stressed? Anxious? Think about your options.
- Take time out. Leave the room or area for a little bit. Go to the loo, the canteen, to post an envelope in the office, to the IT suite or just to the library. Go for a maximum of 2-5 minutes, this way you aren’t going to appear suspicious. While you are there play an iPhone game for a minute, clear your head and just breathe. Calm yourself down and just be.
- Come back. When you go back to the situation just explain where you have been or done, to a level that you think is appropriate. Don’t make up some complex lie, but you can bend the truth a little in order to feel more comfortable.
For me the worst times are when I am at home and my parents are on my nerves and then suddenly something stupid like a really hard piece of homework just gets to me. I might not have an anxiety attack but I will get to the point where I’m upset and feel a little off. So here is my home strategy:
- Leave it. Whatever is upsetting you just leave it alone. Place it on a high shelf if that helps, or anywhere that gets it out of your way.
- Physical activity. Do yoga or go for a run. As much as this may seem like an awful prospect to most, it really helps. You can go on fitness equipment or just do a short 20 minute run. The physical activity releases endorphin chemicals which make you feel happier and more uplifted, relieving stress.
- Do your nails. Or any kind of activity that doesn’t overly engage your brain, but engages your hands. This can be really beneficial for self harmers or just those who need a distraction.
- Re approach the task. Get the task back out and look at it. Realize that you can take it step by step, taking your time and that really it isn’t a big deal. No matter how important it is, you can do it.
Overall coping is about being alone with your thoughts and thinking things over in a calm way. Find what works best for you, because there are so many other things out there than what I have mentioned.
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