I have so much anxiety and trauma that I can’t function normally and do the things I used to do.
I hear you. Dealing with the impact that a trauma has on your life can be very discouraging. And let’s say it: anxiety sucks. So.Much.
I personally relate to what you jut shared, a lot. I spent an entire week being constantly anxious, exhausted, physically and emotionally. I’ve seen my energy and mood declining progressively. Being like this prevents me to do what I would like to, even taking care of myself. It’s so frustrating to feel like you need more time and energy to do the same as others. Also to feel like you don’t have any control over this. Sometimes I wonder why I’m even stressed, as I can’t find any precise reason. There’s only this heaviness all around, this constant pressure on my chest, and the entire world makes me feel vulnerable.
If you feel discouraged, I hope you can find some comfort at least in knowing that you’re not alone. Seriously. You’re not crazy, you’re not less a human because you’re struggling with trauma and anxiety. And you’re not meant to feel stuck like this for your entire life. I know it feels sometimes like there’s this giant and strong wall in front of us and it feels like it’s impossible to walk around it. But it is possible. Sometimes it’s just a little more visible than other times.
If you want to share about your story, feel always free to do it here. Expressing yourself is always a good start when we’re struggling, even if it’s not easy. Also I don’t know if you receive any professional help right now, like being on a therapy, but it would be also a good start. Having a safe place where you can discuss without being judged is very precious, so you don’t have to deal with all of this by yourself.
On the subject of anxiety, there are things you can already try everyday to make sure that certain habits doesn’t trigger it. For example, for me lacking of sleep, not going outside even just a little or even drinking coffee tends to increase my anxiety. So when it’s all over the place I try to make sure to maintain some healthy habits. It can be just an addition of very simple actions everyday that would help you to feel a little better, progressively. So, it’s different for everyone, but I’ll just share some things that helps me, hoping that it could help you too:
Maintaining a regular sleeping pattern as a priority. It’s so fundamental. If you can, depending on your situation, avoid setting an alarm clock and allow yourself to wake up naturally for the moment. Anxiety drains a lot of energy everyday, and it’s okay to rest. Not too much, but as much as you need. If you struggle with having a restful sleep, maybe you can see if melatonin or valerian could help - it’s only natural.
Having a morning routine. Something that helps to just take your time and, eventually, reduce your stress when you wake up. There’s a post here on the Support Wall to encourage people to start a morning routine. It’s definitely worth the try: Simple Morning Routine for Self Care
Trying to be physically active a little bit everyday. It doesn’t have to be intense. Just having a walk outside can be enough. Or doing some streches, dance moves, yoga… anything that can help to feel a little more energized. If you don’t know where to start, maybe doing some researches on Youtube could be worth it. Also, in case it would be interesting to you, there’s a great channel on Twitch focused on Tai-Chi lessons. The community there is really kind: https://www.twitch.tv/aipingtaichi. If you’re more into fitness/cardio, you can have a look at the sessions organized on the HeartSupport IG channel every Tuesday and Thursday. Some of them are available here on the Support Wall: https://forum.heartsupport.com/c/lifestyle
Creative hobbies! It could be a lot of things. For me it’s drawing/music/photo/crochet. It doesn’t matter if you’re skilled or not. The idea is just to do something you enjoy and focus only on what you’re doing,without any pressure. During the lockdowns/covid, a lot of coloring pages has been made by @ Danjo and members of this community. You can find the pages here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1r5eIdQTu-a9ai6aSsxDZBQVF7cJ4_0Gn It’s totally free and there’s quite a lot of choice to find something you would like! If you don’t have the material to color those, you can still consider digital coloring: Self Care - Coloring Tutorial - Again if it’s not your thing, it’s totally okay. Just sharing those so you can see if it would be interesting to you!
Trying to be mindful as much as possible. Meaning to be focused on the present moment, on my physical sensations, through daily actions, no matter what it is. Meditation can also be part of your day, as a habit. Personally I’m bad at creating routines and maintaining those. But a “game” that has been helping me for meditation is Playne. It’s based on progress/reward, it’s kinda poetic too so it stimulates your personal motivation to maintain a routine.
Decluttering and keeping a clean environnement. Seeing stuff a bit everywhere can be overwhelming and stressful. If you have to clean where you live but don’t know where to start, don’t hesitate to ask for some help. A family member, a friend… And just take it easy. One thing at a time.
Writing down my thoughts, what’s stressing me or just whatever comes to my mind. Personally, a lot of my anxiety is filled by automatic thoughts that are just existing in the back of my mind. I don’t necessarily notice it… until I feel overwhelmed already. Having a notebook next to your bed or where you work can be helpful to just mind dump sometimes and let everything out. Again, there’s an exercise here on the forum that can be helpful to reflect on those thoughts: Anxiety like a Hurricane
Doing a bit of digital decluttering. Avoiding stressful news, or even social medias if it makes you feel anxious. Making sure that your online feeds are filled of inspiring things for your heart only. Things that bring you some joy, inspiration. Just what could make you smile!
Making lists of the things you need to do or things you’ve done. It depends on what could be more helpful to you. Personally, it helps me to write what I have done, at the end of the day. It feels less stressful than seeing a list of task to accomplish. But both are great and it really depends on everyone. The idea is just to clear your mind/have a clear vision on your current goals and avoid procrastination as possible (as it just adds more anxiety in the long run).
Having a gratitude list, and trying to write down things you are grateful for, a little bit everyday (or as you can). It helps to fight against an “all or nothing” mindset that we can have when we feel discouraged. If you want some guidance or encouragement on this matter, you can’t have a look on those topics: Gratitude = Growth - Live Meditation and Gratitude List
Sorry this is a long post! The list is absolutely not exhaustive of course. And again, it’s only what helps me. Kind of the “toolkit” I’ve been trying to create for myself through the years. Of course, I fail a lot, but what matters is to persevere.
The main idea here is: you certainly feel stuck right now, but you are not. There are a lot of simple things that you can try to do a bit everyday, or weekly, to make you feel better progressively. Just be gentle with yourself. Don’t rush your own progress. Results won’t appear instantly or all at once. It will take some time to see the effects it has on you, your mind, your body. But it is definitely worth the try. Always. And I believe in you, in your capacity to take some steps to take care of yourself, despite the difficult circumstances right now. You can do this! And we’ll keep encouraging you here along this journey.
Take care, friend. As much as possible. It’s okay if you need time. It’s okay if you keep going on at your own pace.
Rooting for you. Sending tons of love your way. you got this.
Hey, feeling anxious is nothing to be ashamed of. You’ve had plenty of bad days so far and you’ve survived every one of them! You are resilient and powerful. Believe in yourself and you will find the light at the end of the tunnel.