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Learn How To Ease Stress And Calm Anxiety

Whatever you do today, let it be enough” - Unknown

We all know how important self care is and taking the time out to do something for yourself should be high up on your priority list, but we can also so easily forget to check in with ourselves on a regular basis, to recognize how we're feeling. It's been a crazy year for all of us, and the stresses and strains of everyday life can all add up so easily, taking its toll on us in ways we don't even realize. One of our wonderful Beauty Therapists Lauren recently experienced the repercussions of too much stress in her life, but found a way through it, and would like to share her story here.

"On a recent quiet day in the salon, Morgan and I were treating one another to a facial and ended up talking about mindsets and the importance of checking in with yourself and others. What Morgan didn’t know at the time was that I was deep in the grips of anxiety, and self-doubt had well and truly set in. I was struggling, and had no real idea of how to shake it off or pick myself up. Right then, I knew it was important to get my feelings out in the open because surely, other people were also feeling this way and there had to be help available."

"I’ve been an anxious person for as long as I can remember, although it wasn’t until I got into my early 20's that it had an impact on my day-to-day life. I’m an overthinker, and I've overanalyzed myself and situations time and time again. I've been known to overcompensate if I feel like my anxiety has gotten the better of me. Basically, if you can put the word 'over' in front of it, that’s me in a nutshell."

"I resemble anxiety to a fog- it slowly creeps in and often goes unnoticed for a long time as it's hard enough to see through, let alone get out of. It can often be an isolating and lonely place to be in, especially if you don’t feel like you have a safe space or support person with whom you can share your experience with, free of judgement. The uncertainty of this year has especially had an impact on all of us, and I certainly felt anxious about the future when we were forced to close the salon for lockdown at the start of the year. I felt like I'd always been in control of my life and when that was taken away from me, it made me feel so nervous and scared."

"I have tried many different ways to first overcome, and now manage my anxiety, but I have often felt alone, which naturally makes it worse and feel a lot bigger than it actually is. I’m not the most talkative of people at the best of times, even more so when it comes to talking about my anxiety, because I have often faced judgement, criticism and a lack of understanding from people I've trusted and, unfortunately, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like this."

"But I've found in my experience that talking about it helps tremendously and it's comforting to hear when other people are feeling the same way, as well as learning about different ways in how they manage and cope. I've also worked very hard on learning to not have such super high expectations of myself, and to not beat myself up when I haven't completed the long list of huge tasks I always set myself. Most importantly, I've learned how to listen to my body and mind, and when I need to take time off to rest, I do it without hesitation."

"I think when it comes down to it, what all anxiety sufferers, and those who get stuck in a cloud of self-doubt, really need is to feel supported, seen and heard. My advice to those supporting someone with anxiety would be to practice patience, and don’t get frustrated with the person- just hear them out, even if none of it makes sense to you at the time."

"What I have come to realize is that there’s no ‘cure’ or quick fix when it comes to managing anxiety, but there are some excellent ways to learn how to live your life comfortably. It's about accepting when those feelings comes your way, stop trying to control it and learn how to not be 'anxious about being anxious'.

Here are some things that have worked for me, which may help you too:

  • Figure out what triggers you and learn how to get through it 🤔

  • STOP, and give yourself time 🤫

  • TALK to someone you feel comfortable with 👄

  • Seek professional help (talk to your GP) 🧑‍⚕️

  • Avoid the 'disease to please' others 🙅

  • Breath work (breathe in for 4, hold for 2 and release for 6) 🧘

  • Visualization (list three things you can see, hear and feel) 👀

  • Positive affirmations (download an affirmations app and make it the first thing you look at every morning) 👏

  • Meditation (the Headspace app is my favorite) 🧘

  • Journaling (write down all of your thoughts and feelings) ✍️

  • Music (play calming meditation music in the background) 🎵🎶

  • Exercise (get out in the fresh air) 🏃‍♀️🍃🌳

  • Setting small and achievable goals or tasks 📝

  • Drawing and/or coloring in (it quietens the mind) ✏️🖍️

Most importantly, when anxiety is getting the better of you, or you feel overwhelmed, try not to let self-doubt creep in, and ask yourself if the negative self-talk is really benefiting you at all (it never does). It’s OK to feel your feelings, but don't let them take you over… own them, and then find a way to work through them."

"Remember that you are OK, you are STRONGER than your anxiety and you are WORTHY. You're not always going to feel this way so keep going and know that better days are coming."

"So next time your anxiety is high, and self-doubt is creeping in, repeat after me … I’VE GOT THIS!"

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