11 Things People With Anxiety Want You To Know ~ Kirsten King, Haejin Park, Anna Borges

1. The symptoms of anxiety are not just internal — they’re physical, too.

The symptoms of anxiety are not just internal — they're physical, too.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Anxiety can wreak physical havoc on your life in the form of headaches, insomnia, muscle pain, panic attacks, and more.

2. …But internal symptoms are just as debilitating.

...But internal symptoms are just as debilitating.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Anxiety is an invisible illness that may not be seen, but is certainly felt. When you deal with anxiety, there’s no separating yourself from the symptoms. You carry the misery in your thoughts, your choices, your relationships, yourself. And sometimes, that weight is so heavy that it feels physical.

3. There are several different types of anxiety — and even those can manifest in different ways.

There are several different types of anxiety — and even those can manifest in different ways.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

The most common disorders are Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which involves chronic, irrational worry about day-to-day things, and Social Anxiety Disorder, which involves a fear of social situations and other people, whether interacting with them or fearing judgment from them, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). There’s also Panic Disorder, which involves sudden and repeated attacks of irrational fear (aka panic attacks), plus intense worry between those episodes. 

All that said, even people with the same anxiety disorders experience symptoms differently — so don’t presume to know what someone is going through. Anxiety is not one-size-fits-all.

4. We cancel plans last minute not because we’re jerks, but because some days we wake up and can’t imagine leaving the house.

We cancel plans last minute not because we're jerks, but because some days we wake up and can't imagine leaving the house.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Taking time away from work/friends/obligations doesn’t mean we don’t like being social… it just means sometimes we need a break.

5. Meditation and relaxation techniques do not work for everyone.

Meditation and relaxation techniques do not work for everyone.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

While these techniques sometimes do help alleviate symptoms, suggesting them as a cure-all can be incredibly frustrating for someone with anxiety.

6. Finding the right therapist who is both effective and covered under your health insurance can be such a daunting and difficult task, that many people give up on getting help.

Finding the right therapist who is both effective and covered under your health insurance can be such a daunting and difficult task, that many people give up on getting help.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

While mental health is partially covered, it’s hard for people without health insurance, or who cannot afford copays, to make their mental health a priority.

7. A lot of people who have anxiety also suffer from depression.

A lot of people who have anxiety also suffer from depression.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

The two exhausting, debilitating struggles can come hand-in-hand. Nearly one-half of people who are diagnosed with depression also have an anxiety disorder.

8. Requests we make that might make us seem uptight are actually things that make us feel safe.

Requests we make that might make us seem uptight are actually things that make us feel safe.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Like if we ask who’s going to be at the party you invited us to or if we want to make an exact plan rather than ~winging~ it. Uncertainty and open-endedness can exacerbate anxiety so details that seem insignificant are actually huge helps.

9. Anxiety can make you question relationships completely irrationally, so please don’t take it personally if we express doubts sometimes.

Anxiety can make you question relationships completely irrationally, so please don't take it personally if we express doubts sometimes.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Having anxiety can mean anything from questioning if your friend actually wants you to go to the movies, to wondering if you’re really loved. So reminding us that we’re important to you might seem like it’s obvious… but it’s super important.

10. Anxiety doesn’t need a reason.

Anxiety doesn’t need a reason.

BuzzFeed

Anxiety and panic attacks can have a pin-pointed cause (like a job interview, exam, or break-up) or they can occur essentially out of thin air. Having anxiety means you might not always be able to understand why you feel the way you do.

11. Suffering from anxiety doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t make you damaged goods.

Suffering from anxiety doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t make you damaged goods.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Having anxiety, or any mental illness, doesn’t make you any “less” of a person. It just makes you, you.

To learn more about depression and anxiety, check out the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health here and here.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/kirstenking/things-people-with-anxiety-want-you-to-know#.dpKoNyzx8j

So What Is Self Care? ~ University of Kentucky

So What Is “Self Care”?

Self care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health. Good self care is a challenge for many people and it can be especially challenging for survivors of interpersonal violence and abuse. It can also be an important part of the healing process. Self care is unique for everyone. Below are some ideas to get you started in developing your own self care plan. It can be overwhelming to consider taking on many new things. It may be helpful to start with a couple of ideas and build on that.

Physical self-care is an area that people often overlook

Planet

Food

  • Food is a type of self-care that people often overlook. People are often so busy that they don’t have time to eat regularly or that they substitute fast food for regular meals.
  • It’s not always reasonable to expect people to get 3 square meals a day (plus snacks!) but everyone should make sure they get adequate nutrition.
  • One example of a self care goal: Even if it’s a small amount, I will eat something for each meal. Exercise
  • avoExercise is one of the most overlooked types of self-care. The CDC recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week.
  • Exercise, even if it’s just a quick walk at lunchtime, can help combat feelings of sadness or depression and prevent chronic health problems.
  • One example of a self care goal: I will go for a walk Tuesday and Thursday after I get out of my morning class.

     

     

     

    Sleep

  • Although everyone has different needs, a reasonable guideline is that most people need between 7-10 hours of sleep per night.
  • One example of a self care goal: I will go to bed by 11:00 p.m. during the week so that I can get enough sleep.

    Medical care

    • Getting medical attention when you need it is an important form of physical self-care.
    • Some survivors put off getting medical care until problems that might have been relatively easy to take care of have become more complicated.
    • One example of a self care goal: I will set aside money in my budget (or seek financial help) so that I

      can get my prescriptions filled every month.
      Some information adapted from RAINN.org, UK Violence Intervention and Prevention Program

Watch

Emotional self-care will mean different things for different people. It might mean:

Counseling

  • This could mean seeing a psychologist, a clinical social worker, or therapist.
  • The VIP Center can help refer you to a counselor.
  • The UK Counseling Center provides free services to UK students.
  • One example of a self care goal: I will find out more about the UK Counseling Center so that I can decide whether this might be helpful for me.

    Keeping a journal

  • Some survivors find that recording their thoughts and feelings in a journal or diary helps them manage their emotions after an assault or abusive situation.
  • One example of a self care goal: I will write in my journal at least 3 times this week.

    Meditation or relaxation exercises

• Relaxation techniques or meditation help many survivors with their emotional self-care. For example:  Sit or stand comfortably, with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Place one hand

over your belly button. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose and let your stomach expand as you inhale. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth, sighing as you breathe out. Concentrate on relaxing your stomach muscles as you breathe in. When you are doing this exercise correctly, you will feel your stomach rise and fall about an inch as you breathe in and out. Try to keep the rest of your body relaxed—your shoulders should not rise and fall as you breathe! Slowly count to 4 as you inhale and to 4 again as you exhale. At the end of the exhalation, take another deep breath. After 3-4 cycles of breathing you should begin to feel the calming effects.

• One example of a self care goal: I will practice deep breathing before I go to sleep to calm down from the day.

Emotional self-care can also involve the people around you.

It’s important to make sure that the people in your life are supportive

  • Nurture relationships with people that make you feel good about yourself!
  • Make spending time with friends and family a priority
  • If you have trouble finding people who can support your experience as a survivor, consider joining a support group for survivors or getting involved with the VIP Center

    Be wary of…

  • Friends or family who only call when they need something
  • People who always leave you feeling tired or depressed when you see them
  • Friends who never have the time to listen to you

Some information adapted from RAINN.org, UK Violence Intervention and Prevention Program

• Anyone who dismisses or belittles your experience as a survivor

Smile Yellow Face 3

You can deal with these people by setting limits.

  • You don’t have to cut them out of your life (especially with family, that may not even be an option!)

    but choose the time you will spend with them carefully.

  • Make sure that your time with these people has a clear end.
  • Cut back on the time you spend with people who don’t make you feel good, or spend time with them

    in a group rather than one-on-one.

    Screen your calls!!

• There’s no rule that says you have to answer your phone every time it rings. If you don’t feel like

talking on the phone, call people back at a time that’s more convenient for you. You can deal with these people by letting some go.

  • If there are people in your life who consistently make you feel bad about yourself, consider letting those friendships or relationships go.
  • This can be a difficult decision. Remember that you deserve to have people around you who genuinely care about you and who support you.

     

    Another challenge can be in finding time for fun leisure activities

    Many of us have full time jobs, go to school, volunteer and have families. Finding time to do activities that you enjoy is an important aspect of self-care.Smiling Buddha

  • Be aware of things you may be doing that take up a lot of your time but don’t support your self care such as too much time on the internet, watching TV, even sleeping. These can all be relaxing, enjoyable activities in moderation but can become a way of retreating and isolating yourself.

     

    Get involved in a sport or hobby that you love!! Find other people who are doing the same thing! Knowing that people are counting on you to show up can help motivate you.

    Make a date night and stick with it, either with a partner, a friend or a group of friends.
    Turn off your cell phones (within reason. If the babysitter needs to be able to find you, consider leaving him/her the number of the restaurant so that you can turn off your ringer!)
    Treat leisure appointments as seriously as business appointments. If you have plans to do something for fun, mark it on your calendar!
    Make your self-care a priority, not something that happens (or doesn’t happen!) by accident.

Some information adapted from RAINN.org, UK Violence Intervention and Prevention Program

http://www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/VIPCenter/downloads/self%20care%20defined.pdf

Depression Slideshow: Tips for Exercise, Diet and Stress Reduction ~ WebMD

Young thoughtful woman, indoors

Tips for Recovering From Depression

If you’ve had depression, you know how hopeless you can feel. It’s important to get professional treatment. But there are things you can do to ease symptoms of depression. Exercise, changing your diet, and even playing with a pet can improve your mood. Click to the next slide to see how you can start regaining control of your life.

 
 

Woman sitting with dog on jetty, rear view

Let Your Pet Nuzzle Blues Away

Sometimes your pet really can be your best friend — and that’s good therapy. When you play with your pet, you take your mind off your problems. Also, when you take care of your pet you’re fulfilling a commitment to something outside yourself. Caring for others can be very therapeutic.

 
 

Young woman at table with plate of food, smiling

Eat Smart to Lift Mind and Body

There’s a connection between mind and body. Although there is no specific diet that works for depression, a healthy diet can be part of an overall treatment plan. Build your diet around plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to help boost your physical and emotional health.

 
 
 

Salmon fillet with spinach and lemon wedge

Choose Foods to Boost Your Mood

Some studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 — especially for people for may not get enough of these nutrients — may ease the mood changes that are part of depression. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids. So do flaxseed, nuts, soybeans, and dark green vegetables. Seafood and low-fat dairy products are sources of B12. Vegetarians who eat no meat or fish can get B12 in fortified cereals, dairy products, and  supplements.

 
 

Fresh popcorn in carton

Try Low-Fat Carbs for a Pick-Me-Up

Serotonin is a brain chemical that enhances your sense of well-being. Carbohydrates raise the level of serotonin in your brain. Low-fat carbs such as popcorn, a baked potato, graham crackers, or pasta are options. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grain options also provide fiber.

 
 

Businessman crushing coffee cup

Drink Less Caffeine to Improve Mood

Do you really need that third cup of coffee? Anxiety can accompany depression. And too much caffeine can make you nervous, jittery, or anxious. While possible links between caffeine and depression haven’t been definitively established, cutting back on caffeinated drinks may help lower your risk of depression and improve sleep. 

 
 
 

Man with headache

Treat Your Aches and Pains

Feelings of depression can be related to pain. Work with your health care team to treat your depression and your pain.

 
 

couple on a treadmill in a gym

Exercise to Change the Way You Feel

For some people, exercise works almost as well as antidepressants. And you don’t have to run a marathon. Just take a walk with a friend. As time goes on, increase activity until you exercise on most days. You’ll feel better physically, sleep better at night, and improve your mood.

 
 

Two men on outdoor basketball court

Choose an Exercise You Enjoy

If you don’t like to run, you won’t last long training for a marathon. But you will stay with a moderate exercise you enjoy. For instance, try walking, golfing without a cart, riding a bike, working in your garden, playing tennis, or swimming. The important thing is to pick something you like. Then you’ll look forward to it and feel better when you do it.

 
 
 

Group of women with instructor in exercise class

Exercise With Others for Support

Staying connected with other people helps overcome the lethargy, exhaustion, and loneliness of depression. Join an exercise group or exercise with a friend. You’ll stay connected. And you’ll have support to help you stay on track!

 
 

Woman opening curtains, looking out window

Be Sure You Get Enough Sunlight

Do you feel more depressed during darker, cold months? You may have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. SAD is most common in the winter, when there’s less sunlight. SAD can be treated with light therapy or exposure to artificial sunlight, antidepressants, and psychotherapy.

 
 

Woman photographing forest on digital camera

Explore Your Creativity

Painting, photography, music, knitting, or writing in a journal: These are all ways people explore their feelings and express what’s on their mind. Being creative can help you feel better. The goal isn’t to create a masterpiece. Do something that gives you pleasure. It may help you better understand who you are and how you feel.

 
 
 

Man sitting in woods listening to music

Make Time for Mindful Relaxation

Stress and anxiety can increase your depression symptoms and make it harder to recover. Learning to mentally relax can help restore a sense of calm and control. You might consider a yoga or meditation class. Or you could simply listen to soothing music while you take a long, hot bath.

 
 

Group of people lifting wall of unfinished house

Become Actively Involved

Being involved with others can help you regain a sense of purpose. And it doesn’t take much to get started. Try volunteering with a charity. Or join a discussion group at the library or at church. Meeting new people and doing new things will help you feel good about yourself.

 
 

smiling family having a meal at a picnic table

Keep Friends and Family in Your Life

The people who love you want to support you. If you shut them out, they can’t. If you let them in, you’ll feel a lot better. Call a friend and go for a walk. Have a cup of coffee with your partner. You may find it helps to talk about your depression. It feels good to have someone listen.

 
 
 

Young woman sleeping, close-up

Get the Healthy Sleep You Need

Depression interferes with healthy sleep. Some people with depression sleep too much. Others can’t fall asleep easily. As you recover from depression, relearn good sleep habits. Start by going to bed and getting up the same time each day. Use relaxation techniques to help you fall asleep. Healthy sleep makes you feel better physically and mentally.

 
 

Man sitting at bar looking at glass of liquor

Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and drugs can slow or prevent recovery from depression. They can also make your depression worse and interfere with the medicines you take for depression. If you have a problem with substance abuse, ask for help now. You’ll have a far better chance of recovering from depression.

 
 

Female Doctor Talking to Patient

Continue Your Treatment

The steps outlined in these slides may help you feel positive about your life. But alone, they’re not enough. They won’t replace medical treatment or talk therapy. Depression is a serious illness, and it carries a risk of suicide. If you are thinking about suicide, seek help immediately. And never stop or change treatment without discussing it carefully with your doctor.

 

http://www.webmd.com/depression/ss/slideshow-depression-diet-stress-exercise?ecd=wnl_men_100215&ctr=wnl-men-100215_nsl-ld-stry_img&mb=RbO7%2fvTOx1EjKOU4pPXoLChonS%2fH3cwyP02j5xZ6yv4%3d&print=true

Daily Meditation: A Sense Of Belonging ~ Antonia Blumberg

We all need help maintaining our personal spiritual practice. We hope that these Daily Meditations, prayers and mindful awareness exercises can be part of bringing spirituality alive in your life.

Today’s meditation features a reflection on “belonging and coming home” by philosopher and poet David Whyte. “We are the one part of creation that knows what it’s like to live in exile,” he says. Thus the ability to return home is one of the “great human endeavors.”

 

 

Wanderlust Wednesday: Internal Exploration

We all get caught up in the busyness of everyday life and often we forget the benefits of taking time for self-reflection. Today we explore the benefits of internal exploration, possibly the true final frontier.

Meditation is an ancient practice that has experienced a resurgence in recent years. It can take many forms including guided mediation, prayer, and yoga. Regardless of the style of practice, all forms share the common goal of quieting the mind and can often be used for stress reduction.

Here is an excellent meditation video with Deepak Chopra.

 

For more information on meditation, visit the following sites:

http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22&oTopID=22

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm

www.mayoclinic.com/health/meditation/HQ01070