My mini series on 'Dealing with Weight Gain' (check out the latest post here) has contained some of my favourite posts I've ever written. Thinking about ways to tackle certain issues I've faced when it comes to weight gain has really helped me to come to terms with things and hopefully will have helped others to deal with similar issues. So, I thought I'd tackle another area of my life which can have quite a consuming impact on my mind: anxiety. I'm not sure yet if this will be another series; for the moment this is a standalone post.
Anxiety is a bitch, and anyone who suffers with it will have certain triggers, i.e. certain things that set it off. Being alone is a major one for me. It sends my brain into absolute overdrive. Rational and irrational worries start to consume me: what if someone breaks into the house? What if the person who's not at home dies and I'm left to live alone forever? What if the house catches fire? What if I get the urge to relapse on my self harm and there's no one here to help me? What if I fall down the stairs and bleed out because I can't get to a phone to call myself an ambulance? These are some of the kind of thoughts I get at the start of an anxious whirlwind when I'm home alone, and they just seem to escalate.
So, today I'm going to be talking about ways to tackle anxiety when you're in this situation. I've hated being home alone for as long as I can remember. Every creaking floorboard, every gust of wind used to (and still sometimes does) send me into a complete meltdown of fear. But, now I've started to deal with it properly. Accepting that being home alone makes me anxious was a really important step, and especially within that, acknowledging that it's okay and it's normal to feel that way helped too. Here are some things that have also helped:
Talking to someone. If I can feel my anxiety starting to really take hold of me when I'm home alone, calling or skyping someone close to me is my favourite thing to do. It makes me feel as though I'm not alone anymore, and distracts me from thinking about all the things that could be going wrong.
Playing some music; make some noise. I'm always obsessing over every single tiny noise when I'm home alone. It's especially not fab when you have small animals that like to make a whole bunch of noises in their cages. Playing some music, or even just having the TV on means I can't listen out for those sounds anymore.
Lock all your doors. This may seem OTT, but my greatest fear of being home alone comes with being burgled, or someone getting into the house. Making sure everything is locked and secure can help to ease that worry. We've got a lock on our bedroom door too (I don't know why, it was there when we moved in), so sometimes I do that up too at night to feel extra safe.
Do something that makes you feel comforted. For me, this is popping my fave PJs on, eating my favourite comfort foods (nachos and watermelon just FYI) and settling down to colour and watch Netflix. Engage in whatever your comfort routine is and treat yoself. A house to yourself is a wealth of opportunities after all.
Remember that you're brave for dealing with this. It's not pathetic or stupid or anything else like that to feel anxious about being home alone. Every time you get through it okay is a massive win, and deserves a little boost of self-respect.
What do you find helps reduce your anxiety when you're home alone?