Some of you are probably thinking Just be happy right?! How hard could that be? Well for someone with a Mental Illness it can seem like an impossible goal. For me, my anxiety makes me very introverted and easily discouraged. For some, it can add extra pressure for you to be perfect. Mental Illness effects each person different but the one thing they all have in common is insecurity. Everyday I remind myself that I am worth happiness and to push myself to do the things I love. Sometimes though, you need a little reminder.
Do the things that make you happy
This may seem like a no brainer. You’re probably thinking ‘um, obviously?’ Unfortunately in this day and age with the expectations and pressures of everyday life placed on us we often forget to make being happy a priority. Society puts no importance on making being happy a priority. Having the best job that makes you a ton of money, having a relationship that improves your status on the outside and having the newest and nicest material objects seem to be the new goal in life. It seems everybody follows the crowd and wants to fit in but we are all unique and special beauties and we should be striving for the things we truly want in life. If all you want in this life deep down is to work in a cozy local coffee shop, be a cat lady with 14 cats and to feed and pet them all day but you are working an office job that’s 9-5 and pays extremely well and looks impressive on a resume and you can afford the newest of everything but your miserable then what’s the point? Not everything is meant for everybody. For some, a pretty house with a porch and a beautiful family to come home to everyday after work is their dream. For others, traveling the world with no permanent address seeing amazing places and meeting even more amazing people is their dream. Living your life for you is the best thing you can possibly do to improve your quality of life. An ‘oops’ is better than a ‘what if’ #YOLO
Self love is so important and pampering yourself is a way to show yourself some love! Everyone should take the time to do things they love. Have an at home spa day and get some face masks and cozy socks and snuggle up with a good book. Go to that fabulous coffee shop that makes those tasty over priced $11 coffee’s and sit there for hours to get your $11 worth! Go to your shopping center and have a shopping spree at Sephora or that chic clothing store that you love. Whatever it is that you enjoy make sure you take the time to do. It may sound simple but life can be so hectic and full of to do’s we neglect ourselves and become over worked and over stressed. Mental illness or not, it’s easy to fall into a slump of negativity when you don’t take time for yourself.
Take time to smell the roses
With less cheese, Enjoy the simple things. If living with anxiety has taught me anything over the past 10 years it’s to enjoy even the smallest of life’s pleasures. I life with high functioning anxiety which basically means that even with treatment (I am on medication – medication is not for everyone and you can try alternative methods or whatever works best for you) I am anxious all the time, sometimes It’s less substantial than others but its always there like a shadow trying to ruin my day. I’ve gone through some long and hot mess periods in my life and I always have moments through out those periods where I’ll have a few moments of anxiety free living. For me, it always seems to be in my car listening to music. A song will come on that quite literally enables me to take a deep breath and just enjoy the moment and the moment usually involves tears of happiness, NSFW dance moves, letting out my inner rapper while spitting my sick bars … and relief that I am still in there somewhere underneath all the worry, fear and anxiety that always seems to be waiting. It is so important to take any moments you can to enjoy the small things that bring you joy because you deserve to be happy! You need to remind yourself that you might have anxiety but you are not anxiety. You are not your illness. You are still you and your mental illness does not define who you are!
Live the Lavish-ly organized life
Disorganization and stress is not fun for anybody but when you have an already over stimulated brain that plays tricks on you it’s a whole different mess. It’s setting yourself up to have the stress level of a person stuck in traffic, with no chance of getting anywhere anytime soon, while your about to miss your flight go to on the best vacation of your life. That’s a little extra, but you get my point. Why be a frazzled hot mess if you can help it right?! While you may not have total control over your mental illness (because who really ever does?! and if you are a majestic creature and you do, you go babe!) your organizational skills are something you have complete control over and you should be utilizing your skills to their full effect! Anxiety can make you feel out of control so maintaining control over aspects of your life that you can will help you to feel more in control and in the long run you may feel much calmer when a stressful situation hits.
Allow yourself to have bad days
There are many ways to cope and treat a Mental Illness. Whatever it is you do to deal with your anxiety keep in mind that no amount of it will make a bad situation good. You are going to have bad days, you’re human and it happens. Life’s not all about rainbows and sunshine, sometimes stressful situations occur and the storms come. The most important thing to tell yourself is that it’s going to be okay, I’m going to be okay, and tomorrow’s a brand new day.
Don’t let attacks be a day crusher
Let’s be real. I’m easily discouraged. Any tiny mishap that occurs in my day I let totally ruin the entire thing. Example? Spill coffee on my always white shirt? Day ruined. Fiance doesn’t want to listen to Drake on the way to an outing and we bicker? (because seriously, drake is everything) Day ruined. The grocery store is all out of the flavor of chips I’m after? Day ruined. I could go on and on but the point is, I let little things ruin an entire day! Who does that?! Well I do. So you can imagine how discouraging a – raging out of no where probably only happening because I got a pain in my arm that I can’t explain and now I’m sweaty, dizzy, light headed, pretty sure I’m having a heart attack and freaking out – panic attack can be. Of course, I’m making light of a serious situation. Panic attacks are scary as hell! but It’s super important to not let your panic attacks rule your life. They are going to happen, and you’ll get through it just like you always do. Breathe, take it one step at a time, calm down and be glad it’s over and be completely proud of yourself that you got through hell and go about your day being the boss babe you absolutely are!
Be proud of yourself
Mental illness is a hell of a time and those of us struggling with it tend to see it as a weakness. Thoughts of “why can’t I be normal?” come into play. Stop that! What even is normal!? There is really no such thing. Instead of seeing your illness as a weakness, start seeing is as a sign of how strong you are instead. I don’t know about you but I’ve survived a lot of ‘feel like’ heart attacks in my day. In all seriousness the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks can be extremely terrifying. They come in all forms. For me, it used to be the heart palpitations, shortness of breath, elephant sitting on my chest and heart pains out of this world kind of attacks but now, just when I thought I could nip it in my butt because I knew what to expect and I was prepared, my attacks took on a new form. Lately they have been seemingly appearing out of no where with no foreseen trigger (although there always is one, I’m just unaware of it at the time until its too late) they have evolved into an instant sweaty terrified mess with all kinds of dizziness, light headed almost to the point of feeling like I’m about to pass out along with tingling hands, feet and a burning sensation all along my scalp and back. When it happens, I am almost 100% certain that I’m about to die and its literally terrifying. Then, in a couple … or a lot… of minutes, I eventually calm down and can breathe again. Everybody’s anxiety and panic attacks are different but they all have one thing in common. They are mentally and physically draining and can be completely debilitating. When simple tasks such as going to work or grocery shopping or even having a conversation become an anxious situation – It takes one tough cookie to be able to endure such an experience on a regular or even semi-regular basis and still having the courage and strength to pick yourself back up and live your life to the fullest you possibly can is something you should be extremely proud of. Staying positive and knowing that one bad moment or one bad day does not make a bad life is key. You are courageous, you are powerful, you are strong and you are worth all the happiness that this beautiful life has to offer.