Calming the Noise in My Head

I don’t know if there’s something I’ve written about more in the past month than my increased interest in meditation. And while I’m slowly learning what the benefits for me, a very helpful one became clear earlier this week. A huge benefit of reaching a meditative state is that, even though it’s incredibly brief, the noise in my head quiets down. But it wasn’t until it quieted down that I realized just how loud and constant the noise is in my head – and learned, yet again, how anxiety can manifest in people.

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When Anxiety Leads to Restlessness

Sometimes, anxiety is like an itch you can’t scratch. You know it’s there – you can sense it, feel it, even acknowledge it if you’re able – but you feel helpless to do anything about it. I’ve experienced this feeling a few times here and there during the past week, which is what I want to talk about today.

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With Anxiety, It’s Always Something

While I’ve improved how I manage anxiety over the years, there are plenty of ways my anxiety manifests that I’ve never been able to get a handle on. No matter how much I try to manage anxiety in every possible area of my life, there always seems to be something that makes me anxious. Once I see what that something is, I work to manage that anxiety or try to problem solve as best I can. But when that problem is solved, it seems like something else pops up in its place that also makes me anxious. So why does this happen, and what can we do about it?

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Having Anxiety During Vacation

Anxiety is not fun. Being on vacation, for the most part, is fun. So what happens when the two are combined? Well friends, I’d like to share with you what it’s like to deal with anxiety when you’re on vacation. It’s something I’ve been doing for years, and even before the pandemic, I knew there would be challenges when I took time off. But I’ve learned that while there will always be challenges, preparation can make a world of a difference when I try to enjoy my time off.

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A Weekend Derailed By Anxiety

I had a different post planned for this week that I hope I can post soon, but some things happened over the weekend that inspired a different type of post from me today. As I’ve written before, sometimes anxiety beats me, and on Saturday I had one of the worst anxiety attacks I’ve had in a long time. Before I continue I should say that I am doing better now, and that the situation itself is resolved. But one of the reasons I view this as one of the most difficult anxiety attacks I’ve had in a long time was because of how hard it was to not view it as an enormous setback, which is what I’d like to write about today.

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Strategies To Help Manage Social Anxiety

Earlier this week, I opened up a conversation about how social anxiety continues to exist in a pandemic, and how it can be even harder to manage because of it. It’s helpful that I can be more selective about social interactions due to the pandemic, but it also means there are fewer opportunities to try and work through some of that social anxiety and overcome it when I can. Fortunately, there several strategies and tips that I’ve learned over the years that help me manage my anxiety, and they can be helpful in most social situations regardless of the specifics. Here are some of my most-used strategies that help me manage social anxiety on a daily basis!

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Common Physical Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

The first time someone brought up the term ‘symptoms’ in connection with mental health, I was confused. All my life, I’d been told that symptoms are diseases and chronic conditions. If something feels off, it was understood that you hit up WebMD to find out which symptoms could match up with what you’re feeling. So when this therapist brought up several physical symptoms to describe my chronic (which I didn’t know at the time) anxiety, I was put off. But once they explained further, I began to understand that certain physical symptoms can indicate other types of anxiety disorders past my own.

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It Feels Like Something’s Always Wrong – And That’s Okay

Every so often, I look up the symptoms of my mental health disorders. Usually, I do it if it’s been long enough that I can’t remember the last time I did it. Sometimes I get lost and end up in a DSM wasteland (that’s the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders), but I try not to get too deep into it because I am not a mental health professional.

Anyway, I was doing this last week when I decided I hadn’t checked out the symptoms of GAD in a bit. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, aka GAD, affects 3.1% of the entire U.S. population, so it’s not like it’s an entirely foreign disorder. But since everyone is different, certain symptoms of GAD can impact people more than others. For me, it would be the ‘excessive anxiety and worry’ symptom that strikes time and again.

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Five Things to Do When Depression Hits

There’s no doubt about it, depression sucks. Whether it’s having no energy, not enjoying anything, crying for no reason or just wishing you weren’t here (fun STUFF am I right?), there are plenty of symptoms that can be a sign that something is off.

When depression hits, I try to fight it. I’m not saying I’m always successful, but I do make the effort – much more than I used to. And I’ve learned a thing or two over the years about what can help turn a depression day into a (somewhat) normal day. That might not sound like much, but to me, it’s enough. Here are five things you can (try to) do when depression hits you like a ton of bricks.

Get out of bed

Depression can sap you of your energy and make you not want to do anything – even something that seems as simple as leaving your bed can be a monumental task. It’s not always easy, but getting out of bed and interacting with the world can go a long way. It’s easy to stay in bed when you’re tired or you want extra sleep, but when you feel crippled by depression and don’t want to leave, that’s a sign that you might need help. I’ve had many days where I feel like I didn’t accomplish anything, but when I remember that I got out of bed and chose to be a human – that day gets a little easier.

Eat healthy foods

Eating healthily might sound like a pro tip for the general public, but it can also help improve your mental health. Sometimes when I’m depressed, I have the urge to eat junk food until my stomach is sick – making me feel as bad physically as I do mentally. Seeing the link between mental health and physical health is an important step toward self-improvement. If you can improve how you feel physically, that may help how you feel mentally.

Tell someone

It’s important to tell someone that you’re feeling depressed or having an off day. No, they are not responsible for making the depression go away. Sometimes there isn’t anything they can do at all. When I am depressed, I feel like I’m all alone – that no one else is going through what I’m going through. Since in reality, that’s not true, reminding myself that I’m not alone is paramount to getting through the depression. Having someone out there that knows how you’re feeling can go a long way, and make you feel less alone in your struggle.


I’ve talked about physical wellness before, but it’s an important aspect of getting out of that depression funk so I don’t want to gloss over it. Please know that when I say exercise, I don’t necessarily mean hitting the gym and lifting weights. Any form of exercise can be helpful to someone who’s depressed. Going for a run, doing yoga, biking outside, or even just taking a walk around the block can help keep those depression symptoms at bay. Try to do get some exercise when you’re feeling down – it’s more important than you think.

Practice Coping Strategies

We all have different coping strategies for dealing with mental illness. Over the years, I have found what works – and what doesn’t work – when it comes to my depression and anxiety. But that came after a process of trial and error. Use this time to practice coping strategies that you’ve learned from friends, therapy, the Internet, wherever. They might not all work. That’s okay! You practice them so you can see what works for you. Everyone’s different and oftentimes, it doesn’t matter what you do to cope with depression as long as it’s healthy and keeps your feelings at bay.

i am bent, but not broken. i am scarred, but not disfigured. i am sad, but not hopeless. i am tired, but not powerless. i am angry, but not bitter. i am depressed, but not gi