A Self Help Blog from your Average, Quarantined, Anxious Girl

You’re stuck. And, I’m not just talking about mentally. I mean you’re physically stuck. Because, we’re all stuck. Basically, the outside is lava right now, and March has lasted for 849837 days. So, yeah, you’re probably mentally stuck, too.
But, you don’t have to be. Yes, there’s a lot of uncertainty around you right now. Yes, the world is chaotic evil at the moment. Yes, it’s a little like a bad episode of “Bad Mirror” right now. BUT, it’s also Spring. And, even though we’re going through a crazy time, Mother Earth said, “Bring on the flowers, warmer temperatures, and bright colors, anyway.” Everything is starting to bloom. There are yellows and purples, and pinks all over your own yards right now. There is sunshine that you can enjoy from your porch. The grass is growing. So, get your lawn care tools ready, because, unfortunately, you still have some adulting to do, even during a world pandemic. Spring is springing, y’all. Take comfort in knowing, that while it may seem like there’s no routines or normalcy anymore, Mother Earth is still keeping the same, steady pace.

 


“But I could care less about the outside. It’s humid, and there are bugs out there.” Yeah, I see your type, too. So, here’s the thing. There is so much to do inside your home during this time, too. Get creative. I mean really dig deep. You’ve been given the opportunity to expand your horizons. Learning French been on your to do list? Congratulations! You now have the time to do so. Ever wanted to learn how to crochet? Paint? Make a Corn Cob Pipe? YouTube is your friend! Learn something new. The possibilities are endless!
“I’ve already learned everything there is to learn. I’m the Master of every single trade.” O.k, I see you guys, too. So, all that power must be stressful. Might I suggest meditation or yoga? I’ve personally downloaded an app called: “Meditopia”, and it’s wonderful. I highly recommend. As for Yoga, I’ve pretty much mastered Mountain Pose. Not to brag, or anything.

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I think you get my point, right? Now is the time to completely re-wire your brain to see the positivity that’s floating all around you. Think about how lucky you are, that you get to do your civic duty from the comfort of your own home. It feels lonely right now, but it’s all temporary. This will end. Life will return to normal, and these few months of worry and uncertainty will eventually be behind us.
So, now is the time to be thankful that all you have to do to save the world, is binge watch Netflix in your Christmas jammies, while eating cosmic brownies.

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Depression, loneliness, and anxiety may try to take over, but you tell them to screw right off! You are stronger than this quarantine. You are a warrior, saving the world, one episode of Tiger King at a time. (Shout out to Joe Exotic, and that Bitch, Carole.)

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Keeping Peace amongst the Chaos

Let’s not pretend the world isn’t completely crazy right now. There’s chaos, anxiety, and uncertainty everywhere. I’ve said, “This is so crazy”, a crazy amount of times over the last couple weeks.
I’ve closed my small business down due to the virus, then watched as all my fellow small businesses fell, one by one. I’ve watched the scary numbers climb everyday. I’ve seen the panic buying first hand. I’ve heard the anxiety filled questions from people all around me. I’ve seen and heard all the bad these last two weeks, that’s for sure.
But, I’ve also embraced the good. I’ve searched out the positivities. And, while I’ve had my fair share of anxieties and fears, I’ve also found some peace. Here’s how I’m clinging to the good:

– Going outside everyday
Getting fresh air is so important. Watching the flowers bloom, and the sun shine, brings a sense of normalcy to it all. It’s comforting knowing that the outside hasn’t changed. The Earth is going on as usual. The seasons are changing, and the colors are starting to burst. Go out and breathe it all in.

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– Meditation
I’ve never really participated in meditation, but since this all started, it’s been such a help. I found an app called “Meditopia”. It’s $4.99/mo, and it offers so much. I highly recommend. It includes hundreds of guided meditations, blogs, daily inspirations, stories, challenges, etc. I use it when I have trouble sleeping, when I’m having an anxiety attack, when I feel depressed, and when I just need to take a breather.

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– Staying in contact with loved ones
We can’t just hang out with our friends right now, but it’s important to check in with your people. Text, call, Facetime. Do whatever you need to, to keep the sense of feeling connected.

– Make a daily activity list
This helps to give you a routine. I make a list of things to get done every morning, even if those things are trivial. I try to do at least one chore a day, one activity with my husband, and one creative/artistic activity. It give a sense of purpose and structure.

– Remind yourself that this is all temporary
Yes, it’s a scary time. We don’t know when it’s all going to be over. We don’t know the end results. But, one thing we do know, is that it WILL NOT last forever. Life will return to normal. We will come out on the other side. You will hug your loved ones again. You will return to work. You will be able to do regular social activities again. You WILL get to the other side. Repeat that to yourself as many times as you need.

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LIfe is a little scary right now. And, everything listed above is just what has been helping me. I can’t guarantee it will help you. But, it is possible to find peace amongst the chaos right now. You may just have to reach down as deep as you can.
Please stay home and stay safe during this time. Much love. ♥

You and Your Disorder: A Guide to Living Your Best Life.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you don’t have to be ashamed of your mental disorder. You can be proud of who you are. It’s perfectly fine to accept ALL of who you are. This isn’t a one-step process. It takes more than just saying you’re going to accept your flaws, for it to happen. You have to really reach inside yourself, dig down deep.

 

Step One:

Admit you have a mental disorder. This seems obvious, but trust me, it’s really not that simple. I lived in denial for like, YEARS. I wanted to be “normal” so badly, I just ignored it, and hoped it would just go away on its own. Spoiler alert: it didn’t. Here’s what it DID do: kept heating up inside me until it boiled over. Eventually, it was spilling out everywhere. Once the pot boils over, the water goes all over the place. It makes a huge mess, and it smells bad. The thing I’ve noticed is… most people let it get to that point before admitting their disorder exists. But, that doesn’t have to be the case. You can admit that the disorder is real, and keep all of your water in the pot.

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Step Two:

 

Don’t panic. Now, that you’ve admitted to having the mental disorder, you may start to freak out. The bad thoughts will probably start to creep in. You may worry that your life won’t be the same anymore. You may feel like a freak. You’ll more than likely feel alone. But, you’re not. You are not alone. And, your life doesn’t have to drastically change. You are the same you as you were before the diagnosis. The fear can try to take over, but don’t let it. You are stronger than your disorder. Believe that. It may be a part of who you are, but it is not ALL of who you are.

 

Step Three:

 

Talk to someone. Keeping all your fears to yourself isn’t healthy. You never need to feel like a burden for talking about your disorder. Keeping it in can eat you alive. Trust me, this is coming from experience. At the very least, write it down. Get it out of your head and on to a page. It helps.

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Step Four:

 

Accept it. This is a cliché thing to say, but it’s important. Knowing you have a disorder, and accepting it, are two very different things. You can live a healthy life, alongside your disorder IF you accept the fact that it’s not going anywhere. You WILL have bad days. You WILL feel hopeless sometimes. You WILL have the disorder forever, because there is no cure. And, you WILL also have good days. Embrace the bad, and cherish the good.

 

 

Step Five:

Love yourself. This is the last step. And, the most important. Your disorder does NOT define you. You are valuable and should never doubt your worth. It is not lessened because of any diagnosis you’ve received.

 

Will following these steps make all your problems go away? No. But, they can help. Sometimes, all you need is to be reminded of how important you are. You need to know that a diagnosis on paper, doesn’t change the person you are on the inside.

You are going to get discouraged sometimes. You’re going to feel scared, and sometimes alone. Some days will be harder than others. Just don’t forget about the good days. Hold onto them. Look forward to them. Thoroughly enjoy them.

And, above all, always remember to remind yourself that you are not alone.

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We aren’t going to Ask for Help

People always say things like, “Don’t be ashamed to ask for help.” Or, “If you’re feeling depressed, get help.”

This isn’t bad advice. And, it almost always comes from a good place. Here’s the thing, though: if you’re really struggling with depression and/or severe anxiety, you’re most likely NOT going to be asking for help.

It’s not out of stubbornness or because of pride. It’s just a side effect of depression. It makes you lie to people. It makes you put on a front to let everyone think you’re doing fine, when you are not fine inside your mind at all.

Depression can follow a person every second of the day. Just because you see someone laughing and being social, doesn’t mean their depression isn’t lurking. It’s a disease that’s always there. A smile can hide a lot of pain. Emotions go deeper than a “surface” smile.

You cannot wait for someone with depression to ask you for help. You have to watch for the signs. You have to offer help. That can be in the form of a, “just checking on you” message, or a coffee date.

Little gestures may not seem like they’re breaking down walls, but sometimes those small acts of kindness are the only thing getting a person through the day.

It’s important to understand sufferers of depression aren’t weak, angry, or selfish. They’re just going through something. Love and support go a long way.

Don’t wait for a cry for help. Be the out-of-the-blue help a person may need. You never know the difference you can make.

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My Anxiety Tells me that you Hate me.

We’ve all had those days, right? The ones where you feel like everyone and everything is out to get you. The kind of day that makes you want to wall yourself up in your house and never leave again. This is what everyday feels like to those of us with Anxiety. It’s a feeling we have to push through every single day. Anxiety tells us to worry about people talking behind our backs. It tells us to be scared of judgement. It tells us to hide away. But, our heart tells us to love people. It wants us to be open and inviting. We’re social butterflies with social anxiety. We are the definition of an oxymoron.

Anxiety can make it feel like the whole world is against you. It lies to you. It kicks you when you’re down. It’s a constant nagging feeling in the back of your brain. It’s a lump in your throat when meeting new people. It’s paranoia when you walk into a quiet room. It’s fear of rejection. Anxiety is sometimes being afraid to leave the house because you know something is going to go wrong.

Living with anxiety is hard, because you know that when things are going good, it’s just a matter of time before it comes crashing down. It’s depression. It’s distancing yourself from the ones you love. (And being extremely grateful when those people don’t give up on you.)

When something goes wrong, a person with Anxiety will obsess over it. If we make a mistake, we will beat ourselves up more than anyone else is capable of doing. We apologize more than we should, and then feel like we’re being a burden for doing so.

If a person with Anxiety is backing off from you, don’t take it personally. We’re probably scared we’re going to lose you. We may seem unapproachable, but we are some of the most understanding group of people around. We know what it’s like to feel alone, and we don’t want anyone else feeling that way.

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I’m Loving Me.

Listen, there is NOTHING wrong with having self love. There’s nothing wrong with having confidence and taking pride in yourself. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

I’ve struggled with insecurities. So many of them. I will never lie and say otherwise. Confidence has never been a strength of mine.

I’m a social butterfly that dreads meeting new people and going to new places because of low self-esteem and social anxiety.

I always feared that people would see me the way I see myself in the mirror.

But, I’m putting this mentality behind me now. I’m checking my insecurities at the door.

I am who I am. I struggle with my weight. I have dark circles under my eyes. I don’t like my smile. But, I am so much more than that.

I’m a wife. A friend. A daughter. A sister. A believer. A photographer. A lover of all people. These qualities far outweigh my own insecurities.

I’m loving me. I’m loving me for all I am, and all I have to offer. And, you love you for all you have to offer, too. We’ll get through our insecurities together.

It’s time to start looking in the mirror and seeing past our flaws. It’s time to start seeing everything that makes us unique and beautiful. It’s time to embracing ourselves.

I’m preaching to myself here, too. It’s time to take my own advice.

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The Physical Effects of Anxiety

Everyone knows the amount of emotional distress Anxiety Disorder can cause. It’s enough to bring anyone to tears. It’s enough to cause the strongest of people to just breakdown. I’ve been seen it bring complete defeat.

All of the emotional effects aside, anxiety can play a huge physical toll on your body.

Exhaustion

Every panic/anxiety attack sucks every fiber of energy out of your body. It can lead to not being able to leave the bed for the rest of the day. Your body and your mind can barely function sometimes.

Muscle aches

During an attack, every muscle in your body is tensed up. Spasms aren’t uncommon, either. Later, when your mind has relaxed, your body still feels like it’s been hit by a bus.

Headaches

When there’s a constant battle inside your brain, it’s bound to cause a headache. Even if just gr8 the sheer stress alone.

There are also several that may not effect everyone, but do effect some. For example: stomach ulcers, migraines, nausea, uncontrollable twitching, irregular heartbeat, seizures, and even suicide. Yes. Even suicide. I’ve seen this disease bring down those who tried to be strong for so long.

If you’re struggling, and feel like you’ve been strong for too long, please talk to someone. Get help.

( 1 800-273-8255 – suicide hotline, available 24/7)

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