19 Of Zoella's Very Best Anxiety Tips
Some handy help from the queen of YouTube...
Zoe Sugg is the gal that everybody wants as their BFF. She's totally cute, so lovely and could give you three billion fashion and beauty tips. Plus hello, you could hang with her pug Nala, all day, urryday.
But she's also a fountain of knowledge when it comes do dealing with anxiety. Whether it's a fleeting panic or full blown attacks that you face, these tips will help you learn how to deal.
Zoe says: "I would describe anxiety as a little part of your brain that refuses to let you do particular things with ease because of the way it's programmed. I also like to say that a person with anxiety is like a car on the street whose alarm gets set off by a little leaf that's fallen from a tree, whereas the people who don't experience anxiety are the cars that the only time their alarm goes off is if someone is breaking into it. It can really debilitate and control the way people live their lives."
1. Avoid big crowds
"I get anxious around big crowds, I feel like I’m being smothered when I feel panicky. Get outside, go to a public toilet. I know that doesn't sound great but it’s really quiet and it's just you."
2. Leave a conversation
"If it’s a person that making you feel anxious then get away from them without being rude. Just slip yourself away. I can find myself talking to somebody and they will be making me feel anxious. I just say I’m going to pop and get a drink and leave."
3. Stay organised
"Try and stay organised. I always find if things are a bit more organised in your life, then everything is a little bit more organised in your mind."
4. Get enough sleep
"Getting enough sleep is vital, and making sure you have days off and time out for yourself is also important."
5. Do some exercise
"Gentle exercise is also great; I find just dancing around my house to my favourite playlist is enough to kick-start the day, and yoga is good too."
6. Plan ahead
'I also find that getting movement beyond the situation you find yourself in is helpful, such as thinking what you'll be doing later that day, or wondering what you'll have for your tea. That seems to be a technique that works for me."
7. Speak to a professional
"I have a therapist that specialises in anxiety who I speak to and she helps dramatically. I think the first and most important thing is to talk to someone, whether that's a friend, parent, co-worker or straight to a doctor."
"I left it far too long before I decided to seek professional help and I wished I'd done it sooner. I would also say to never give up finding the right person to help you, or to speak to. It can be so easy just to stop looking, especially if you are having a good few months and feel like you don't need it."
8. Download apps
"I use a lot of relaxation, meditation and calming apps. I have a whole folder. There's one called called Relax Light that's free, but I paid and got the Relax Full version. It's got 28-minute talks so if you're feeling stressed or anxious or you're having a bad time you put in your headphones and this man tells you to stretch and relax your muscles. Then there are ones that just have calming sounds. There's one called Relax Melodies that's really good. I like to listen to the sea."
9. Make a playlist
I love more chilled out music when I'm feeling anxious like Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Bastille, George Ezra. It's worth making a playlist of all your favourite chill out songs!"
10. Believe in yourself
"I'm constantly having a battle with myself. But you do have control over your body. You have to think of the worst case scenario and how that's not going to happen. You're not going to die. You can do this."
11. Do what works for you
"When I’m actually having a panic attack, I find the only things that really take the edge off, are going outside, walking away from the place I was and fanning myself (I know this sounds weird, and probably looks it, but when you have so much adrenaline and your muscles are pumped, you should do some form of exercise to use this, which is why I frantically fan myself or walk or knock my knees together or flap my arms around). Fanning also helps with the horrible hot flushes you’ll experience, and cool you down."
12. Be alone
"If I’m with someone, I need them to stay quiet unless I ask them something. I can’t handle anyone talking to me, or trying to distract me, or working me up. At the time of a panic attack, I don’t need someone highlighting the fact I’m panicking by making me say the alphabet backwards. It’s nice to know someone is with you, but If I’m having a panic attack, I’m already hearing everything 10 times louder and need to try and calm down. You also don’t have a lot of energy to speak, as any energy you do have, is being used everywhere else."
13. Slow down
"My panic attacks are a lot worse when I am stressed, or run-down, so I find it’s really important to give myself a break. For many people that means taking time off work or going on holiday. I just make sure I get enough sleep, try to be as organised as possible and don’t rush anywhere. You may think the last one is a given, but for a while, being in “fast-paced” London made everything a lot worse. In the mornings before I’d leave to go home, my boyfriend and I decided we would get ready slowly, walk slowly and even wait for the next tube if we weren’t there in time (I literally didn’t rush anywhere for about four weeks) and this made SUCH a difference."
14. Write it down
"I also think it’s important to write down how you are feeling if you feel like you are about to panic. Once when I was on the tube, I started having a panic attack, so I whacked out my phone and started frantically writing how I felt and every time something changed mentally or physically, I’d write it. This weirdly, calmed me down a lot quicker. I don’t know if this is because it distracted me, or because it made everything slightly more logical."
15. Have an escape plan
"I do find however, that driving (so i know I can leave when I want), or having someone who is prepared to pick me up, makes things a lot less tense. Knowing I can get home if I do panic, puts me at ease. If you were to tell me we were all getting a taxi at 3am an hour from home, I’d freak out."
16. Don’t set a time limit
"I don’t like to have set times for things, as I feel a bit trapped. Sounds weird, but i’m sure plenty of you know exactly what I mean. I won’t even book an advanced train ticket any more (even though they are slightly cheaper), I get a ticket which gives me a bit of lee-way so I don’t have to rush anywhere or be stuck to one time."
17. Pamper yourself
"If you are at a place you haven’t been before, pamper yourself, take a bit longer picking out your outfit, feel good about yourself and think, ‘I’m a well put together person, I can do this.’ I always say makeup is amazing because it give people that little bit more confidence and this works the same way."
18. Be present in social situations
"Be engaged in a conversation. Don’t worry that they are a new person or think about the judgment or what they will think of you. I think it’s good to have a couple of questions that you are ready to ask people. Or find out their interests. A lot of the time, if you are holding back or it’s a bit, ‘Oh hi, how are you?’ and you are kind of already thinking about how to find your friend then you will never enjoy that conversation."
19. Bring a friend
"Take someone with you in a social situation and feel comfortable in a three. But challenge yourself and don’t just leave it up to your friends."
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