This week has been one HECK of a week already…and its only Tuesday.
But i’m speaking in terms of my mental health process, what actions i’m taking and what advice i’ve received. All of my advice from today’s post is from individuals that have kindly messaged me this week, in regards to a tweet I made at the end of last week.
“I have a uni presentation soon and I couldn’t sleep last night because my anxiety sky-rockets whenever I slightly think of it. No one really understands my anxiety and it sucks. It’s not ‘nerves’, it’s a full blown meltdown that I cannot control. However, I’m trying so hard to practise my words and calm down. If anyone has any good apps or ways for calming down anxiety then i’d love to know”.
I didn’t realise the response I would receive from this. I tend to write tweets in the heat of the moment sometimes, then end up deleting them. But with this one, I was in a way, crying out for help just about coping mechanisms with presentation skills. I struggle MASSIVELY with presenting in front of people. Doesn’t matter how many people, from one to a whole classroom, I freak out and have a MAJOR breakdown. It starts with me feeling anxious anyways, then I attempt to form words and nothing comes out, or if it does, the words don’t make sense, then I freak out about not being able to get the words out, my throat closes up and then I know i’ve ruined it. Then, well…yano what happens. Anxiety attacks are not a joke, they’re a real life struggle that hundreds of thousands of people deal with day in-day out.
However, this post is to say a massive thank you to those who messaged me, you know who you are! Instead of talking negatively about this subject, I want to brighten up the mood and figure out ways to deal with this mental health issue. I want to overcome it SO BADLY, that i’m willing to do anything to try and help myself.
I want to share my experiences, top tips and advice that i’ve received with you all. As this is a large part of my life, and has been since I can remember, I want to work with you guys and overcome this struggle of anxiety and calm down my presentation nightmares.
So, as I stated, I had a few messages from very kind people, explaining to me their advice and the ways they’ve coped with anxiety or presentation problems. Down below I will list the tips that they told me and hopefully they may help you! Whether it’s presentation nerves, university stress, work overload stress or everyday mental health tackling, I want my blog to be a safe space for everyone. If you feel the need to comment below having a rant and getting everything out, feel free. If you want to just share about your crazy yet amazing days, then go for it! I want this to be a positive online area for those who need it.
(As the messages were personal, I will tweak them slightly to be fit for purpose for everyone on this post).
- ‘The app, headspace. I used it all of the time when I felt panic attacks coming on. Just put earphones in, sit with your eyes closed and just listen to it. It honestly really helped”. – So this lovely lady commented on my tweet, explaining that this majorly helped with her labor! She has a beautiful little girl now. I believe the public in general don’t fully understand what it’s like to be pregnant or to have a child. and I don’t think you will understand that until it actually HAPPENS. I can imagine that it’s an extremely tough, exhausting and mentally / physically challenging journey. So this lovely lady explained that through the lead up to her labor, her panic attacks were coming along more strongly, so she realised this and used ‘headspace’ – which is an app for calming down methods and I’ve heard it works! I still need to check this out fully for myself and once I do, I’ll make a post all about it. Thank you for this piece of advice angel!
- “Take it slow, try to remain calm and I’m sure you’ll smash it” – Another amazing girly messaged me through twitter about my upcoming presentation. This was sweet and just what I needed. Reassurance is sometimes all someone needs. Remember to message your friends, family, loved ones and partners just keeping them upbeat about situations and that it’ll all be ok. Remaining calm is where I struggle, but just that extra bit of reassurance is always kind and thoughtful. This piece of advice was great because it was all positive. Positivity breeds positivity! Thank you pretty for messaging me.
- “A trick is pressing your thumb into your palm. It slows you down and is supposed to be calming”. – This was very interesting to me as i’d never heard of this technique before. I’ve struggled and dealt with anxiety and panic attacks for absolutely YEARS, but I had never heard of this and I will definitely be trying it out. I want to better myself, especially in public / social / presentation situations and something as simple and out-of-sight is just what I would need for presentations and social situations. So thank you for kindly messaging me, this has helped so much. I will definitely remember this one for a very long time.
- “Take a bottle of water with you and remember to breathe. You’ll smash it”. – My last message in regards to the presentation tweet was this one. This guy kindly messaged explaining his weekly presentations and that he believes he isn’t a good speaker either. It’s so important to breathe. I constantly forget, not even joking. Even in social situations, inside I fully freak out, even if it’s people I know. But I just stay silent, which isn’t the answer. I also forget water like 24/7, so it’s incredibly important to take water with you wherever you go. Again, for the extra bit of positivity at the end was a great push for me to believe in myself. Its times like this that are super important for all of us to believe in ourselves and recognise the work we’ve genuinely achieved. Let’s be proud!! Thank you so much for messaging me. Also, you should be proud that you’ve presented every week, that’s incredibly tough and impressive, so well done and thanks again for messaging.
Those are the key pieces of advice that I received, from downloading meditation and coping apps such as headspace and also taking water, to also breathe and small hand techniques that can calm you down subtly.
Whatever ways that work for you, find them and keep them, adapt them and create new ones. Let’s all stay positive and WE’VE GOT THIS.
My presentation is this Thursday afternoon, so wish me luck.
Love, Sophie Eleanor x