Tag Archives: anxiety

Making New Friends As An Adult

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Making New Friends As An Adult

Hey everyone and happy Sunday! As I make my way deeper into my twenty somethings, I find that I have had an increasingly difficult time making new friends. I work for myself, I’m no longer forced to be around anyone because I’m not in school, and, sometimes, talking to new people can be down right scary! Although Lil Red might seem like a confident gal, I still have issues with social anxiety. And, racing thoughts of whether an attempt at small talk will be a hit or miss can leave even the most confident in a tizzy.

But, then, I started utilizing the “what have I got to lose” mindset. The literal worst that can happen is that someone gives you the old “let’s get coffee sometime” and you never do. But, if you’re successful, you could have a brand new friend to get to know and spend time with.

I’ve began putting myself out there more and more lately and, I’ve got to say, it feels great! I’ve been attending different clubs of my interests at the local libraries and have even suggested a hang out with my favorite barista at Starbucks – and it worked! I have also been trying hard to maintain wonderful relationships with my old friends, because a phone works two ways.

I want to continue spending my free time in a meaningful way, and putting forth a better effort to make new friends has definitely helped me achieve this goal. Within just a few months, I feel like my anxiety in unfamiliar situations or speaking with a stranger while out and about has decreased significantly.

I started out small, by striking up a Facebook conversation with the people that I admired from afar and worked my way up from there. And, now, I have a plethora of both new and old friends that I would feel comfortable initiating a hang out with. I’m proud of myself for setting this goal and sticking to it, because meeting new people can be hard. But, once I got over the initial scare factor, it turned out to be an exciting adventure in my life and I’m looking forward to continuing to meet more new potential friends!

Does anyone else experience difficulty making new friends in adulthood? What are some of your tips for putting yourself out there? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Duolingo Progress (Finally!)

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Duolingo Progress (Finally!)

Hello!! So for a solid month I felt like I was completely slacking not only on Pacer, but on Duolingo, too. I was feeling super unmotivated and depressed and, damnit, I just didn’t feel like doing anything. But, now that I’m back to my normal, chipper, go getter self, it was time to get back on the horse and start making some progress again.

I’ve recently began working on my advanced French and beginner Spanish again and, I’ve got to tell you, it feels great. The mental exercise that I get from spending time with my languages daily makes me wonder why I ever stopped practicing in the first place, because I feel so good afterwards. In fact, it has motivated me to start practicing sign language again, which I took a hiatus from after having difficulty finding folks to practice with. Regardless of regular use or not, knowing a plethora of languages is an amazing skill to have, and I want to keep sharpening those skills on the daily.

I was halfway nervous to start practicing my languages again after a depression break, because I was worried that I had lost all of my knowledge in one short month. But, like riding a bike, I was able to pick up right where I left off and have since been enjoying every second of it. I’m proud that I didn’t let my anxiety about forgetting my skills get the best of me in regards to whether I should bother practicing again or not. And, even if I did forget anything, the worst that could happen is that I relearn something – and what’s the harm in that?

I’m getting back to feeling great mentally and physically after a rough past month and I am ready to continue making daily progress again just like in the good old days! 😀

Are you learning a new language right now? Who else utilizes Duolingo? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Are You An Anxious Night Owl?

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Are You An Anxious Night Owl?

In recent years, awareness of anxiety has come to the forefront. Aside from making you nervous, a full-blown case of anxiety can leave you on edge and unable to calm down. It feels as though you’re about to face something frightening every second of the day, and it can leave you on the brink of breaking.

If this sounds familiar, you should speak to your doctor and seek treatment which helps you to get on top of this. But, we aren’t focusing on treatment today. Instead, we’re going to address something few anxiety sufferers speak about: the fact that symptoms often get worse in the evenings.

In many ways, this seems strange. Surely anxiety should abate when you get home and let loose? But, often, the situation worsens once you get home. In many ways, this could be because you’re no longer distracted by work. As such, you’ll feel the full effects of the condition. But, this is also, in part, down to how we spend our evenings – so we’re going to look at a few every day habits which can make matters worse:

The Television Trap:

While television usage has dropped in recent years, many of us still put the box on the moment that we get home. It’s a comfort, and it helps a lot of us to relax. But, what you might not realize is that television can also boost anxiety in some ways. Even if you avoid anxiety-inducing programs, advertisements fill us with worries about what we don’t have. They also lead to comparisons with those on screen. On top of which, television eats time like nothing else. It could leave you feeling as though your evening’s over before it’s begun.

So, for at least a few hours, turn the TV off. Rely, instead, on board games like Scrabble. These still take complete concentration but without comparison. You can even avoid disputes by using tools like this word.tips word finder to check anything you’re unsure of. If that doesn’t appeal, you could always turn to hobbies like reading or coloring to see you through. The chances are, that you’ll feel much better after an evening of doing these.

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There’s nothing better than a good book!

You’re Too Hung Up On The Day:

Many of us also make the mistake of overthinking our days once we get home. And, we still wonder why we have anxiety-induced headaches by the end of the night. In truth, you should avoid thinking about work during your evenings. Draw a line under the day with a quick walk around the block or even a meditation session to ease your mind. Then, turn your attention to something else every time work crosses your mind. Getting this distance could work wonders for helping you to relax. Bear in mind that it may take longer to adjust to than you expect. After all, you’ve spent years thinking about work all evening, every evening. But, if you focus your attention here, you could soon find that your mind is much calmer when you need it to be.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Final Therapy Update

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Final Therapy Update

Helloooo! I hope that all of you are having a wonderful weekend so far. As you can tell by the title of this post, this will be my Final Therapy Update until I choose to go again. I was definitely on the fence about going to my appointment this week, and I ended up canceling it.

I just feel tired of going over the same things week in and week out, and I almost feel like being in therapy gave me an excuse to engage in risky behaviors like binge eating or drinking, because I could just talk about it at my next appointment. My therapy sessions were very helpful to a point, but I felt like the metaphorical wall had been hit, and none of the advice that I was getting was anything that I felt like I could utilize.

This is not to say that I didn’t like my therapist at all, because I really did. But, I also felt like she was trying to force a belief system on me that I was not comfortable with, and didn’t seem to have any other advice but that. Although I could totally research things on my own, I did expect to gain some new insights during therapy and, after a while, I just wasn’t any more.

If a mental rough patch comes up, I do plan on returning again so that I have a safe place to communicate my feelings. But, for now, I am taking my medication daily and seeing what I can do on my own to start improving things for myself.

Has there been a time when therapy has been helpful for you? What are some of your mental health struggles? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Therapy Edition

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Monday Update: Therapy Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to another week here on lifewithlilred! As many of you have shown an interest in my therapy journey, here is an update. Meh, it’s going so so. I feel like I have hit the metaphorical wall where nothing seems helpful and I’m running out of things to talk about. And, I’m getting frustrated with rehashing the same shit just worded differently all of the time.

I’ve actually been playing around with the idea of not going after the few appointments left that I have scheduled. But, I feel like that’s a bad idea. Maybe once every two weeks would be a bit better. I don’t know, it’s just becoming more of an annoyance than anything, and I feel like I’m getting even more pissed off by my weekly visits.

Obviously, there’s still a bunch of stuff in the ol’ mental health department that I need to work on, but I just feel kind of burnt out. Like I’m so micro-focused on it that it’s making me even more depressed, anxious, and just all around angry. I feel like I need a break. I guess that will just be something to chat about during this week’s session, amIright?!

Who else has felt similarly to the above during their time in therapy? How did you deal with it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Help! Feeling Stressed

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Help! Feeling Stressed

Sweaty palms, splitting headaches, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping at night: all of these are indications of stress. Stress is an invisible yet destructive phenomena that can damage your mental and physical health, without mentioning your relationships in your personal and professional life. When you’re stressed out, you’re not yourself anymore. Not that you turn into the kind of strong and powerful character that the Hulk becomes. You become weaker and more easy to break. Stress is the Kryptonite of Superman. It affects you in ways that can isolate, harm, and limit you in your every day life. That’s precisely why it’s crucial that you don’t approach stress without a plan.

Silence is where anxiety brews:

The more you stress about things, the more it turns into a constant feeling of anxiety. And anxiety is not just a thing that you can brush aside easily. It’s debilitating! So it’s important to develop healthy habits before it eats you alive. You need to learn to talk about it with someone you trust, whether it’s a friend or a therapist – or both. More often than not, being able to open up about what’s going on in your mind is all you need to get back on track and take control again. Additionally, if you work with a therapist, you can discover the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy, which can help you to develop a healthy response to stress. But ultimately, the easiest way to destroy stress is to get rid of the stressful factor.

Is it a money problem?

If you’re stressed out over financial issues, you need to look for solutions rapidly before it destroys your sanity. For instance, if you’re struggling with loan repayment, you can consider loan refinancing options such as Refinancestudent.loan for student loan repayment or a new mortgage deal. If you’re in debt; it’s time to learn to manage your budget efficiently and find ways of saving money without depriving yourself – in other words, where can you cut down on expenses without putting your health and professional career at risk?

Is it a love problem?

Relationships are difficult to maintain, so it’s natural to feel stressed out when things go wrong. Thankfully, these are problems that can be sorted out through communication and with common effort. But, there are situations where the best thing that you can do is to let go of the relationship. If you have contempt for each other, this could evolve into finger-pointing and resentment that could really push you two apart.

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^^^ Amen to that!

Is it health related?

When your health is at risk, of course, it’s impossible not to stress out. However, stress weakens your body. According to Healthcoachfx.com, stress consumes a lot of energy which your immune system can’t use to heal your body. As impossible as it sounds, when you’re dealing with serious diseases, you need to learn to relax through meditation and mindful activities to help decrease your stress levels and strengthen your immune system.

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Yoga helps, too!

Stress is like a tight embrace of darkness. Don’t let it win. Talk about it and look for a solution to better handle your problems so that you can start feeling better today.

Featured Image By: Flickr

Therapy Update (Since You Asked!)

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Therapy Update (Since You Asked!)

Hellooo! So I’ve gotten quite a few requests for a follow up post about my journey that I started a month or so ago when I chose to go back to therapy. So, here it is! I’ll tell you what, the first few weeks were hard with a capital H-A-R-D. I forgot about the whole therapy process of feeling like utter shit after unearthing painful memories. So, for about three or so weeks, I was a hot mess. I was extremely depressed, mentally and physically exhausted, and retreating to old not so good habits.

But then, the hour long appointments began getting easier and I was even starting to enjoy going to them. First of all, I freaking love my therapist. She is so kind and easy to talk to AND she laughs at all of my bad jokes, which is a wonderful added bonus. On our first session together, she taught me about the importance of deep breathing when I am feeling stressed, upset, or overwhelmed and I employ that skill often now. It’s crazy how something that we don’t even think about, like breathing, can make you feel so much better and clear headed once you take a moment to pause and take a good, deep breath.

My therapist has also helped me with changing my thought patterns, because I tend to have an “it’s the end of the world” mind frame when something goes wrong, so we have worked on addressing that. It’s so nice to have a safe place to go and express my feelings and troubles every week with no judgement or backlash. I look forward to my therapy sessions and am proud of the progress that I have made thus far.

How do you do something good for your mental health? How do you calm yourself when you are upset? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah