I always feel anxious whenever I feel unwell. A dark cloud always comes over me when I get sick. I've had to deal with anxiety since I had my first pulmonary embolism in 2018. It felt like it was easier to manage when I was busy at work, but that didn't help. I was just avoiding the issue and it eventually emptied my tank. After I had my second pulmonary embolism, I realized I needed help.
A huge part of recovering from an illness relies on having a sound mind. Battling physical illnesses requires you to have a strong will. I know my issues are extraordinary compared to most, but I thought I'd share what I've been doing because it may help you or a loved one who may need help. Here's a list:
1. Sleep - I had trouble sleeping for years. My doctor kept reminding me that getting 8 hours of sleep was important for recovery. What helped me was putting a few drops of lavender on an essential oil stone. Using an air filter also help a lot (doc said breathing well is a huge part of getting proper sleep). Praying the rosary before sleeping also helped me calm down.
I guess a huge part of being anxious was being far away from home. I rarely have trouble falling asleep since I got home.
2. Look Up - I got this tip from my Kuya. Whenever the black cloud sets in and my train of thought goes dark, I break it by looking up. It forces me to think of something else.
3. Essential Oils - I have been using EOs since 2019. It was my HS classmate who's a doctor who finally convinced me to use them. I do a lot of research though before using any oil to make sure it doesn't interact with my meds. I diffuse several times a week and the boys love it too because it makes our home smell good.
4. Drinking Lots of Water - I doubled my water intake. It made my blood flow better and resolved kidney issues. Feeling good means less anxiety.
5. Exercise - this was never in my dictionary. The only willing exercise I used to do was malling*. It's the only place I could easily get 10k steps. My back ached so bad after my first PE I had to go see a spine doctor. He enrolled me in physiotherapy. My PT said I should treat exercise like the requirement to brush my teeth. Strangely that's what got me moving! As long as I do at least 30 wall push-ups a day I've been okay. This has helped expand my lungs, keep my core firm and keep my joints working properly. I guess it helps produce needed endorphins too. I'm not as grumpy anymore.
6. Hugs - get at least 8 hugs a day.
7. Do some gardening - watering plants have been helping me with balance. I use it as escape time to stay offline too.
8. Stay offline - my doctors mandated this for me. I set up my phone to track how much time I spent online. It took me four months before I became less wired. I realized that my doctors mandate to stay offline was the best advise they gave me.
9. Get a hobby - I read that anxiety stems from being unable to control a situation. I found it very useful to work on my hobbies. It made me feel accomplished whenever I finished a project. Working on your hobbies also help keep you offline and away from triggers!
10. Know your triggers. A good understanding of what stresses you out is important in managing your well-being. Part of this includes surrounding yourself with people who truly love you.
Of course, pray and always remember that Papa God loves you.
*Malling - going to the mall to shop!