How To Cope With Anxiety

I’m just going to put it bluntly, anxiety is shit. I have dealt with it daily for over 10 years. Most of the time it isn’t bad enough to rule over my day, but those days/nights where my anxiety is so intense that I can barely catch my breath are awful. I had my first one of those creep up on me after months of nothing last night. I got through it in an unusual way, so I’ve decided to compile a list of quick fixes and long term treatments you can do if you’re struggling with your anxiety!
Quick Fixes

  • Distraction

I always find that the first trick I turn to when I feel anxious is to distract myself, whether that be on my phone, a game, putting the TV on or simply going for a walk. Sometimes that is literally all you will need. A distraction long enough to make you forget about what you were anxious about in the first place. Often I’m not even sure why I feel anxious or what thought triggered my feelings, so I find doing something different will change my train of thought.

  • Shout it out

Sometimes I find that I mistake frustration for anxiety, or even that my frustration and stresses create the anxiety. If this is something you feel happens to you then my suggestion is to just let it out.

– Go and find a quiet place and shout out your frustration. 

– Maybe nominate a friend that you can call and just rant to (offer the same back to them for if they ever need it, of course)

– Crying always helps. Don’t be ashamed or too proud to cry. Of course if you feel like crying or you do cry very often, then what you’re feeling may not just be anxiety, so please visit your doctor (see long term treatment for more information)

Basically any way to let out some emotion will help. This is a tip I have picked up very recently and it works very quickly for me. It releases pent up stress that’s boiling inside and you will feel better and fast.

  • Talk it out with someone you trust

I know it may feel hard to talk about how you’re feeling, and it’s difficult to even know where to begin but talking it out with someone I trust helps me feel like I’m not so alone. Even if the person I have told doesn’t have anxiety themself, at least they understand why I’m acting a little strange or why I’m more fidgety than normal. Also, you will be pleasantly surprised how understanding most people are.

So if you feel like you can talk to someone about it then do it, it will help!

  • Deep breathing

This trick is probably the oldest one in the book, but it’s a tried, tested and true way of alleviating anxiety symptoms. Simply sit up straight and breathe 8 seconds in through your nose and 5 seconds out through your mouth. Carry this on until you feel calm again.

  • Keep your feet on the ground.

I often find that when I’m feeling anxious my head spins and I almost feel like I’m not in my own body any more. Putting at least one foot on the ground helps your body regain balance and work out where you are. This technique is called “grounding” and is also used for people who are suffering with symptoms of vertigo.

  • Ride it out.

A few years ago a therapist told me something that I’ve always tried to remember when I’m feeling anxious. What goes up must come down. This means that your anxiety will only get so high and then it will slowly drop and go away. If you’re able to ride it out, then ride it out because I promise you, every time after that it will get easier.
Long term treatments

  • Change what you put in your body

    In every way possible, look after yourself! Eat as healthily as you can. Being overweight and eating the wrong food can often give you symptoms that mimic anxiety, which would in turn make you worse. Cut out alcohol (or cut down at least). Quit smoking, not just for your anxiety but for your general health too.

    • Exercise

    As I mentioned earlier, sometimes a walk can distract you from a panic attack. Not only that, exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happy. Also, of course exercising will keep you fit and healthy.

    • Talk to your GP

    For a very long time I’d avoid speaking to my GP about my anxiety because I was worried that they would just shove me onto medication and I didn’t want to take anything. After now working in a GP surgery and seeing and speaking to my colleagues about anxiety I have learnt that there are so many different ways of treating/dealing with it. You can:

    – Get your Doctor to refer you for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)

    – Your GP can also help advise and monitor your lifestyle, ask what help is available.

    – Your GP can also recommend self help websites.

    – Medication. I used to have this massive stigma in my mind about taking medication for my anxiety. I was convinced I didn’t need it and that they just cover up the problem rather than solving it and I didn’t want that. I do now fully support medication for anxiety because once I had heard and seen how it helps people, I knew I needed to try it. 

    It was hand on heart the best decision I have ever made regarding my health. The Doctor explained that it resets the chemical levels in your brain that cause you to feel the way you do. I’ve now been on medication for 6 months and I’m happier than I’ve been in years. My anxiety still creeps up on me, but nothing like it used to.

    There are many different types that the Doctor can prescribe you, so go and speak to your GP.

    Also, don’t forget to…

    I really hope that my tips can help someone. I know only too well how horrible it is crawling through the internet trying to find help. Do you have anything else that you do when you’re anxious? I’d love to know!

    Much love xxx

    Caketoppers Review!

    I was contacted last week by the lovely people over at Caketoppers, asking me if I’d like to review two of their delightful cupcakes, with a choice of what I wanted, printed on the top.

    How could I say no?!

    After much thought about what I’d like to have printed onto my cupcakes, I decided to use and officially release my new logo, and what better way to do it, than on a cake?! I emailed them back promptly with my logo design and within a few hours I had email confirmation that my cupcakes would be sent the next day.

    Fast forward a day and they’re here! I collected them from my local depot early this morning before work. I shouldn’t have taken a peek because I was day dreaming about them for the whole of my shift! Here are the two cakes that were sent to me…


    I couldn’t believe how clear the print was on the cupcake. In with the box came some business cards (which I will totally be handing out) and a little information leaflet with all ingredients on, information about which cupcake was chocolate and which one was regular sponge. It also came with a useful best before date stamped onto the top of the leaflet!
    The cupcakes were wrapped individually in sealed bags and packed in between bubble wrap. I did wonder how they would manage to pack it without risking the cupcake being ruined!

    Naturally, I chose the chocolate cupcake to try first..

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

    What an absolutely beautiful cupcake. It wasn’t like your usual cupcake, crumbles as soon as you take the wrapping off. This held itself perfectly, which is of course a bonus because no waste of a chocolate cupcake! Winner winner!

    Another huge bonus for me, was these cupcakes managed to put a big smile on my poorly boy’s face. Dinky’s comment was – “Mumma, I want to eat these every days, because they’re so delish-ish” (yes that’s how he says it bless him!)

    So if you’re looking for quirky personalised cupcakes for literally any event, I couldn’t recommend these lovely people enough!

    Visit their website over at: http://www.caketoppers.co.uk/

    Email them over at: sales@caketoppers.co.uk

    Or call them on: 01252 726790
    Much love xxx


    *DISCLAIMER – I was sent this product for the purpose of review and was not paid any money at any time. All views are my own (and Dinky’s)*

    #YoudNeverBelieve

    I am so excited and proud to announce that I have taken part in #YoudNeverBelieve.

    What is #YoudNeverBelieve I hear you say?
    Well, I do have some super informative links to share with you but I will tell you a little bit right now.

    #YoudNeverBelieve is a campaign to show teenagers that you are never truly alone. Feeling low and helpless is one of the worst things anyone can experience and I’m super proud to be backing this cause to encourage young girls to speak out if they are feeling anything but happy. In this video, myself and a bunch of awesome bloggers confessed some of the things we felt when we were teenagers, and possibly some of us may still feel this way.

    We want to create a support network for anyone struggling and the amazing Ella Stearn is the brainbox we all need to thank for this! Please please pleeeeease back this cause because #mentalhealth is SO important.
    #YoudNeverBelieve that I used to be scared to go to school.

    Watch the video here:


    Anyone who knows me will know I am really passionate about mental health. Having an autistic son and battling anxiety, depression and panic disorder myself really fuels me to help others. As soon as I read about this campaign I knew I had to get involved.

    Here is where the magic is happening, please donate to this amazing cause – #YoudNeverBelieve

    Oh, and one last thing. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay. There is always someone out there. Don’t suffer alone.

    Much love xxx
    Photo credit to the beautiful Amy Thompson xx

    Why me?

    Why is it always me who has to keep her mouth shut?

    Why is it always me who has to be sensible?

    Why is it always me who takes all of the shit?

    Why is it always me that never gets an apology?

    Why is it always me who has to take control?

    Because I’m Mum. I’m the Mrs. I’m the younger colleague. I’m the one that has to be the mean one or the inexperienced one.

    Just once, I’d LOVE to be the wild one. To be the one that someone else has to take care of, to be the one that let’s everyone down, but still gets forgiven no matter what. I’d love to be carefree. I’d love to not give two shits about anything or anyone.

    But I do.

    So I put up with it.

    Sometimes I wonder why.

    Then I realise. 

    Those people. Those situations. Those times where I have to be that person, it’s because I care. It’s because I appreciate what I have and I will literally do anything to make someone I love happy. Because on those rare occasions that I get thanks, it’s incredible.

    I just wish that I felt more appreciated.


    #exhausted

    Dear Dinky..

    Dear Dinky,

    I doubt you will ever read this, but I love you.

    I love the way you kiss my cheek when you’ve been naughty.

    I love the way you can never be still, even though I know it’s more frustrating for you than it is for anyone else.

    I love how every morning regardless of how you feel, you greet me with a massive grin and you always have something ready to show me.

    I love how amazing your memory is. You recall things that I had long forgotten about, and speak about it so fondly, even if it wasn’t a particularly good memory.

    I love how you always compliment me. At the grand age of 5 you never fail to make me smile by saying something lovely to me.

    I love your attitude (most of the time). I can totally see myself in you and that makes me so proud.

    I love that you always try your hardest. I know you find it hard to keep up with some things, but your effort is always 100%.

    I love how brave you have been through all of these appointments for your autism diagnosis, and also getting your glasses.

    I love the way you look at me and Ricky.

    I love how you adore your younger brother and your Dad and Step-Mum.

    I love how meticulous you are with tasks. It has to be perfect or not done at all.

    I know that life is scary and frustrating, and I want you to know that even if it seems like I’m mad or sad, my love for you never wavers. Mummy is scared. Constantly. I need you to know that I want nothing but the best for you and that you’re never alone.

    I love you Zak.

    Miss Pork Pie’s review of Schwarzkopf Mystic Violet from Live XXL

    So as you may have seen on my social media accounts, I have given myself a whole new look by dying my hair purple from a mousey blonde!

    I am still getting used to it myself but I am absolutely in love with it! My hair feels so soft, it’s really shiny, and the purple is so deep and where I had slightly blonder strands before, the purple is much brighter!


    Watch my video above to see the transformation!

    If you like my video please subscribe to my You Tube channel!

    Much love xxx

    Miss Pork Pie’s Make Up

    I’ve got to be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever be the kind of girl that spends hours every morning or before I go out on my make up. I just don’t have the patience for contouring and shading.

    Plus it’s really not good for my skin. I do however like having a bit of make up on and so like to experiment on things I can just slap on and so I can look like a functioning human being.

    Today I tried a new lip gloss from Avon’s colour trend range. I was given this lip gloss as part of my secret Santa gift and I’d not got around to trying it yet!

    I must say, if felt beautiful on my lips. Its got quite a silky texture, but it’s also of a thick consistency.

    I was fortunate in the way that whoever bought me this as a gift bought a shade that suits my skin tone quite well!

    I’d say the only downfall of it, is that I found myself constantly rubbing my lips together, which meant I had to keep reapplying it!

    Overall, the lip gloss made me feel a little glamorous, and I received a few compliments from people I’ve seen out and about today!

    Happy Miss Pork Pie!

    Has anyone got any recommendations for easy make up I can try?
    Much love xxx

    DISCLAIMER

    *this post is not intended as a review, and I have NOT been paid for this post, nor do I represent Avon in any way*

    Dinky got glasses!

    Last year at parents evening, Dinky’s teacher recommended that we take him to get his eyes tested as she had noticed his depth perception was off. She also pointed out that he has got a bit of a squint in his left eye.

    Suddenly all of Dinky’s falls, bumps and spillage made more sense. I thought he may have just been a bit of a clumsy child (I know that I certainly was!).

    So I took him to see an optician who immediately referred him to see an opthalmologist at the hospital, where they would dilate his eyes to make sure they can diagnose and treat accurately.

    I’ve got to be fair to my boy, he was an absolute angel when they administered the drops. He sat nicely by me in the waiting room and didn’t complain even once.

    The opthalmologist confirmed that the squint in his left eye was the reason for his depth perception troubles and probably the majority of any bumps and falls. We were advised that if the glasses don’t correct the squint then he may need a patch over the good eye. She wrote a prescription to take to an optician and away we went.

    As you can see, Dinky is thrilled to have glasses like Mummy and Daddy do! I’m so proud of how brave he was during the whole procedure, as he gets frightened with the new and unknown. 

    Hopefully these glasses can correct his squint and he can continue amazing me like he always does!

    Does anyone else’s child/children have a squint? Or even yourself? I’d love to hear and read your stories! Leave links in the comment section!
    Much love xx

    Education shouldn’t be a debt sentence – Sneak peak at Unity SU

    Do you worry about how your children will cope when they leave home to go to university?

    As a parent of a very young child, it’s not something I’ve got to worry about for a long time. However, I’ve recently thought about it, and the concept scares me.

    Unity SU is a new social media app dedicated to students and university life. Often leaving home for the first time is a scary thought, the idea of living alone, taking care of finances, making new friends and just generally a new chapter of their life! Unity SU’s aim is to help with all of this, and have done so by building an app and a website. Karl Jennings, Co-Founder of Unity SU (who happens to be my brother) has spoken to me quite a few times about this, and we decided to put an interview together to explain how they can help!

    How did it all start?
    My friend and Co-Founder, Justin Ranson, was expressing his concern about the student riots to me at the end of 2012, and we both instantly agreed that student debt was out of control and needed addressing. Having both had backgrounds in tech businesses, building an app seemed like the right way to go. We instantly began to build a team of the right people to do this.

    So you had the idea, where did you go from there?

    We spent several years collecting information and feedback from students across the country to see exactly what they needed and wanted. But something had to be different. Everything up to this point takes from students, whether it be a few pounds here or there, which may not seem like much at the time, but it all adds up. We decided to do something revolutionary and wanted to give back to them. We developed a business model that turns the system on it’s head, taking the money that normally goes into corporate pockets, and gives it back to the students.

    Sounds great! How did you do it?

    Basically, advertisers and businesses love students. Whilst researching, we discovered the vast amount of money businesses spend reaching out to potential customers, for one main reason. Once a brand loyalty is established, you tend to stick with it, and students are a prime example of this. This could range from the bank they choose, the beer they drink and the places they go. We spent several years perfecting an advertising model, allowing businesses to advertise directly to students at an unrivalled low cost. We then decided to do something that absolutely nobody else would think of doing. We decided to take 70% of those revenues and share them amongst the students. Tell me another business that does that?

    70% to the students, that’s a lot, so what’s in it for you?

    Yes, 70% sounds like a lot, but that’s because businesses generally are greedy, so that’s what you’re used to. The originality of our business model allows us to share revenues with active users of the app daily, every day. So, the more students download and use the app, the more we share. 30% is more than enough to run our business successfully. We don’t need any more than that.

    It’s nice to finally see a business that aren’t in it just for the money. Can you tell me more about what the students can expect from Unity SU?

    The app was designed to help with all aspects of university life, financial, social and educational. After our research, we came up with a suite of tools to do just this. With Unity SU you can:
    Find the people around you in geolocation order, chat with them, follow them, show your interest in them if they catch your eye and bring the university community and neighbouring universities closer together.
    Let others know where you intend to attend university and meet up with others in your home town who have the same intentions, allowing you to make friends far before fresher’s.
    Enable students to offer help on their chosen course to other students and create an income for providing this tutoring service.
    Find accommodation, rate your accommodation and landlord and as a community, help raise the standards of student accommodation.
    Rate your university based on a wide range of criteria and as a community, help raise educational and institutional standards.
    Find all the events happening around you and purchase tickets for them with 0% commission.
    Keep all your event schedules on an easy to use calendar so you never have to double book yourself, or miss anything.
    Find jobs in your local area and nationally and easily put potential employers in direct contact with students.
    Set up intramural sports teams and create your own leagues, allowing those who don’t play for official University teams to immerse themselves in Unity managed sports pursuits on a local, or inter-university basis.
    Listen to AUX student’s radio wherever you are and interact with them, make requests and enter into live debates on content matter.
    We’re constantly working with students to innovate new ideas to add to this.


    I like the motto “Education shouldn’t be a debt sentence” that seems to be popping up all over social media at the moment, what does it mean to you?

    I love the thought of giving back to those who need it, and I feel our motto sums this up perfectly. It’s not just the case for university students, it’s the case for everybody. Education should be a right and not a privilege, students shouldn’t have to put themselves in financial worry to better themselves. I’m sure all parents and students will agree with me, and if you don’t, you will find yourself very much alone. Giving back financially to the students is only the very start, and the exposure of our ideology to the masses is sure to bring a change that we cannot bring alone. Working as a community and a team is far stronger, we will be able to bring greater changes that nobody thought would ever be possible.

    And finally, how can everyone get involved?

    The main thing is if you’re a student, download and use the app. Every time a student downloads and uses the app, they’re helping themselves and each other.
    We also need everybody possible to embrace and spread the word on what we are trying to achieve. The easiest way to do this is through our social media. Together as a community we can do this!

    iOS /Android- Unity SU
    Twitter – twitter.com/unitysuapp
    Facebook – www.facebook.com/unitysuapp
    Unity SU – unitysu.com/

    #BelieveInUnity #UnitySU

    You can download the app on IOS and Android. Visit unitysu.com/ for the links.


    So there we have it! When Karl originally told me about this I was impressed, but after going into detail I know it’s definitely something I am going to support, for an easier education for my child, and every other student out there.

    Much love xx

    The Only Person You Should Try To Be Better Than, Is The Person You Were Yesterday

    It’s been quite a few months since I last posted anything on here, and after talking to the lovely Nikki over at keepingstrongandmovingforward.co.uk, I decided to sit and write a post again!

    I’m now working full time which is amazing, I only started the hours last week, and I’m absolutely exhausted, but looking forward to almost double my part time pay at the end of the month!

    I feel like things are slowly coming together at the moment. Back at the end of last year things were pretty dark for me. I felt really poorly a lot of the time, I drank way too much and I just lived to pay the bills. Since then as you may already know we have moved. Things didn’t change too much after that, I felt a little like things were the same but in a different location.

    Then, about a month ago I’d just had enough of feeling sorry for myself. I’ve barely touched a drop of drink (apart from a few Saturday nights when I want to relax) and I decided to set myself something to work towards.

    Here are a few things I’ve planned to do/already started:

    1. I don’t currently drive so I’m aiming to be driving by the end of the year (I realise how ambitious this is!).

    2. We have a cellar, and recently our favourite wine bar (which happened to have an amazing pool table) closed, so we’ve decided to convert our cellar into a home bar. We’ve kind-of started already. We’ve managed to clear out all of the crap that was in there (I will be doing a progress post in the future so I will post photos there) and all that is left in there now is some of Mr Pie’s family’s belongings, which will hopefully be cleared soon.

    3. Continue with improving my health. Without even trying I’ve managed to lose 8.5lb since the end of March. Which doesn’t sound like much, but the only thing I have changed it that I’ve been walking Dinky to school and then to work around the corner rather than taking the bus on the school run. I can tell the difference already, and the walking wasn’t with the intention of losing weight, it was due to anxiety preventing me from wanting to travel by bus. So I’d like to continue improving my health.

    4. Keep fighting the anxiety. I recently went to the Doctors regarding my anxiety. I was having night terrors, waking up shaking, sweaty, paralysed, the lot. I get anxiety every day but normally battle through it with hyperventilation and lots of chewing gum. After a long chat with the Doctor I decided to give medication a try, a low dose of beta blocker has made me feel 1000000% better. I think just knowing that I’ve got the medication there is making me feel at ease. In 2 weeks I’ve only had to use it 3 times which I don’t think is bad at all!

    5. Blog more. Even only halfway down this first post back after months of not writing anything I feel good. Definitely need to blog more.

    So five things that I really don’t think is unachieveable, infact I’ve already started 3 of them, and I finally feel like there’s something to work towards or look forward to. I’ve had the above picture saved in my phone for months, and everytime I’ve felt a bit down looking at it has helped, even if I did nothing straight away, I do feel like I am always trying to better myself, which is never a bad thing!

    Has anyone else been in a similar situation? What did you do to pull yourself out of the dark place?

    Much love xx