Winging Life Since 1995

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Social Anxiety vs FOMO

As you may or may not have noticed I've missed a couple of posts in the last week... I've recently got a new full-time job and I'm trying to find the balance between work, blog, play. I'm still searching for it so you will have to bear with me while I sort my life out. Thank you, love you.

In the last month, I've gone from sleeping all day every day to working all day and having something on nearly every night. I would have never thought my life would ever be something like this. A social life... me?! You're kidding, right? Some of you may know my tempestuous relationship with mental heath and since leaving school anxiety has played a large in my daily life. This translates into many aspects of my general being, but throwing myself more out of my comfort zone has let my anxiety think it has a right to join in on the fun too. If you don't know what FOMO means, it's the Fear Of Missing Out. So those nights you've gone on a night out even though you have work the next morning at 6.00 am and are broke af, is because you had the fleeting feeling of FOMO.

If you have anxiety or panic attacks then you'll be familiar with the feeling of not wanting to miss out but also not wanting to leave the house under any circumstances... If you don't know this feeling, imagine walking into a room naked and having the world see you and laugh so you run home and never want to talk to anyone again. It's that, but without the naked part actually happening.

BUT THAT'S NO MORE. I've pushed myself to do a lot more recently to get used to different situations, which has helped me a lot. The more comfortable I get in social engagements the less scary it is and the less I dread leaving the house. My confidence has grown a lot too through a million things changing to me within the last two months. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger hey... *cue Kelly Clarkson replaying in your head for the rest of the week*. So don't be afraid to try new things. It's actually gotten to the point where I get bored at home and I want to go out and do something. And now I've accidentally booked myself something every day and evening for the next two weeks. That's pretty impressive for someone who likes to sleep.

I think a lot of the times I've underestimated myself. I am capable of so much and for me often a case of mind over matter. There are times that no matter how much I ask myself "what is there to be afraid of" during a social activity, the feeling doesn't go away, and I know that's ok. I'm not perfect and not everything will always go to plan. But as long as I gave it a go in the first place and pushed through, that's all that matters. The other day I did something that just a few months ago would have given me a panic attack and it didn't. I wrapped myself tightly in a blanket post event, however, it's a stepping stone and I'm proud of myself for doing that thing.

It is also good to have someone you can talk to when you're out and feeling a little wobbly. I find that telling someone I feel anxious actually, makes me feel better because I'm letting it out rather than suppressing it. Even if it's just a text to a friend or family member means you've addressed your problem. If you don't have anyone to talk to, talk to me. Seriously. Drop me a message, a tweet, whatever you'd like and I'll do my best. Nothing you're feeling is weird to me. Trust me - I get anxious over the weight of cutlery...

I have this thing I do called "grounding". When I've been around people for a while I sometimes feel light and floaty and I need to be grounded. So I get into bed with five or six layers on, wrap a blanket or duvet over me and put on my anxiety hat (my favourite woolly hat.) The weight of the layers ground me and I feel secure. Weight and warmth help a lot. If you are someone who shakes when you're panicking... putting on more clothes or getting someone to hug you tightly from behind is good too. Understandably you don't always want to be touched so curl up instead. You will know what feels right. I have to admit, singing along to the Wicked soundtrack always helps too because I sing along to every single word which is a good distraction. Also Wicked is magic too...

Just take a step back and understand the situation. Put less pressure on yourself to "perform" well. You're only a human being you can only do the best you can and it's ok. If you embarrass yourself, so what?! It's not like it's never happened to someone else before. Be nice to yourself and at the end of the day, a little pat on your back and a well done is all you need. Small or big milestones - they're all important

I mean I'm no guru and these are suggestions and ways I've found that help myself. Listen to your body and understand your anxiety. If you can relate and have any tips on how to deal with social anxiety, share them below and help each other out.

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