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Kate's story of how she managed her anxiety

Kate's story of how she managed her anxiety

We asked Sea Magik founder, Kate, to tell us her story of how she managed, and dealt with her anxiety.

"With Mental Health Awareness Week upon us, I believe it is important to be able to share my own mental health and wellness journey and the (inevitable) highs and lows of balancing the pressure of being a woman in business and having a happy family life...all whilst attempting to maintain good mental and emotional health!

It's been a rocky road. 

My first intense bout of anxiety was when I was in my late 30s. 

I had been working hard to build our Sea Magik family business and hit the dreaded point of complete burnout.

I knew it was coming as I had been anxious for many months...and on and off for many years prior.

I'd neglected my own self-care in favour of long hours and putting a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to 'succeed'.

This approach was a complete contradiction to my values of being kind, mindful and putting my health first - I was good at advocating this for others, but when it came to myself, at that point in my life self-care was very low on my agenda.

As I had anticipated, this led to what I describe as a 'melt down' - alongside the constant feeling of dread, I experienced heart palpitations, butterflies in my tummy, blurred visions, pins and needles and a whole host of other symptoms.

But the worst part was my negative self-talk, blaming myself for everything; over-working, under-working, not living by my values...the list went on. Ultimately, I felt that I was not good enough at anything.

I did eventually go and see my GP, who prescribed me some medication for anxiety. I took this for a few weeks but decided that it wasn't right for me (although I know medication has been life-changing for close friends, so am I not at all anti seeking medication for mental health issues).

This rock bottom is what kick-started my self-care journey and I've never looked back. 

I still struggle with an occasionally mean inner critic, but I'm much better at combatting this, with kindness and positivity, acts of self-care, that help me to feel happy and calm most of the time now. 

I’m still prone to stress and occasionally feeling overwhelmed. But, for now, my regular self-care routine is helping me avoid full-on burnout. That is life-changing for me, and I’m truly grateful that I am no longer suffering.

Anxiety is a very personal journey, but the things that helped me most were:

  • Yoga. My ultimate go to for physical and emotional strength. I fell in love with it, and I’m now a trained yoga teacher. But even going out for a walk and getting some fresh air really helps too.
  • Reading self-development and spiritual books. See my list below.
  • Positive self-talk. I’m easier on myself now (although there is still ongoing work needed here!) 
  • Therapy. I discovered I really needed someone neutral to talk things through with and found great solace in talking to a therapist. You can get great therapy for free on the NHS and virtual sessions on websites such as Better Health.
  • Boundaries. I learnt I needed to say no more and put boundaries in so I didn't take on more than I could cope with. This is the same for work, family life and friendships.

I hope that by sharing some of my story, you may also feel able to share yours too.

If you think you're suffering with anxiety, I encourage you to speak to someone you trust, maybe your GP or even a therapist.

I do believe in the adage 'a problem shared is a problem halved' - maybe not initially, but in the end, being open and true to yourself pays off.

Much love,
Kate" 

 

Kate's Book List

The Power of NowEckhart Tolle. A great book for tough times that helped me spiritually and also the importance to practice mindfulness.

Anxiety: Panicking about Panic - Joshua Fletcher. This book helped me understand anxiety and made me feel less crazy!

The Surrender Experiment - Michael Singer. Helped me with acceptance and letting go of control.

Radical Acceptance - Tara Brach. Helped me combat negative self-talk.

 

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