People of a certain generation remember the dread of hearing the theme music of Glenroe on a Sunday night. That theme music was more ominous than the sea attack music of Jaws. It meant that the weekend was over and you had school in the morning. There was a 100% chance that homework was not done. And you were now out of time.
Do you recognise these emotions?
- Racing heart
- Rapid breathing or
- Shallow breathing
- Inability to get to sleep or stay a sleep
- Racing thoughts
- Morbid thoughts
- Feeling panic
There wasn’t a lot of talk about Anxiety in those days. That feeling of doom and gloom was just a part of a Sunday evening. You basically sucked it up and got on with it.
The problem with sucking it up and getting on with it is we try and escape that feeling. And if you do not have healthy coping mechanisms then you will use unhealthy ones.
While Glenroe is long gone, for many that End of Weekend anxiety continues to affect them.
Many people suffer daily anxiety and may not be fully aware of it. Daily anxiety can come from
- Stress at work
- Stress at school
- Stress in relationships
- Stress with friends
- Financial stress
- Stress from emotional trauma
- Stress from illness
Many people hold it together from Monday to Thursday. We eat right, exercise, work, spend time with loved ones, pay our bills and generally get on with it. Then Thirsty Thursday comes along to allow us some relaxation time. Some me time. Cocaine is now Irelands most used drug. Gardai now say that a farmer is as likely to use cocaine as an office worker. It is widespread.
Using drugs, in all its forms, is our way of dealing with our anxiety. We need to shut it down, escape it for a while.
And, as said, if we do not have healthy coping mechanisms then we will use unhealthy ones.
What is the best way to deal with anxiety?
Anything that calms down the mind and bring you into the now will help.
Take a deep breath. Hold it. Now let it out… slowly. Try counting to 10 as you let out your breath. Feel the tension and stress flowing out of you with your breath. Repeat 3-10 times, as necessary
Linking with walking, getting some fresh air and spending time in nature has been linked to stress reduction and also improved memory and attention. Also leave the phone at home it’s good to disconnect from the outside world and clear your head.
Sit somewhere quiet, close your eyes, relax, and focus on your breathing. When things pop into your head, just acknowledge them and allow them to leave, and then focus again on your breathing. Do this for as long as you can, and then take a couple of cleansing breaths, and get up a new person.
Taking only a 20-30 minute nap can reduce the amount of stress hormones in the body as well as improving your focus and emotional stability. To help shut down your brain try a Weighted Gravity Blanket www.deepsleep.ie
Chill out and listen to your favourite music, Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, can lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
Ending your weekend on a Sunday after days of overeating, drinking and/or doing drugs only sets you up for another week of anxiety. The longer you go without dealing with your anxiety the worse your anxiety becomes. The worse your anxiety becomes the more of your chosen drug you need. The more of your chosen drug you take the worse your anxiety becomes and the circle of distruction continues.
Take time to have a look at how anxiety affects your life.
If you need more advice or support go to Aware https://www.aware.ie/information/anxiety/