Recovering from anxiety can consist of a lot of contradictions. A huge part of recovery is taking time for self-care and rest as anxiety takes a toll on us physically as well as mentally. It’s very important we know how to care for ourselves to avoid becoming unhealthy, which can contribute to stress levels.
This being said, stepping out of our comfort zone is also a crucial part of recovery.
Stepping out of our comfort zone allows us to assess our limitations and push ourselves through hurdles to become stronger and more confident.
How do we find a comfortable balance between these two opposing elements in our recovery?
The key is to become more in tune with our bodies and minds. This allows us to recognise the minute we begin to feel uncomfortable and need some self-care. We can also recognize when we are feeling strong and inspired, allowing ourselves to try something we may feel is a bit daunting.
Becoming tuned-in to how we are feeling also helps us to further understand our anxiety, and what our triggers and reactions are.
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A good way to start becoming more self-aware is to carry a small journal or notebook with you for a week. As often as possible, simply write down what you’re feeling and why.
If you’re feeling relaxed because you just had a great talk with a friend, write it down. If you’re feeling on edge because you have a job interview tomorrow, write it down. This simple practice will make you more aware of triggers as well as things to calm you down.
It’s important to keep in mind feelings of worry and anxiousness should not automatically be avoided in your recovery.
This may seem counterproductive, but if we are challenging and pushing ourselves, these feelings will undoubtedly follow. We need to embrace these emotions and say “I recognise you and I appreciate your presence, but I am stronger than you, and I will not allow you to dictate the way I live my life.”
It is possible to practise self-care while you are testing your boundaries. “Speaking” to your emotions is a great way to do it. This means you not only recognise exactly how you’re feeling but can coach yourself through those difficult emotions.
When recovering from anxiety, stress and worry can be particularly exhausting. Being able to comfort yourself is a great skill to pick up.
Remember—it’s okay to rest when your body needs it. We end up stressed, burnt out, and sick when don’t remember to restore our energy while pushing boundaries.
However, it’s also good to recognise the importance of stepping out of our comfort zone in recovery. By doing this we become aware of our strengths and weaknesses while actively fighting against our mental illness.
There will be difficulties and hurdles in the recovery journey. It can be tough to find this important balance between self-care and pushing your boundaries.
Remember, every hurdle is progress. You will finally reach the point in your recovery when you have found your balance, and it will be amazing.
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