Now realistically, I probably do less than one thing a month that scares me.
Lately, I’ve become an expert at being stressed, but are stress and fear the same thing? I’ve found that for the most part, they come from the same place. Being stressed about an essay = fear of getting a low mark. Do you remember my 2013 bucket list? A lot of the things on there scared me or stressed me out, but once I’d finished the task, it felt great. (except paint balling that just hurt!)
Fear can be crippling. I’ve never felt unsafe in Sheffield or in my home town, Newcastle, however, late last year, I developed a fear of leaving the house. Only now that I can reflect and look back do I realise that I was scared, fear had a hold of me. back then, I just didn’t go out because ‘I didn’t need to, it was raining, I didn’t feel well’. On the days I had to leave the house, I would feel sick, I couldn’t eat and it would take me about 2 or 3 hours to get up the courage to walk out the door. It helped if I was walking with Emilie or Eve, or if I had booked a taxi to take me to university.
I still can’t pinpoint what it was I was afraid of. It sort of just disappeared again. I gave myself mini targets to walk once around the block, or have a wander down Sharrowvale road, where there are some really nice shops or to go for a walk in the park. Every now and again it comes back, and it’s a horrible feeling. I’ve learnt some little tricks along the way which can help keep me calm and focused.
♦This one is obvious, but remember to b r e a t h e. I really try to focus on feeling the air slowly filling my lungs and breathing out through my mouth. Don’t do this too much or it can make you feel light headed which won’t help.
♦Plan your route. If I was having a particularly bad day, I’d plan my route and make sure I included every corner, traffic light, door or flight of stairs. Once I had a route I deemed ‘safe’ I then always walked that particular way. I am natural creature of habit.
♦Get excited. In the mornings I play a super happy, upbeat playlist, dance/workout music is normally a good place to start and I’d have a dance around. Wherever it was I was going, I’d try and think of things that I could get excited about, to make me want to go. For example, going to Sainsburys: Maybe the cute sales guy will be there, or I can get some half price chocolate, have a nose at the books on sale etc. That kind of thing. It you try hard enough even the most mundane things can be super exciting.
♦Don’t beat yourself up. Okay, so you’ve done all the tricks, tried everything and for some reason you’re feet will not step outside. That is okay. Maybe it’s just your hour, you can try again later on or maybe today just isn’t your day. At least you tried. Avoid spending time afterwards dwelling. Get on with something else in the house and be kind to yourself.
If you feel that you fears and stresses are getting in the way of your life, it might be a good idea to talk it over with a friend or a doctor, talking always helps.
Now, on a lighter note, I wanted to write this post to share with you all, something that I did, which scared me (and crosses off another list item)
A friend of mine hosted a fundraising night a few weeks ago back in Sheffield and I volunteered to make my stage début and perform. I was shaking from start to finish and for about 15 minutes after, but I did it and I did enjoy (most of) it. I am super thankful to my mini fan club, who you can hear cheering in the videos. We raised just under £130 for Bowel Cancer research on the night which is fantastic.
So here we have Panic Cord by Gabrielle Aplin and Two Hundred Miles written by me.
I hope you like.
Let me know what you think, ❤
Peace and Love,