So for someone who said the exams would be fine, it’s safe to say I was definitely being a little too optimistic! This semester’s exams were in no way fine! I was so stressed out! I ended up getting sick with nerves before a few of my exams and then in one exam just after I had been sick, I had a panic attack within the first five minutes. It was hard, it was tiring and it was embarrassing. But it’s over and now I’m just crossing my fingers that I scrape through.
It’s summer now though! 🌞😌 While I’ve definitely been having a lot of fun, I’ve also been anxious. I suppose maybe it’s just because everything is starting to change from now, what with Erasmus friends leaving and J1’ing and Caoimhe going to Scotland! 😮🌍💪🏼💔💖 ** cheese alert … I really, really love all my friends to bits and it’s hard watching them all go off in different directions; as much as I am super excited and delighted for them all! (😥)
But I’m trying to focus on the on the idea that change, although hard and super scary is usually a positive thing. Perfect example: college! <3📚
With all the anxiousness of the last few weeks I think that I have figured out and put to use some new coping mechanisms that I haven’t really properly tried before.
Lately I’ve been really trying hard to focus on slowing my breathing when I get anxious. It takes a few minutes but I’m starting to learn that when I take a few moments to just shut my eyes and breath, counting each breath, ( in for 4, out for 5) I begin to feel in control of my body again and then I start to relax.
Okay next thing is a bit of a weird one. This is going to make all my friends smile because they’re all about to realise why I’m always asking can I put this song on, haha. So I stumbled upon this song by The 1975 that I love, ‘If I believe you’ and I don’t know what it is but I just adore the song! I think it’s just so beautiful and calming. I don’t even particularly relate with all of the words (it’s about religion, I think) but I just absolutely love it! It always gives me butterflies. 🌸
So in Bressie’s book ‘Me and my mate Jeffrey’, he talks about this coping mechanism where he makes an ‘O’ with his thumb and his index finger, squeezing them together and closes his eyes. Then he thinks of a really happy memory and pictures himself within the memory. Basically Bressie did this every night before he went to bed and then he began to find that when he was in an anxious situation that if he made the ‘O’ with his two fingers and closed his eyes the sensations of the happy memory he had pictured so often would begin to calm him down. I really liked this idea.
So now, I have started listening to ‘If I believe you’ whenever I’m at my happiest and most relaxed. The song just chills me out. So I make the ‘O’ and close my eyes and listen and think about why I’m so happy. (I know that sounds hilarious.) I’ve also begun to listen to it when I get a little anxious or nervous now. Once again, I put the song on, make the ‘O’ and it’s like I’m transported back to the happy memories. It seems to take me a minute or so of listening to the song but it really calms me down and enables me to breath again.
I wasn’t really sure of the whole idea of mindfulness, but I have really begun to see the benefits, I think. There’s also a good App that I was recommended. It’s called ‘Headspace’ and it’s free. The App encourages you to take 10 minutes out of your day to just breath and be present. It can be done at any time of the day but it recommends mindfulness first thing in the morning. However, I struggle to get out of bed in the first place so I do it most nights before I go to sleep. I try to do it everyday but that doesn’t always work out, of course.
The whole mindfulness thing I have just found gives my head a few good minutes to slow down and relax once a day. I feel lighter and less stressed out and anxious after a couple of days of getting into the habit.
-Hopefully some of these ideas might be of some help to someone. 💛 Although I totally know that different things work for different people! 😌
So, I’m off to America in 9 days! Wow! 9 days. Ahhh. That’s kinda scary. Totally terrifying, but exciting. It’s going to be a mighty big adventure. One I’m really looking forward to. Scared for but looking forward to. Just don’t know what I’m going to do without Sally for the summer. 🐶😥💔
Just going to put ‘If I believe you’ interrupted only with a little Westlife occasionally, close my eyes, hold my fingers in the ‘O’ breath deeply and slowly and hide for the first month lol. 😂👀 I’m sad that this adventure is ending but excited for the next one to start. I think. 😁
So, I think this is going to be the last blog post before I bop off to America. Not really too sure if I’ll get to write over there… hopefully I will. If not, happy summer everybody. Please all light candles for me and my adventures and pray that I don’t get lost or fall over too much. 🇺🇸
Keep being brave, my friends. I hope everyone has fun! See you all in August. 😁🌈🙋🏽💖
Kimbo. X 🌸💛🌼🍄