I’ve been seeing more and more articles about how people In their mid 20s are currently experiencing a huge peak in anxiety and depression and that this spike is largely attributed to social media. More and more young people are spending their time endlessly scrolling through Instagram feeds, comparing their lives to others and feeling less of a person if their teeth aren’t that white, if their clothes aren’t that expensive and if they aren’t a member of THAT member’s club. It pains me to see my generation enduring such inner turmoil and believing that everyone’s lives are exactly as they are portrayed on social media, when in reality half of our lives are spent looking like troll dolls in our PJs watching Netflix in bed. Trust me, I’m a master of this facade.
Regardless of the above, the fact still remains; anxiety and depression is on the rise, and I’m on its hit list.
Whether it’s simply chemical, due to social expectations or from high pressured jobs, for the past year or so I’ve been battling with both.
Coming in swings, it ultimately lead to taking the plunge into freelance life where I can manage my own hours and ultimately take a day off if I need a weepy few hours here or there. Since actually acknowledging the condition and addressing it, my life has done a 360 and I’ve got it more or less under control. The odd ‘down day’ can throw me off, but I’m one of the lucky ones with a great support system and who reacts well to treatment.
Panic attacks in particular have had a huge bearing on my daily life, and even though I’ve only had about five, I live in fear of them hitting as I’ve yet to find a way to manage them when they do.
I’d heard from many people with similar conditions (and trust me, there are a lot more than you’d think) that meditation can work wonders. I’d never tried it before but desperately wanted to give it a go, so my sister and I packed up to a Spanish villa to get our zen on.
With desert views from a large, flat rock on the top of a hill and only the sound of crickets, there couldn’t be a more perfect spot to partake in my first meditation session. I had researched how to meditate off my own back but gave it a go and simply ended up thinking about what to have for dinner. As a backup I’d prepared an app called ‘headspace’ which gives you daily walk-throughs for each session. Having to clear your mind of all thoughts and in essence then view all of your thoughts in an orderly, abstract way is so hard and something I really struggled with at first, but I did a session every day and slowly got to grips.
I’m still learning and will carry on taking five minutes out of each day to master the skill, but so far I can definitely say it’s having an impact. I don’t feel ‘reborn’ or more spiritual as many people can expect from meditation, but simply taking those minutes out to collect your thoughts and simply breathe is amazing. London life brings with it rush hour and intense working environments amongst many other elements in our juggling acts, all balanced alongside actually trying to keep a social life. It’s bloody hard to get one single moment alone let alone five whole minutes. I’ve got my meditation groove and basics down, now I begin to translate these into my little London flat at the beginning of every day.
If anybody’s experiencing similar struggles, I urge you to give it a go and let meditation set you in the right frame of mind to tackle the day ahead. Also, if anyone has any other tips or tricks for me, please let me know!
My depression and anxiety is still new to me and I’m still working it out myself, so I’ve omitted the ins and outs from this post. But if you have any questions or simply want to chat with me about any of the above (or more) drop me a DM on Instagram or send me an email.