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Learning to Run – Conversations with Anxiety #11

Conversations With Anxiety is a series which aims to convey what it’s like to live with anxiety. These dialogues are snapshots of the debates I have or have had with anxiety: the things we fight over, the discussions we take part in and the struggle to reason with irrationality.


Me: Let’s go for a run!

Anxiety: Huh?

Me: It will be good for us.

Anxiety: Us? No no no, you know I hate physical activity – especially physical activity which other people can observe!

Me: Fine, you won’t like it but it will be good for me.

Anxiety: You’re trying to get rid of me aren’t you. You’re doing all of this to push me out.

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5 Creative Hobbies To Reduce Anxiety

Recently, I’ve started creating art (if you can call it that) to try to combat feelings of stress and anxiety. You hear a lot about the therapeutic impact of creativity, but I think many of us feel a little too overwhelmed to give it a go. After all, the art we consume on Pinterest and Instagram is often amazing, and that in itself can be daunting.

But we can try to take that flood of other people’s creativity and turn it a positive way: we can see it as inspiration. So I thought I’d talk about some of the things I’ve tried to get involved in creatively, that aren’t too hard to pick up and could be used as a good distraction for negative feelings.

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Anxiety Is Not Pretty: How It Feels To Live With Anxiety

This is a stream of consciousness written at a point in time when I was gripped by anxiety so tightly I could barely think because of it. It’s angry and it’s messy, because that’s the reality of anxiety for so many people. I’m sharing this in order to give one perspective of what it’s like to live with anxiety – of course, many other versions exist out there, some of which will resonate with this more than others.

(Potential trigger warning for those who experience intense anxiety – this is descriptive of my thoughts and experiences and I don’t want that to hurt anyone further.)


Anxiety is not pretty. It isn’t glamorous, or endearing. It may seem that way in books and films and on social media, but that is definitely not how it feels to live with. It is rough, brutal. Mean-spirited and ugly. Anxiety is a constant argument in my head between the unconvincing, faint yelp of the rational, and the fearful, controlling scream of manipulative desperation.

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Small Changes to Your Room That Can Boost Your Mental Health

We all have difficult days, hours and minutes, and when these moments strike the setting we find ourselves in can greatly impact how we process and cope with the situations life throws our way. It is totally natural to crave familiarity in times of distress: when toddlers fall over they scream for a hug from a parent and I think our bedroom environment can act as that comforting figure we all sometimes need. It’s a safe haven, and that’s why it should be helping to boost your positivity.

So here are six changes you can make to your bedroom to nurture your wellbeing…

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Trying to Grow a Sunflower: An Open Letter to Myself About Uncertainty

Dear Alys,

For the last few weeks you’ve been trying to grow a sunflower. It started as a tiny seed, a third of the size of your smallest fingernail, yet so packed full of just the right combination of things to reach your height. That’s incredible, isn’t it? I guess we all start off small. Some of us soak up the sunlight as we age, others shrink into the hedgerow.

Sometimes I feel like it might be time for you to poke a petal out into the light, have a look at what the world looks like in the brightness, rather than observing from the shadows. I guess you’ve managed that at times. All sorts of moments require that bravery: little things like picking out a t-shirt you’re not sure others will like but wearing it anyway because you like it. Or big things like upping roots and trying to ground yourself in Australia for a while. Yes, you’ve definitely done some things.

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A Day In The Life Of Anxiety ft. AutumnSkies

Before we launch into today’s little post, I just wanted to say thank you to James for featuring me as a guest blogger on his site. I wrote a new Conversations With Anxiety post all about the struggle to allow yourself time to relax in a world where productivity is prioritised. So if that spikes your interest, go have a peek over there ❤


They say there are always two sides to the same story; this is painfully obvious when it comes to sharing your head with anxiety. If you read my blog regularly, you’ll be familiar with my Conversations With Anxiety series which are dialogues I have with ‘Anxiety’ in everyday situations. I write these as a way of shedding light on the power an anxious voice in the back of your head can have over your actions and decisions, even during the seemingly mundane moments of life. These conversations tend to focus on snapshot moments: perhaps a five minute period from a day isolated from the rest of my existence.

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My 8 Self-Care Spring Rituals ft. Mia

Spring is a time of growth and fresh starts; if the daffodils have the courage and strength to push their way up into the sunlight after such a long and cold winter then we can at least try too. The sun has been shining the last few days and my mood has definitely taken notice. I have more energy, am finding it easier to get up early and feel like negative things have less impact on me. Oh, and I can actually wear shorts without risking frostbite. So there’s that!

The world is beginning to thaw out a little and people are starting to crack out the barbecues. This weather actually makes me want to get out more and be a little more sociable (I know right, shock horror for an introvert like me) and so this feels like the perfect time to take part in a wonderful collab with a wonderful human being, Mia from Beautiful, Creative, Inspiring Life.

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