Amputation is a stressful life event, and one which everyone deals with in their own way. Stressful events can sometimes lead to feelings of anxiety and it’s perfectly normal to experience these feelings. Anxiety can also be caused by feelings such as worry and fear. Some of our Troopers (amputees) mentioned they experienced anxiety because they were worried about how they’d look after their amputation, how they’d cope financially and not knowing what the future would hold for them. Normally anxiety goes away after the event you were worried about or once you know the outcome of that event, but anxiety becomes a problem when it stays around for a prolonged period of time and if this is the case, it’s ok to talk about it and ask for help.
If you’re experiencing anxious thoughts, here are a few tips to help manage them:
? Talk to someone about it – Talking through your worries can sometimes make them less dauting. If you have lots of amputation related questions on your mind, talk to us, that’s what we’re here for.
? Try taking some deep breaths – Taking deep breaths and encouraging relaxation helps to calm the nervous system and make you feel more in control.
? Write down your thoughts and worries – Writing things down can help you notice thought patterns and identify your main anxiety triggers. Going forward, you might be able to spot the early signs of these and be able to manage them better when they arise.
? Write down the good things as well – It’s important to reflect on these too.
? Try to get enough sleep – Experiencing anxiety can be tiring. Getting enough sleep can give you energy to deal with your thoughts and emotions.
? Eat well and drink lots of water – A balanced diet can help to naturally boost your mood.
? Exercise – Exercising can help release those ‘feel good’ hormones, help you sleep better at night and calm the racing thoughts.
? Do an activity that YOU enjoy – Taking time out to do something that you want to do can distract your mind from your racing thoughts.
For further support reach out to the FYF Well-being Team by sending a message here or contact one of the great organisations available, like NHS Inform or MIND. You can also download great Apps on your mobile, check out the Samaritans app here.
If you’d like to try some meditation, here’s a video from our resident Meditation teacher, John.