Fashion Design Blog

  • Harriet Goodings

I think of anxiety as a circle, it's ruminating thoughts that go round and round. Interrupting and breaking that circle can ease anxiety and stops it from going round again.


Lockdown however, has meant a lot of repetitive days and not knowing what's going to happen is a nightmare for anxious folk. This post is to bring the slightest bit of awareness to the condition and for anyone to seek help if they are suffering.


I am a mum who is a fashion designer who also happens to have Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This doesn’t make me bad at my job (which is something I believed people would think) it means I overthink things a lot.


What is it? What does anxiety even look like?


Generalised Anxiety Disorder is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues rather than one specific event. People with GAD often feel anxious most days and may find it difficult to recall when they last felt relaxed. As soon as one anxious thought is resolved another may appear about a different issue. The exact cause is not fully understood but it is likely a combination of several factors: over activity in the areas of the brain responsible for emotion and behaviour an imbalance of the brain chemicals serotonin and noradrenaline, which are involved in the control and regulation of mood.


I take beta blockers and antidepressants daily to balance the physical and hormonal symptoms. I’ve also had CBT, practised yoga, meditation and used the apps Calm and Headspace. The most recent episode led me to being bed-ridden for four days with agonising stomach pains, a relatively new physical symptom for me.


Before delving into the onslaught of negative traits, it's worth mentioning there are some good traits that people with anxiety often exhibit:


Increased Empathy – We imagine being in your shoes / situation.

Great Problem Solvers – Scenario A, B or C.

Thoughtful, Not Reckless – We think through situations to keep us and others safe.

Accomplished – Big on achievements as you always feel like you are underachieving.

Reliable and prepared - Check, check and check.


One thing I have learned in my ten years with this condition is that you can't ignore it or pretend you're fine, because it's exhausting and doesn't go away. You literally have to face the problem for it to go away.


Below are some of the lesser known symptoms of GAD:


People Pleasing – 'yes'

Fatigue & Tiredness - Naps are essential

Needing constant reassurance – That's looks great, love that etc.

Dizzyness, light and noise sensitivity – Please turn it down, unless it's a tune. Then turn it up.

Procrastinating - putting something off doesn't make it go away.

Fluctuating Emotions and Irritability – Hormones, lots of.

Shortness of breath – If it seems like we sigh a lot.. we're just trying to take a deep breath.


I’m writing this in the hope that if someone has these symptoms and it’s something that is part of your daily life, please call your GP and seek advice.


The creative part of my brain already wants me to think of a better way to show people what anxiety is as writing it down feels very ordinary, almost basic... I should be doing a jazzy Tik Tok dance or a series of quick fire images or another witty way to grab your attention.


One account on instagram that I find explains anxiety really well is @dlcanxiety


Things I do that ease the anxiety:


Anything that makes Mabel laugh (currently The Grinch on repeat)

Reading - Current read: Vox by Christina Dalcher (dystopian fiction)

Netball – for 45 mins I’m just focused on getting the ball in the net.

Music – Headphones in and imagine I'm in Ibiza.

A conversation - a phone call, a zoom chat, a Whatsapp chat all count.

Working – I love my job so long as I'm not stressed, but then I can get stressed over my job, it's a catch 22.

Dogs – They're all good boys.

Eating well – Vegetarian cuisine usually revolved around carbs.

Podcasts – Sooo many good podcasts at the moment: Catfish: The Podcast

I Can't Stop The Tip Off Grounded with Louis Theroux

Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment to name a few!

Some that are Anxiety related are: The Anxiety Chicks Owning It: The Anxiety podcast (there are so many, these are just two which I've listened to).

Being organised - how therapeutic is decluttering.. note to self, do this more.


Fashion related content to resume next time :D


Harriet

x


Disclaimer: It's screamingly obvious I'm no medical professional, just someone with anxiety.

All views are my own unless linked/stated.


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  • Harriet Goodings

This blog post has been re-written on three separate occasions with varying content, it’s gone 10:30pm but as a parent to an early rising heavy footed toddler, every minute of shut eye counts and this is the time that the house is relatively peaceful. However, Jonathan has commented on the aggressive nature of my typing, is anyone else at that level of lockdown yet?

I’ve drunk my weight in tea, binge watched Tiger King on Netflix, facetimed the family and now I find my days filled with negotiating snacks with a nearly two year old and watching copious amounts of Peppa Pig. My creativity and patience is being tested in abundance, so far I’ve whipped up a farm theme day, crafts for all occasions, water and mud activities and an impromptu afternoon tea. Not forgetting the failsafe sofa softplay and PE with Joe Wicks when there’s energy to burn.

I have so much respect for everyone doing his or her bit in this incredibly weird time. The word uncertain has been so overused in describing this Coronavirus lockdown but for lack of a better word, uncertain it is. Like many, anxiety has been on high and I’ve found myself having to use a variety of management techniques to be able to see some perspective. Writing things down always helps, as well as some exercise (although after one run my body has taken a battering and now needs a week to recover). Reading before bed is also a chance to switch my mind off from worrying and into something else completely.


Slight tangent, I'm unsure whether it is a help or not to make purchases online which are considered 'non-essential'? but Mabel's toes are at the top of her shoes and retailers still seem to be delivering so I've attempted to order a couple of pairs of shoes whilst guest-imating the sizes. I ordered a metallic silver pair of sandals from H&M and some white lace textured trainers from M&S which I'm hoping will be enough for pondering round the garden and slow dog walks.


I am exceptionally grateful for being able to stay at home with my family, however much I miss the grandparents and Mabel's childminder. It's not forever so please stay at home.


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  • Harriet Goodings

Some recommendations for when you're probably stuck inside and avoiding any more talk of Coronavirus.


In light of events, flights and mass gatherings being cancelled (and Mabel being with my mum for the day), I wanted to share some updates and recommendations for when you're done working from home.


AUDIO

I do love a podcast, I tend to listen to a mixture of start-up work topics, interviews and absolute nonsense. So here are a couple from my subscribe list:

Women in Business, in particular: Fear of Failure with Stacey Dooley and Ebony Rainford-Brent (6th Jan)

Ellie and Anna Have Issues, it's lighthearted, funny/I've 'lolled' a few times in public listening to this.




SHOP SMALL & FOLLOW

Little Smiths - An award winning Norwich-based gift shop full of unique handmade goodies. (@littlesmithsnorfolk)

Ace & Prince - A online lifestyle brand that that I've recently discovered through instagram (@aceandprince) and have many tote bags on my wishlist!












READ & WATCH

I'm a sucker for anything call the midwife-esque and with more frequent visits to the library since having a nearly 2-year-old I picked one up called 'Shoes Were For Sunday'. It's a delightful read.

The Middle (on Amazon Prime) - 20 Minute episodes with a modern family vibe, it's easy watching and Sue Heck is by far the best character.










If you have any questions that relate to being a 'start up' business or what the first step is in starting a brand, feel free to message me via the website link or share this email with a friend :D I'll be updating my services this week on the site and will publish them shortly.


Have a good week!


Thanks, Harriet x



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