Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews

Hear me.

I’m going through a period where the little things really matter. After having spent the six weeks at home, recovering from surgery, returning to work looms. Also, the holidays.

The past two days, I’ve had a mild rash on my left forearm that has left me paralyzed in fear. That, combined with a weirdly watery eye has led me to believe that clearly, something is tremendously wrong with me, and I should hide under a bridge to live out the rest of my days as the troll I am.

OK, to be fair, I am taking responsibility for my anxiety and engaging in personal self-care tools. Here are a few examples of what I do for myself: Top 10 Simple Tools to Reduce Anxiety

For those of us who live with anxiety, we know there are peaks and valleys. I haven’t had a big peak for a while. I wouldn’t recommend it. Speaking solely for myself, here I things I’d love to sincerely hear from friends and family when I am in this space.

“You aren’t alone.”

“How can I help?”

“Do you need company?”

“I’d be happy to check in.”

“What tools help in times like this?”

“I’m here to listen.”

“Is there a creative way you can channel this for good?”

Similarly, when tentatively I share things with you, small achievements that I’ve managed to conquer while in this space, these are things I would absolutely love (and need) to hear.

“I’m proud of you.”

“That took a lot of courage.”

“You’re doing a great job.”

“It may seem insignificant to you, but what you did was really a big deal.”

Please don’t minimize my accomplishments. Don’t explain to me why it’s really not the big deal I feel it is. Don’t make me feel small, or insignificant, or talk down to me like I’m a child. It takes courage for me to tell you I ate breakfast, or got out of bed, or got outside. Don’t ignore me and allow me to further isolate myself. Try not to take it personally when I cancel plans.

Believe me. If nothing else, please, believe me. Trust me, I am well aware this, too, shall pass.

Here is an article that includes additional tools you can use to help those of us going through periods such as these: 36 People Share How They’ve Helped Friends Through Their Anxiety


Saying it out loud.