Top Tips for managing anxiety bonfire night and beyond
Written by Carolyn Brown, Clinical Lead, Walking With The Wounded.
1. Preparation is helpful – Planning your evening, whether you’re going out with friends or family, it will probably be helpful to discuss your concerns with them so that they can support you.
2. The smell of fireworks may trigger strong feelings and difficult memories. It could be helpful to carry a competing smell which will bring you back to the present. For example, soothing smells such as essential oils, lavender some of the citrus smells or peppermint or perhaps a stronger smell such as olbas oil or smelling salts.
3. Sight and sound of fireworks and sharp ricocheting light can be triggers so being prepared is important, and a powerful way to calm the body is to use your breath and ensure that your outbreaths are long and slow and hopefully this will calm your nervous system, this technique can be used to calm yourself during a panic attack and help to reduce your anxiety
4. If you’re feeling zoned out and experiencing vivid memories, you can bring yourself back to the here and now by doing things such as stamping your feet on the ground, feeling the ground beneath you, if you’re sitting – grab hold of the arms of the chair. Walk around.
5. Another way of grounding yourself is to notice 5 things in the room using each of the senses in turn, see, hear, touch, smell, and taste
About Walking With The Wounded
Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) is a charity established to support the employment aspirations and vocational outcomes of our wounded, injured and sick ex-servicemen and women who have been physically, mentally and socially disadvantaged by their service.
WWTW recognises the inherent skills of our armed service personnel and wants to complement these qualities, as well as provide support to transfer their skills into the civilian workplace. We offer assistance through our programmes to those vulnerable veterans who have been physically, mentally or socially disadvantaged by their service and assist them in gaining independence through new long-term careers outside of the military. This includes providing support to homeless veterans and veterans in the Criminal Justice System; areas which are too often ignored.
The outcome? Sustainable employment and independence for them and their families.