Writing from: Oxford, England
I've read many an article, taken many a quiz, and I've come to the conclusion that the closest thing I can describe myself is an extroverted introvert. 
I don't think anyone who knows me would describe me as loud; but as I've gotten older and become more comfortable in myself, I've become more confident, open and yeah...probably a little bit louder.

I like being around people, but I like my own space too. Sometimes I need contact with another human being or I just go a bit stir crazy, and sometimes I just need to be on my own, as far away from people as I can possibly be.
I'm not the sort of person who would start conversations on the tube, but if someone spoke to me, I'd happily reply. 

But if I throw my mental health into the mix, it changes things up a bit.
If I'm having a particularly bad depressive episode, I don't want to be around people. I want to shut myself up and not talk, and just wait til the heaviness passes. But then again, when the worst has passed, sometimes there's that tiny, proud and lonely part of me that just wants someone to come in and ask me if I'm ok. And when I do start to talk to someone, I do tend to feel a lot better. 
Anxiety is a bit different. My anxiety thrives on isolation and it grows the longer I'm alone with an anxious thought. It's this time where I need to be around people. I need that distraction, or my anxiety won't stop growing unless I grab a hold of it - which takes a lot of effort and energy out of me.

This is something that I do worry about moving forward.
It is in the back of my mind that when I eventually move out, there are going to be moments where I'm alone, and it's quiet, and I have to be there for myself. I'm not going to be able to guarantee that someone is going to be there to distract me, so it's all on me. Which is pretty bloody terrifying, and ironically caused an anxiety attack just thinking about it the other day.

I think the worst part, for me, is the anxiety about being unable to cope.

So, for myself as much as anyone else, these are my ideas to get through those quiet hours when I'm anxious or mid-depressive episode.

Find anything you know will make you laugh.

Whether it's a YouTube video, tv show, book, photo...make sure you have it available and try to immerse yourself in it. In my worst times, I've felt better even for a minute when I could laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine, maybe they're right?

Find something you have to concentrate on.

There's a reason why adult colouring books are so popular. Distracting our brains with something that requires all of our attention helps us to not think about our thoughts that may be making us feel anxious or low. Colouring books, crosswords, sudoku, drawing, painting - there are so many creative or problem-solving activities that need our focus.

Get it out.

Write it out, sing it out, cry it out, laugh it out, scream it out...just get the emotion out in a safe, comfortable way. I'm very much an advocate for a good old cry, and I mean, this blog exists so I can write about my mental health. Whatever works for you.

Change what you're feeling.

This sounds more ridiculous than it sounds. If you're feeling full of emotion, or even nothing at all, find something to physically feel. What I mean by that is that you could take a shower or bath, drink a glass of ice cold water, or have a hot drink. Being attuned to those physical sensations is a good distraction from the emotions. It sounds too simple to be true, but I find it really works!

Work through the thoughts.

This is something that I learnt at CBT, but working through thoughts has helped when I just couldn't calm down from an anxiety attack. Writing down the trigger, proof for or against that it'll actually happen, and then your feelings about whether or not it'll happen, has taken the edge off the worst of my anxiety. It helps me to understand how I'm thinking, why I'm thinking that way, and how my thoughts have made me feel so anxious.

Music, the great communicator.

Get your favourite song or album on and blast it.

Remember it doesn't last forever.

This is the absolute hardest thing to do when you're not ok. It is near impossible to think rationally when you're consumed by your own emotions, but I try to remember that I've been through it before, and it did end eventually. For a moment, I was ok, and that's enough, because I can be again.

M x