As someone with anxiety myself, I find myself needing pep talks pretty often.

Today I decided to write down the pep talk that I needed to hear, and share it for anyone else who needs it too.

First thing's first, you are not a burden. Your thoughts and feelings are valid. It doesn't matter that they came from an anxious episode. It's valid. Period. And everyone has *something* that requires extra attention or care from the people around them. That *something* can range from being super confrontational to battling depression to anything in between. Everyone has that something that makes them need a little extra sometimes, and anxiety is just one common example.

Anyone who tries to guilt trip you into thinking you owe them something or that you're a burden because they "have to deal" with your anxiety is someone you don't need in your life. I know this is especially hard, because a common part of anxiety is feeling like your anxiety makes you a burden. But there are so many people in this world who will not see it that way. They will want to help you and see you make progress, simply because they love you. It will not be transactional, it will not be short lived, and it will not be to guilt trip you in the future. You deserve those people around you.

That being said, you cannot just let yourself sink deeper into anxiety week after week. Of course, you deserve a support system to get through bad moments, but it's your responsibility to actively work to get better. If for some reason you cannot/aren't in a place to seek professional help, there's still things you can do. You can read a book about managing anxiety or keep a journal. And definitely try to find your triggers. For instance, one trigger could be not getting much sleep the night before. When you sense anxiety starting and you know it's because of a certain trigger, remind yourself that it's just your mind's reaction to the trigger. In that moment, your fears and anxieties are not stemming from anything other than sleep deprivation. If possible, try to always talk things through to yourself (like with the trigger scenario) before the anxiety hits full force. Try out different techniques to keep your mind grounded and remember the ones that work for the future. It might not get rid of it, but it can help slow it down or stop it from getting worse.

And that's incredibly hard. When you feel it coming on, it's much easier to just let it fully flood over you. It's much harder to stay on top of it and fight against it, but it's worth it in the long run. It'll also lower the amount of time you need substantial help from loved ones, which could help with the feeling of being a burden.

With all of this said, be generous and kind to yourself. You're going to take a step forward one day and then feel like you've taken five steps back the next. That's okay. You're going to feel like an annoying broken record, who gets anxious over the same thing. But that's okay. Honestly, it's just how anxiety works. We all do that same thing. When you're being really hard on yourself, remember: you deserve all of the patience, love, and generosity you would give your loved ones. We all tend to hold ourselves to a stricter standard, but pause and think to yourself: would I be this hard on my best friend?

Also, you aren't going to lose good people if you aren't improving fast enough. There should be no time limit on how long your friends are willing to be support you, just like there isn't a time limit for how long you are willing to support your friends. If people are pressuring you to speed up your progress, that is only a reflection of their lack of understanding. They don't understand that this is something that no one can physically change overnight. If you explain it to them and they become more supportive, great! And if they don't, then you deserve better.

Remember, you deserve all of the love you'd give others.