What Works For Me: 'The Only Time I Don't Struggle With Anxiety Is When I'm Doing Martial Arts'

In ‘What Works For Me’ – a series of articles considering how we can find balance in our lives – we talk to people about their self-care strategies. If you’d like to contribute your story, email us.

Every day, Shaina West battles anxiety. “The best way to describe it is when you get butterflies in your stomach but these butterflies have wings made of razor blades,” the 24-year-old explains.

After a motorbike accident three years ago, Shaina’s body and mind was broken – Shaina had a fractured neck and broken thumb. She was badly injured, her boyfriend had split up with her before she’d even left the hospital, and she had lost her job. 

“I was at a very low point in my life and that’s when my anxiety started to take over,” she says. “I got really depressed and the physical symptoms got worse. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, it was a perpetual cycle of misery.”

During her recovery she would watch back-to-back anime and superhero films on Netflix, which she says inspired her to want to become strong again. When she was properly recovered, a year after the accident, she began to teach herself martial arts.

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