ColumnistsVogue Williams

Vogue Williams on how she is fighting back against anxiety

Vogue strikes a pose at her yoga retreat
Vogue strikes a pose at her yoga retreat

I have been having really bad anxiety over the last few months.

I’m waking at four in the morning and being unable to sleep, or having that horrible feeling in my stomach for days on end. 

I think a lot of people struggle with anxiety and it’s just because of the fast-pace world we are living in today. Anxiety is just thoughts and thoughts can be changed, although it is much easier said than done and I struggle to change the thoughts that give me anxiety. 

I never wanted to go to the doctor and end up getting medication so I decided I would try out other things before going down that route.

I had also found myself falling into bad eating habits ,which I really wanted to change, so I ended up last weekend at the Push Mind and Body Retreat in Somerset in the south of England.

And I loved it! So much so I just really wanted to tell everyone.

While it was definitely hard work I really think it can help if you’re suffering from anxiety.

Natt Summers was the trainer down there and I learnt so much from her.  And the best thing about it was she said 30 minutes of high intensity training a day is more than enough!  

Every morning we woke up to a concoction of lemon ginger hot water and apple cider vinegar to get our systems going. It sounds gross but I actually liked it by the end.

Then we went into a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class or a HIIT boxing class.

After breakfast (overnight oats are my new favourite) it was more training and then a snack and then we would have a HIIT yoga class. 

I’m not huge fan of yoga, but it was high speed so I found it worked really well. After that it was lunch and then a two-hour hike followed by another hour of training before we meditated for a while at the end of the day. That’s something I will definitely be taking home with me. I found that all the training, eating well and taking time out to meditate really helped me with anxiety.

On retreat you also get to meet amazing people, and every night we all hung out together and had the chats! 

I got some amazing advice from a nutritionist down at the retreat. She told me to start taking magnesium twice a day, once in the morning and then again just before bed. 

Sleepless nights only add to the following days anxiety so it’s crucial to get a good night’s sleep. Eat lots of green vegetables every day, which is healthy in general, but can aid anxiety. So too can snacking on almonds during the day.  

I’ve been doing everything she told me for a week now and I do feel a small change, but I think it takes a while for it all to kick in so don’t give up on it before a month is up.

For anyone thinking of going to a retreat I would highly recommend it.

I’m already booking in my next one!