We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Anxiety Take Away
Do you ever have one of those mornings when you wake up and just feel unsettled? That was how my day greeted me. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something was in the air around me, causing friction. Sure, it could have been all in my head, but that’s what anxiety and depression is, something unbalanced all in our head, causing us issues.
I personally spend far too much time all in my head, and by doing so, I give anxiety legs to walk around in my life outside of my head. It’s weird; it’s a cycle. – and it is something I have to work at to break on my own. This morning I set out to calm the pitter patter of my heart and so even though I had a million things I should be doing today, I spent the majority of my free time working on my Happy Planner.
Planning for Hope
I wrote about using a Happy Planner earlier this year, and for a while I stayed consistent in creating ‘spreads’ and using it to stay on top of things, but then my personal bottom fell out. I can see the definitive mark of when my depression and anxiety issues began, because my planning for the future had ended. No stickers, no spreads, no inspirational quotes or photos from the Sprocket. I had stopped planning because I had stopped hoping.
My Happy Planner has lain dormant and unused for five months – almost six! I had made plans, goals, written down projects and dreams in the first quarter of the year, but then it all just stopped. For part of this time, I was trapped inside my head, letting the monster win. The times when I wasn’t trapped in the fog of my head, I did what I could do to relieve my own anxiety.
Because the morning greeted me with anxiety, and then I had to deal with some very stressful things that arose along the way today rooted from the issues that propelled my depression and anxiety forward months ago (so much uncomfortable adulting!), I spent the day practicing my Anti-Anxiety steps and I am going to share them with you.
5 Things to Take when Anxiety has you stopped in your tracks
- Take a Breath Breathe in: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Breathe out: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Actually count the numbers, focusing ONLY on each number, nothing else. 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4.
Do this until the immediate panic subsides.
- Take a Break Stop what you are doing. Okay, so don’t stop driving if you are in the middle of traffic, performing heart surgery or landing a jet plane; your break may have to be put on hold for a minute, but if you can, just stop and get yourself to a point where you can regroup. Sometimes this may mean going to your car to scream it out away from your spouse, kids or coworkers. Sometimes it is just going to stand at the office water-cooler and watch the bubbles rise. You may need to distract yourself by reading a book, watching a sitcom or playing with a puppy. Meditation or prayer time is my answer to an immediate break, and I’ve been known to throw down on some crafts or even color in a coloring book to help relieve my anxiety. Today I focused on my Happy Planner for the break I needed. Whatever it is, take the break. You deserve it.
- Take a Bath Or a shower. Use aromatherapy. Light a candle. Turn on your favorite sing-in-the-shower song and belt it out. Cry if you need to. Just let the water wash away the stress you are feeling. Close your eyes and actually picture these negative emotions being washed away and disappearing down the drain. I can promise you that act of mindfulness works. Wash it away!
- Take a Nap You have practiced breathing. You took a break, you took a bath. You are already calmer than you were, but that little voice is trying to crank itself back up in your head, so shut it out with sleep. If I had known how beneficial naps would be as an adult, well…I don’t know, I probably still would have fought them off as a kid, but I do appreciate them so much more now. So go to sleep. Drift off to something happy, like, oh, I don’t know… Walt Disney World! Bowls of ice cream. Christmas. Whatever it is, make it happy and then sleep on it. And if you need it,
- Take a chill pill
Sometimes we need medicine to help us. Sometimes we may just need a glass of wine! Whatever it is that you think you need, talk to your doctor about it, that’s what they’re there for.There is nothing wrong with having a drink to unwind, as long as you don’t NEED the drink to do so. Self-medicating can become habit-forming, and not in a good way. If you are finding you need more wine (or whatever), get to your doctor to get the right thing to help you through this. There are medications that help depression and anxiety and there is nothing wrong with taking them – because they help! Use the help made available to you. Don’t be ashamed or afraid, you are one of millions dealing with these issues and help is out there for you.
Today my day started off anxiously. I had additional stressors arise that tried to put me in a full-blown panic attack, but because I followed the 5 simple steps above, I am able to not only finish tasks (like writing my #Blogtober post and cooking a nice dinner), I am able to get out of my head and into my world, and that is so much a better place to be! If you are struggling, take what you need and leave the rest.
YOU. ARE. WORTH. IT.
Until next time, be well.