Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dealing with Anxiety

I am a worrier.

I spend entirely too much of my time worrying about the following:
  • Did I lock my front door?
  • I used the oven last night. Did I ever turn it off?
  • Oh my God. I can't believe I just said that! Will so-and-so be offended/think I'm weird/etc?
  • I think I'm having chest pains. Am I having a heart attack?
  • I'm not saving enough money. My account should be bigger by now.
  • Etc
Sometimes, my worries get so big and overwhelming, they turn into full-blown anxiety attacks. 

Anxiety attacks are scary, whether they are of the physical variety (heart racing, sweaty palms, nausea) or psychological (mind whirling, unable to sleep).


Wednesday morning, I woke up at 4am with an anxious attack.

I curled up in bed and tried to think of the happiest thoughts I could. I took deep breaths. I told myself  I would be okay.

But anxiety doesn't like to be reasoned with. It's rude that way.

So instead, I got up for the day and got to my desk super early for work.

As the day continued on, I wasn't feeling so well. 

That night, I was supposed to go to a weekly class.

I texted my friend and told her what happened and that I wasn't feeling well. She completely understood.

So instead? I decided to take it easy and have the most calming night I could.

I got home from work and immediately went to lie down in the dark bedroom. The dogs curled up beside me, and I was able to finally turn my mind off and close my eyes.

I warmed up some chili for dinner and then took Gus Bear on a short walk and admired the Christmas lights.

Instead of turning on Netflix when I arrived home, I plugged the lights in on the tree, poured myself a glass of wine, and cozied up with a good book.

It was even a Christmas book!

How merry and bright is that?

The dogs even got in on the relaxation efforts and cuddled up beside me.

Adam called from his business trip, and we talked for a while, too. We said how much we missed each other and talked about our days.

By the time I was crawling into bed, I felt happy, calm, and light.

It's amazing how much good a relaxing night in can do when you have the simple luxury of turning your whirling mind off to outside distractions and stresses.

So take that anxiety. 

You're tough, but I am so much tougher. 

1 comment:

  1. Thumbs up to you Jenna - anxiety attacks can be so debilitating! I'm a born worrier, too (another thing we have in common), and I used to worry myself sick about things that a) never even happened or b) I had no way of influencing. No need to tell you that my stress and anxiety levels soared out the window. So recently, I've been trying to adopt a different attitude: I'm trying to be kinder to myself and give myself grace whenever I catch myself slipping into "worry mode". It's similar to your approach: instead of forcing myself to power through, I give myself a break, and try to dissolve my worries in a good book or a bubble bath, or a workout that flushes my body and mind with endorphin. And you're right: you're so much tougher than your anxiety! Have a lovely Monday my dear friend!