THREE resources and tools on how to manage and thrive in life amidst Anxiety and panic tendencies.
Ever since I was little I have battled anxiety. I have sensory compulsive tendencies, and major panic attacks would stem from things such as socks rubbing on my feet wrong or squished into shoes that made my brain go crazy… I remember CRYING and having meltdowns unsure of how to process or explain to my parents at 8 years old why I was struggling so hard, all they heard was a whiney child complaining about her t shirt being bunched wrong. Drives to school in my dad’s work van were excruciating, I wasn’t able to pinpoint at the time that my senses were screaming, he was a painter and the clamoring of hammers and cans banging against each other made my brain feel like it was going to explode.
Here I sit as a 29 year old who still battles these same things, in a loud crowded room I get tunnel vision, things seem to close in, and if I sit in a room with my man just wanting to snuggle up and watch tv sometimes all I can do is think of the noise he’s making while he is chewing a snack of pretzels or touching his beard. It is absolutely all I can do some days to calmly remind my brain that THIS IS MY LIFE and I will not be taken down with tears and ripping my hair out due to these small every day things that are so routine to most but can cause complete chaos inside of my own body.
I’ve had work trips that I am so blessed to be invited on and yet days weeks leading up to those trips internally I melt down. I lose control of my actions day to day, I find myself being unproductive, compulsively stressing about what I will pack, will it fit, what about the flying, night sweats, palms clammy, and full on cannot redirect my focus from whatever that ONE thing is.
Now I do want to say, before you read further please remember we are all different, we all need different things in our life, wether it be medications, therapy, specialists, and I am so beyond grateful we live in a day and age where these things are available. I am no stranger to sitting and discussing my feelings, and I’m not shy of the fact I/ve been on anti- depressants and meds to help this disorder many times when the severity has become something out of my control.
So as I share what helps me please do your diligence in knowing your boundaries of what’s necessary in your life to be living healthy and happy and do not take my suggestions for more than, what I found in my own life to be helpful when I am triggered. Maybe they will help you in similar struggles or maybe it is just reassurance, that there are ways to cope and feel somewhat better even if the battle with anxiety is not gone.
- SAY NO! This was something I struggled with so much but I have found that when I fill my plate up to the brim I am overwhelmed, stressed and can lead to break down, to the point of doing NOTHING.
I purposely do not volunteer at the kids schools very much this year, because I know it is just not a time of being able to GIVE of myself in that way. I have had to turn down offers of being interviewed on some incredible podcasts, while I so badly wanted to play a part in a fun, amazing production the thought of having that one thing on my plate, ANOTHER todo in the week that didn’t necessarily serve my over all goals at this given moment and season of our lives, needed to be something I had to turn down.
FOR YOUR sanity babe PLEASE take a minute, write down what are your FOCUSES PRIORITIES, this week, this next 6 months/ year. If asked to, host, donate time, chaperone an event, take on a baking project, heck even if its going to get coffee with someone that maybe isn’t someone that is going to fill your bucket, START SAYING NO.
NOW before I close on this first point, I want to remind you that as you write down those focused priorities, by saying NO remember that you are CHOOSING in power YES to the things on your actual well laid goal of where you want to be. If something is not in alignment with that then it is OKAY to say NO, as it is actually leaning into the fact that you know your boundaries and stretching that decision muscle to become stronger in your actual DESIRES in life and turning down the things that are not serving in those areas.
2. STOP MULTI TASKING. I know I know that sounds silly but FOR REAL GIRL, IDK how many times we as hustling babes try juggling 17 balls in the air and we just LOSE OUR SHIT, because it is just not maintainable! We are built TOUGH made to endure 3D printing humans, while working a job, and keeping a household running.
We are BADASSES, but remember that BURNOUT does no one any good. Take time to do a WEEKLY DUMP, I shared about this in a previous blog post but to sum it up, weekly and daily I DUMP it all into a notebook: the appointments, the reminders of getting toothpaste, the need for a coffee date to catch up with my sis, deadlines, all of it WRITE IT OUT. Get it out of your brain and onto a set schedule so you can LET GO of them and set focused time for each thing.
This is something I Struggle with, as a babe who runs a biz from home, I am constantly juggling, emails, dishes, diapers, while the tv is screaming, baby shark is screaming from the Sonos and my brain is trying to yell at me that I need to pause the emails to throw that crock pot meal together.
STOP with the madness!! You can do one thing well or half ass it all. I have found that setting and prioritizing ONE THING AT A TIME, helps my brain slow the FREAK down. Yes so many are proud of their capabilities to be in 12 places doing 15 things at once, but the focused time and energy actually can be so much more efficient when diving into when are your PRODUCTIVITY levels high, what are the tasks that need that energy, and what are things that can WAIT and be done with lower productivity levels.
Here’s a real life example of my day today: I wanted to meal prep for the week, I know we needed diapers, I had deadlines to get my blog post up for the newsletter, and I have about 200 emails of babes waiting on me to help them get plugged into a fitness group. I could try and voice memo a grocery list while half ass emails are being sent, while also listening to an Audio book, while amidst sitting in the parking lot of Target while also….. okay you get the idea. Instead, I powered through a to do list knowing my most productive hours are earlier, past 3pm I’m a sack of potatoes with very little CREATIVE energy, knowing this, I got my blog post written, phone away from me, kids downstairs with activities, and then diving into a 45 min timed slot to get through as many emails as I could. REFOCUS at lunch, and now the afternoon is set for family and food prep.
NO, it is not perfect and I am still working on mastering my inner PRODUCTIVE NINJA guru. However I will say even by small adjustments I have gotten ahead of the game so to speak where I can BATCH produce the things needing to be done so I don’t feel SO BEHIND all the time. Applying simple boundaries of turning my phone on airplane mode in the morning allows for my focused routine in self care. I make the conscious choice of leaving my phone behind on our family walks in the evening so I am not seeing notifications of new emails and DMS coming in. The fact that when I do BLOCK OUT TIME for certain things related to JUST THAT TASK – I can multiply my efforts by ten and be ahead of things for my week, month, and year.
Allowing me to be PRESENT with the areas I want to thrive and not just survive.
3. MOVE YOUR BODY INTENTIONALLY! Yes you heard that right, don’t freak out and be like I CANT GO TO THE GYM, or I DON’T HAVE THE TIME, I AM SO SERIOUS that movement is KEY to energy, blood flow, and mood. If you are struggling with anxious thoughts, feeling a panic attack on set, or finding it hard to be around people in general. MOVE YOUR DAMN BODY.
GIRLFRIEND, I say this because I love you! If this means a walk a few times a day justo breathe in fresh air so be it, does going to the gym give you anxiety DON’T do that, Curious if hot yoga is your jam find a place in your area that lets you give it a try. if you want to try out an at home fitness program find a friend to hold you accountable to do it with you or better yet BABE join my next GROUP! CLICK HERE to take my FREE health assessment) and we can chat about your goals.
If you are not finding time to move your body FOR YOU, this needs to change. I don’t mean chasing your kids around, or justifying how going up and down the two flights of stairs to do laundry was your ” workout” , this MOVE YOUR BODY idea is INTENTIONAL time you choose to put into an activity focused on your body and self care.
I mean specific CHOOSING TO MOVE time that you are setting in your day to Breathe, focus, and Align everything. It boosts endorphins, it will get that stress level to come down, and center all those anxious thoughts at least to some degree.
Some days it takes everything in me when it is time to workout, not to want to RUN for the hills. the thing is I have engrained a 20-30 min workout as HABIT, CHOOSING to plug in and press play no matter how CRAPPY I FEEL, this is not about doing it when you FEEL LIKE IT, this is about CHOOSING even when you LEAST want to.
I PROMISE, NO ONE EVER felt worse after movement, no one ever regrets it, and I PROMISE this is going to be like a weight off your chest every time you lean into the MOVE YOUR BODY mentality. I want to remind you this has NOTHING TO DO WITH weight loss or gain for me, I do not step on the scale to see where I am at daily ( Cue panic attack because heaven forbid its up two lbs because Im a gosh darn WOMAN and my body held onto water weight due to the few french fries I inhaled on date night) YOU ARE WAY MORE THAN THAT, so DO NOT fall into that trap of moving to LOSE weight. THIS IS FOR YOU, this is because you have one body and it will FUNCTION a million times better, and that brain of yours thanks you for the clarity and focus it can create.
I hope these few tools implemented will help you sister! I truly know the day to day struggle where your brain can be so one tracked in that horrible whirlwind of emotion, panic and destress. The questions of WHY cant I just get it together, or What the heck is wrong with me. I am right there alongside of you babe and learning how to not allow it to completely over run my LIFE.
HERE ARE A FEW THINGS I USE DAILY TO ALSO MANAGE MY STRESS / ANXIETY LEVELS :
MY GO TO ROLLER BALL! It calms and soothes I keep one on my desk, another in my nightstand by the bed, and always in my purse on the go.
Fave TEA for calming at night to unwind and destress!
A gratitude journal, this one has been awesome but any type of notebook or prompt type journal to reset your brain to be positive and intentional.
I would love to hear the tools or things you implement in your life to manage anxiety, what is something you always do or have found helps?
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