|This is how I look when I am anxious.|
Now that I have been seeing a counselor for nearly a year, and have been prescribed anti-anxiety medication, I feel as though my anxiety has become very manageable. I used to fight my anxiety with all I had, but I knew once I stopped fighting against it, and started to flow with it things would get easier. I was so angry. I was so frustrated that I couldn't go with the flow. It's similar to skidding in a car on an icy road. When you steer into the skid, then you can get out of the skid easier (and alive). It's the same way with anxiety. When you don't fight it, recognize it, and use your "tool kit", the anxiety or panic attack will surpass faster.
Tool Kit Includes:
1. Deep breathing exercises.
2. Focusing on the present things around me.
3. A hot, relaxing bath.
4. Talking about my feelings with family or friends.
5. Reading Scripture, worship music, prayer
6. Doing something active or something I enjoy.
All of these things can help ease and even eliminate my anxiety.
Last week, my anxiety hit pretty hard. I had a very full week (at a conference) and had to travel an hour and forty minutes one way and back each day. That made for hours in the car, in Atlanta traffic, with very little relaxation or downtime. I knew one thing - I was physically exhausted. When mental or physical exhaustion hits, my anxiety gets to be at an all-time high. I knew that I needed to focus on the tasks at hand, not get overwhelmed, and get through as best as I could until Friday. Luckily, I had plenty of downtime this weekend, so I am feeling much more at ease. To relax I typically hang around the apartment, take baths, do face masks, take naps, and watch Netflix or movies. I was also with my roommate all weekend and we got to eat out a couple of times and run errands. If I were completely alone all weekend, I would not have felt as recharged. I felt alone at the conference all week, so recharging during the weekend for me was having time to be social and connect. If I feel as though I have had very little alone time during the week, I tend to hide away for a little while to recharge. It depends on my circumstances.
Managing anxiety is all about balance, and it can be pretty hard! I think for me, keeping a lighter schedule, having time to myself and with others, and doing things I enjoy helps manage it much better.
If you feel as though your anxiety is creeping in or increasing, take a moment to reflect on your schedule. Have you been working longer hours? Have you been rushed for time? Have you been more tired lately? Have you been by yourself too much or too little? All of these things can attribute to how you feel.
Feel free to share with me your tips for managing anxiety, or if you have any questions, let me know. You can also send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.