Anxiety is the worst.
One minute you’ve completed a major project with no problems, cleaned the house and did a little rockstar parenting…and the next you’re laying in bed, heart racing not sure if you’ll be able to sleep that night.That’s how anxiety is for me anyways.
I get up every morning, get my kids to school, go to work then come home and finish my day. Most evenings seem to be spent on the couch or in bed after dinner is made and dishes are done. If things are getting messy I will take the time to pick up, otherwise I’m drawn to sit down. I can’t do one. more. thing. Then as I’m laying in bed my mind is racing. Just last night it was about a snow day that probably wasn’t going to happen and I already had arrangements for my kids if it did so there was LITERALLY nothing to worry about.
But worry I did.
This morning as I was contemplating getting out of bed I thought about a day this past summer where I absentmindedly mistook a friend’s sister for her. I obviously knew it wasn’t my friend, but my brain spaced and now it’s 9 months later and I still think about what an idiot I was.
I’m not sure why anxiety does what it does to people, and why it chose me, but here I am. Living the dream.
It’s especially hard to talk to people who don’t deal with it and/or don’t “believe” in anxiety or that it’s just a catch-all term. Believe me, if I could stop thinking about it or just go to sleep I would. It’s really hard to write this, because I don’t know what people are going to think. But I also think it’s good that people understand there are so many different types of mental health issues and that is is estimated that 264 million people worldwide have an anxiety disorder and women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed.
My anxiety surfaced in anger and depression, and I chose to seek treatment. I’ve seen a therapist and am on medication. It seems to help but there are some days that the anxiety creeps in and I can’t stop it. There are ways that I find to help though. Here are some of my ideas:
- Have a friend who you can talk to – I have one and she’s a godsend. She also deals with anxiety so I know she understands what I’m going through.
- Find ways to take your mind off of things – I bite and pick at my nails a lot. My therapist suggested having something to keep my hands busy, such as thinking putty. I have some at my desk and when I’m in between projects I can pull it out and work it around for a few minutes to get my brain back on the right path.
- Say no – I enjoy doing things with friends but sometimes it’s too much. So I tell them that and tell them next time! Or if I’m out and need a break, I let them know and leave. They’ll understand as long as you don’t just bail!
- Find something that calms you down and helps you sleep – I like noise when I fall asleep and I heard that sleep stories are good to help you fall asleep. I started putting on Mysteries at the Museum on my iPad but only listening to it through headphones. That way I’m not staying up to watch it but have something to listen to to help me fall asleep. There are several apps, downloads and websites that offer these. Some for free and others at a cost.
These are just some helpful tips I’ve found that have helped manage my anxiety. Nothing is a cure-all and there are days that seem like nothing will work.