Living with high anxiety is not easy for anyone, but simply recognizing and accepting this struggle can make the battle that much easier. When I admitted to myself, and the world, that I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. That weight was heavy with all my secrets, lies, and tears over the years. I cannot explain the feeling; I had to let it all go. Being honest and open is much easier than living under pounds of secrets.
Now that I am less focused on hiding, I am more focused on staying healthy. There are many actions I take each day to keep myself from venturing into the dark-side.
#1 Think positive. I have to constantly remind myself that everything is okay. Because there are so many negative thoughts and scenarios constantly scrolling through my mind, I have to stop them with numerous mantras: “I am happy and healthy.” “I can do this.” “Breath.” “Everything will be okay.” It may sound ridiculous but repeating these thoughts, writing them down, or saving them in my Notes app, helps me everyday.
#2 Exercise. This is just a given. We all know that, “Exercising gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!” Wise words from Elle Woods. After the terrible heartache I went through years ago, my doctor suggested I take anti-depressants. I was very leery of this route so he made me promise to do some form of exercise everyday and check in with him every couple of weeks. Done. It did me wonders.
#3 Make time to do things I enjoy. I learned how important this is while living in Albania. It is still a challenge to make time for things like reading, dancing, writing, movie watching, and especially relaxing, but I am so much happier when I do. I tend to feel guilty when I take time for myself, but it gets easier and easier with practice, which is why I have a Weekly Dose of Glamour.
I typically pick one day a week to really relax. This day is usually a no-make-up, pajama kind of day. By 5 pm, Husband is so ready to get out of the apartment that he will do anything I am willing to do. This usually involves Starbucks, a walk, some fancy stores, and maybe an exhibit.
This Sunday we walked a few miles, all around the Upper East Side. We window shopped down Madison for at least an hour and I used my new Aviary app to snap some shots of the beautiful items we spotted. I love this app so much more than Instagram.
I walked really fast during our 3 mile window shopping adventure so I counted it as my cardio for the day, and went home to put my pj’s back on….what a great day.
I still have other skills to practice like getting enough sleep and seeing a doctor regularly…I’ll get there. One step at a time.