I’ve been going back and forth with this post. This week I was going to post on Planning: A Wedding. This post will come to life eventually, but if you’re in the event industry or are married yourself, you know how difficult and long that post will be. Instead, I decided that this week I would talk about Anxiety and how I cope with it.
First I’d like to say that I’m in no way an expert in research or know everything there is to know about anxiety. I guess I just want to share what has helped me deal with the various situations that make me anxious.
I’m so lucky to have people like M, Caroline and my family to remind me to do just that. So many times, when faced in an uncomfortable situation, I start to panic and freeze up and I forget to breathe properly and start hyperventilating. That’s when one of them (depends who I’m with) will grab my shoulders, look me straight in the eye and say: “Breathe!” Then they’ll do the motions with me. In through the nose, hold for 3 seconds, and let it out through the mouth. I repeat this 5 times. This technique definitely helps me get back to the present and focus on what the next step is.
I’m not a writer in any means, but that doesn’t really matter at all. Like many people, I have so many questions and thoughts that pop into my head daily and sometimes you just need to release them onto something concrete. So I write in a journal. It’s a notebook from Dollarama really, but it does the trick. I don’t write every day. Some might suggest to do so, but I prefer to write when it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a little while. I also found this great website that allows you to reflect on yourself for a whole year. So I know for sure that I’ll be writing something weekly and reflect on something I may not have even thought of in a while. Writing is also my escape when I want to vent and have no one to talk to at that very moment.
It’s not always an easy thing and it’s definitely something I’ve worked on for the past few years and will end up working on for the rest of my life. But I definitely think that communication is a great help with anxiety. Whether it’s to a family member, a friend, your partner or even a third party, talking normally helps. Personally, I prefer talking to a third party. I’ve been seeing a therapist for a couple of years now, and I’m in no way, shape or form embarrassed or ashamed of doing so. Why? It helps me. It helps me get a look at my life from the outside in. Therapists are trained to identify common triggers and help you cope with the triggers that you may encounter on a daily basis. There are times that I laugh my head off when relating a funny story about a recent adventure, and there are days that I cry my eyes out. The thing with seeing therapists that I love is that they’re there to listen and in the end, you can draw your own conclusion. Talking to friends and family is also wise. They know you very well and they can help you in a multitude of situations.
Doing what I’m passionate about
I absolutely love the arts. From movies to drawing to signing as loud as I can, I try to always make time during the day for one of those things. When you take the time to do something that you love, you end up taking the time to love yourself and put your needs first. I think that’s very important. As much as I love taking care of other people and giving them lots of love and affection, it’s a necessity for me to allow myself to be absorbed in what makes me feel good. If I have a busy day and I know I won’t be able to watch a movie, then I take at least 10 to 20 minutes to draw or read or write to relax my mind. If I’m having a stressful day, then I exercise or sing my heart out to release energy. On the weekends, I tend to watch at least one movie a day and just relax.
|Empty VIP theatre – M and I got great seats!|
I’ve come to discover that my sleeping pattern affects my anxiety in a great way. I need my sleep and anyone who’s more than an acquaintance to me, knows this to be a fact. At the very least, I need 7 hours of sleep. If I can’t have it, I make time for a nap the next day. (True story)
|Train Ride in Italy|
Pet therapy is an amazing thing, and for all those who have a pet (I’m a dog lover personally) you understand. To be honest, I was almost oblivious to the change when we first got Kaiser. (We’ll be doing a pet post on Friday, so you’ll meet him then) The love that my puppy brings me is indescribable. He’s helped me tremendously to calm down at various times during the time we’ve had him. Now being so far away from him, I’ve started watching puppy videos online and Skyping with my parents and Kaiser. It honestly makes me forget about what’s bothering me and focus on all of that cuteness!
|Kaiser – circa 2012|
So there you have it. That’s what I do to keep myself calm and make sure my anxiety doesn’t get out of hand. Hope this helps. If you have any tips or comments, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.