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February 6, 2022

How to get through bouts of Crushing Anxiety.

 

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I had a lot of anxiety yesterday.

I believe so many of us suffer in silence, so I hope by sharing my journey, I help at least one of you feel better.

I was relaxing on a Saturday morning, as I usually do. I love to have extra time to reflect in my journal and organize my day. I had already finished a deep moon/sun meditation that I enjoy, which brought me amazing clarity.

I was having breakfast with my husband, when it came out of nowhere: crushing anxiety.

I couldn’t catch my breath. I had to stand up to breathe. My husband asked me what was wrong, and I couldn’t answer. I had my hand over my heart as I focused on my breath. This has happened to me so many times, and I know there is nothing specific that I can explain to my husband. It’s just anxiety.

I have learned over the years not to ruminate and wonder where it comes from. It just shows up and like an unwelcome visitor, stays too long. The only thing I can do is work on my self-help practices that I have mastered over the years.

I focused on breath work. Then I went to my room to lie down and pray. That relieved it a little. I walked the dog, but there was ice everywhere, and I quickly realized that walking and fresh air were not part of the solution. I took a hot shower. I dressed up, put on some makeup, and went for a drive. I had wanted to visit Bobbi Brown’s new store, Jones Road Beauty, for weeks. Bobbi is so creative, and I wanted her creativity to seep into me while I browsed her new cosmetic line. Because of Covid, they were only allowing four people to enter the store at a time. There were at least 10 people ahead of me. I attempted to brave the cold and wait, but the freezing wind was actually hurting my face. I got back in the car and drove home.

This particular day, it took a lot of effort to ease the anxiety. Usually, breath work and prayer are enough, but again, I don’t judge what I need. I just focus on what I can do next to help myself feel better.

By the afternoon, I was able to relax. Unfortunately, because my heart and mind raced for so long, I was now exhausted. This is not how I wanted to spend my Saturday. I had plans to write an article and to make a couple of motivational videos. I had plans to meet friends for dinner and see a band. None of that happened.

I had to surrender to the day. I have piles of books on my dresser, so I started reading. I spent the day napping, eating, reading, walking the dog, doing laundry, and basically laying low while gently encouraging myself to keep moving and doing something constructive.

Years ago, this would have frustrated me and made my anxiety worse. I would have felt that this was a wasted day especially when the weekend is really the only time I get to fully immerse myself in my creativity. But now I get it. A part of me needs to rest, regroup, and reset. I don’t judge it anymore. I just accept it as part of my life.

I hope my tips help you. I hope you don’t judge yourself for having anxiety because that only makes it worse. I hope you are sweet, gentle, and kind as you figure out ways to boost your mood and feel better.

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