Until I was diagnosed with an anxiety/panic disorder, I did not realize that so many military spouses and significant others also deal with them. I’ll be really honest: for about a year, I just felt broken. I felt weak– both physically and mentally. I felt drained and tired all of the time (and sometimes I still do). And I often feel myself getting anxious or upset just by doing something completely, absolutely normal– like making dinner. I can’t even tell you what triggers it many times. Sometimes it just is. I’ve learned that for me, having a plan to the day and being able to have a schedule is what helps to make me feel a lot better and lessen the symptoms for me.
Give yourself a break.
I used to try to work through the panic and to keep pushing. Now, I’m trying to be kinder to myself and listen to what’s happening. Even small changes matter. If I can get up from my desk and spend some time doing something else, I often find that I feel better when I sit back down.
Have a morning routine.
Have a set way that you start every morning. For me, it’s waking up, going to the gym, and then eating breakfast with John before he goes to work. Every morning. Like clockwork.
Okay, okay. Except for the snowy days where it’s easier to lay in bed for a few more minutes.
Write out a to-do list.
If you’re like me and you constantly feel unaccomplished, spend a few minutes every day writing out a to-do list. Cross things off as you accomplish them. It’ll help you stay focused when you feel yourself getting upset and it will also serve as a great way to keep tabs on what you do. And chances are, you’ll be impressed with yourself when you see the physical evidence of what you do daily.
Strive to eat and drink well.
I love my peanut butter cups more than anyone, I’m just going to put that out there. However, I am trying to be healthier in a quest to feel better overall. Adding more fruits and veggies to the day and cutting back on eating out is how I’m doing it without putting an immense amount of pressure on myself to follow strict diets.
Have a mantra.
Having a few favorite religious verses, affirmations, or quotes that you can reflect on when things get tough is very helpful. Have them written down and keep them in your wallet, on your phone, or other places where you can see them and read them back to yourself.
Yes, tea. In many places all over the world, drinking tea is a ritual. If you need to take a break, brewing yourself a cup of tea can help you regain focus and take things at your pace. There are so many varieties of tea, too, that you can find a particular flavor or smell that really calms and soothes you. Check out <rel=”nofollow a href=”http://clvr.li/1O9nPfi” target=”_blank”>Lipton Tea’s new line of black, herbal, and green teas, made with real ingredients that also provide a multi-sensory experience. My favorite is Berry Hibiscus. I wish this picture of my mug of it were scratch-n-sniff! It’s really a heavenly aroma which makes me feel like I’m in a spa rather than in my kitchen.
I often get really frustrated with myself, especially when I’m feeling the symptoms of anxiety. I’m tired of feeling this way and I’m tired of managing symptoms that don’t ever really seem to go away. I have to remind myself that it’s okay– this is all a process. And then I go back and try a different strategy. I hope they help you, too!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.