Is It Just Me Or Does Your Anxiety Have Anxiety Lately Too?
Sure, May is designated as Mental Health Month but for those of us who struggle with their mental health, it affects us more than just one month.
Anxiety's A B***h
If you live with it too, you know. If you don't, know what it's like, let me put it to you this way: say you have seventeen TV's just all in one room. First, you're going to wonder why the heck there are so many TV's. Then, say they all turn on at once with some really loud static and there's one remote...but you can't find it and you realize you are also locked in said room.
Your thoughts race every day and you know you have goals set and things you want to accomplish, like finding that remote, but the thoughts just race and they don't stop. You don't know if you want to run around and try to turn it all off at once, or if you want to try to call someone for help, but then you don't want to be a burden.
So you physically shut down, your brain tries to block anything out other than trying to calm you down but also doesn't want to shut it off either. Suddenly you're sitting there, possibly panicking, mind racing, and you just can't do anything about it.
All in all, it's exhausting, disappointing, overwhelming, physically painful and, often times, it's embarrassing.
What's Been Adding To It?
It's safe to say the past year has been a mental rollercoaster for practically everyone and I think part of what makes things feel like they're coming at us nonstop is that things are getting back to "normal" so quickly.
That's not to say it doesn't feel good to get back to the way things were pre-pandemic but it also doesn't really feel like we eased into it.
I know the world isn't supposed to be tailored to everyone's needs but going from sitting at home still dealing with the things I mentioned above alone to being pulled a million different directions now that things are opening up and people feel comfortable getting together.
Plus, there's people getting back to the offices, our workspaces are changing again, our workloads are changing again.
Putting that all together adds to anxiety in itself but then adding that pressure to please more people and feeling like the time that used to drag on now is flying by and there's not enough of it.
How To Cope With It
I can't say I am an expert or that I have a way to "cure" anxiety. I've been dealing with it half my life. However, there are some ways I at least cope and can make life feel less like it's all going to cave in on me.
Number one is one I have really fallen behind on and that is seeking professional help.
When or if that's just not in the cards, take time for yourself. As a people-pleaser, I know this one is tough but people can be a lot more understanding of needing to put yourself first than you'd think.
I think staying hydrated actually does wonders but so does treating yourself to a nice coffee or treat. Just doing something kind for yourself like getting dressed up, getting nails done, doing something that makes you feel good.
Talking in general helps, even if that's to yourself. For me, I have full conversations with myself and have really worked through a lot driving alone in my car. Even just writing it in either a private GoogleDoc, journal or on a public forum like this can help you at least get some of those racing thoughts out of your head.
It's all about calming down and working through things and realizing what's important, which sometimes is easier said than done and that's when I'd just suggest letting yourself feel that and, honestly, just sit and cry until you can't cry any more...it's actually healthy!
Just know, we all go through it, we've all been there and you are absolutely not alone.
10 Ways Crying Is Actually Good For You
Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic: