You guys, this is going to be a real talk H54F because it has been a rough week on the anxiety front. Once my anxiety gets triggered, it can be a battle to turn off the spiraling thoughts. BUT! I didn't shop away the anxiety, or ruminate endlessly, or look to others for constant reassurance. I have healthier coping skills now, and they really kept my anxiety from running wild. So here are five things that got me through the week:
- Journaling. For the longest time, I hated journaling. Sit down and write/think about things in my life? BLEH. But journaling really does help me to slow my thinking and look at things more rationally. Therapy has taught me to "reality test" the things in life that wig me out, but my mind still tends to default into anxiety mode. So until calm thoughts come more naturally to me, the journal helps.
- Treats. I very rarely buy candy when I'm at work, but I allowed myself a little pick-me-up last Friday.
- Familiar TV. At least for me, it's super comforting to watch characters I know and love go through things I've already seen (thus making stressful situations like bombs in patients nbd). Of course, I gravitated to season 2 Grey's because George, but I had totally forgotten about this sweet Mer-Der moment after Mer has a panic attack. TV doctors, they're just like us!
- Coloring. You know the annoying adult coloring craze? Well, it really works! I spent Saturday morning coloring an affirmation and was amazed at how much calmer I felt afterward. It really helped to focus my spiraling mind on something other than freaking out.
- Distraction. Ferocious little kittens always help! :)
Of course, my usual Wednesday therapy session was super helpful too, but I had to get to Wednesday, you know? And doing these things helped me to diffuse my anxiety on my own and have a pretty decent week. And perhaps the most helpful thing of all was giving myself the space and grace to watch TV and color, instead of beating myself up for not being stronger or more productive.
I hope these suggestions help anyone else who struggles with getting swept away on the S.S. Anxiety sometimes. (If you need more ideas, Nicole recently posted some of her favorite coping skills too.) Hope you have a great weekend! xo