Dear anxiety, please leave and go elsewhere. Sincerely. Me!
Does anyone else feel overwhelmed at times? I am sure that we all do; especially this time of year. Sometimes I forget to look at all that I have accomplished and hyper focus on all that I have left to do. Then I get anxious and that is never a good thing for anyone around!
This little monster may creep up when we least expect it. For example picture this… You are in the middle of laundry, cleaning up lunch, trying to get everyone out the door to go grocery shopping and the phone rings. You answer it and get caught up in the conversation. The kids are waiting by the door with their coats on, (impatiently I might add!) So you wrap up the conversation. Oh then you remember that you have to fold that load of laundry in the dryer before it gets all wrinkly. So you send the kids into the yard to play for a minute. Finally you are ready to leave, you go to head out the door and realize that the dog has peed on the floor. You. Lose. Your. Mind. You deal with that mess just in time for your little one to come back in the house and let you know that he has to pee. Off come all of the clothes. Super. You realize that you have just spent an hour trying to get out of the door and you are going to be late for a dinner party. You still have to make an appetizer! Your heart races, you can feel your body heating up, you almost feel like you are having an out of body experience. Then the tears roll down your face. You don’t think that things can get ANY worse.
That situation may be on the extreme side but has definitely happened to me. I am getting better at handling these situations which can really happen to anyone. Here’s what helps me control myself when I am uber frustrated.
1) Stop. Think. and Breathe. This is what we would tell our kiddos when they were little. It makes sense really. Shallow breathing contributes to panic. By taking long, deep breaths we stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for activities that occur when our body is at rest. When we are calm. It basically works opposite to our flight or fight response. When you begin to recognize the panic feelings, you should remove yourself from the situation long enough to take 10 slow, deep breaths. Breath in deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. When you breathe in imagine that air is going up to your head and when you are exhaling imagine that the air is going down your spine and out of your body. In with the good and out with the bad. Now chances are you can think clearly with a little more perspective.
2) Perspective. Ask yourself this: will it matter in a month? a week? or even a day? Is it a mountain out of a mole hill scenario? Sometimes I will stop and use the phrase, “In the scheme of life, does this really matter?” Nine times out of ten it does not.
3) Accomplishments. So no you didn’t get out the door in a timely manner and your list is still big BUT what about the laundry that got done, the dishes that got cleaned and the kids that are taken care of? All of those things count. Make a list if you want to. Cross off all of the things that you have finished, even if they seem trivial. You will soon realize that you are a rock star!
Just remember that we all of been there. You are not alone. Take care of yourself because believe it or not that is the most important thing that you can do. Do it for yourself and for your loved ones.