Good Morning Anxiety

This morning I woke up to Anxiety pounding on my chest and yelling “get up!” So ambled throughout the day feeling lethargic and apathetic. I didn’t have an appetite and I certainly didn’t feel like socialising (even though I had to). You see, Anxiety has been a bit of a problem for me over the past few months. That’s part of the reason why I didn’t write  for so long. Things going on in my life like my illness and issues with my partner had led me to feel as though everything I thought I knew was not at all like I imagined it. Not just a little bit, but literally, everything  was turned upside down and inside out until I had no idea what was what anymore. The ground wasn’t just shaking, it was completely gone and I was suspended in the middle of nowhere thinking “what the hell has happened to me?”.

I’ve been feeling a lot better recently. I’ve had therapy you see, to learn to deal with my situation better, and to learn to cope with the anxiety and the thoughts and physical sensations that go along with it. So when I woke up this morning it was a bit of a shock. I didn’t actively feel anxious, my body just was anxious. And so that is how my day began.

I got along alright. I went to work, I cleaned the house and I met a friend for coffee. But all the time anxiety was pounding on my chest saying “listen to me, there’s danger, you need to do something about it”. So what did I do?

I took a bath. Not just any bath, but an incredibly hot bath surrounded by candles and filled to the brim with luxurious bubbles. I put on a face mask, got in that bath, sank down and took the time to just breath. I felt my breath go in and out, and I literally felt my anxiety drift away. I felt my enthusiasm for my life return and I enjoyed each and every moment of the hour I spent in there.

Now, I feel relaxed. Anxiety is still there, deep under the surface. For whatever reason, my body thinks there’s danger about. But I feel better able to cope with it now. I feel more like my normal self.

And the moral of the story is?

Today I reminded myself that it’s better to face anxiety head on rather than pretend it isn’t there. I learnt that taking the time to do something for myself is helpful, even if I don’t think it will be. I rarely stop and take a moment to just be, to just relax. Allowing myself to be anxious, and offering myself respite and compassion when I am instead of beating myself up about it has turned out the be the most relaxing experience I’ve had all year.

What do you do when you feel anxious or stressed? Are you compassionate or do you berate yourself?