I mentioned in one of my last posts that I've been dealing with a lot of anxiety lately. It was the first time that I've mentioned anything about my anxiety or my mental health in general on the blog. Is that a milestone or what?
I had my first panic attack during my junior year of college. It was a wildly scary experience because I didn't know what was happening - or why it was even happening to me.
It woke me up at 2 am with the fear that I was going to die. I ran to the bathroom so that I wouldn't wake my roommate and hid there huddled on the floor with a blanket for the next hour.
Over the years I've learned to identify what triggers my panic attacks as well as how to calm myself down better when I am having one. I also learned how I react to different levels of stress and how I manifest anxiety.
I thought it was normal and that I couldn't do anything about it, but since I've learned more about anxiety I've figured out what triggers me and how to (mostly) control it.
As of right now I don't regularly go to therapy or take medication, even though I know it helps many people. I've been managing my panic disorder relatively well on my own so far, but...
Please keep in mind that I'm not a doctor.I'm just a regular person dealing with high levels of anxiety and have learned a few tricks over the years that I keep up my sleeve. That being said, here's What I use when I'm feeling panicked and anxious.
|The perfectionist in me makes me want to complete|
the health goals each day, which is a great way to trick
me into taking care of myself.
I especially love that Pacifica lets you track certain health goals each day, such as how many hours of sleep you've gotten, the quality of the meals that you've eaten, and if you remembered to take your medication that day. My specific health goals are nine hours of sleep, healthy meals, and regular exercise.
This app also features personal reflective activities based on cognitive behavioral therapy, which I've also found to be really helpful. I think everyone dealing with anxiety should use it! You can get it on iTunes or Google Play.
If you're familiar with my blog, then you'll know that a cup of tea is an adequate answer to any problem. When I'm feeling panicked, my go-to solution is usually a cup of Yogi's Kava Stress Relief Tea. It's really great for taking the edge off of my most unsettled days.
I also like to keep a jar of Natural Calm on hand in my pantry. It's similar to the tea, but contains magnesium instead of kava. I like to take this regularly in the evenings because it helps me fall asleep.
Journaling has also been a useful tool for managing my panic disorder. Writing down your thoughts helps to get you out of the cycle of being "in your head" too much, which can multiply your anxieties and make you feel even worse. Not only does keeping a journal help me get my thoughts down, but I also look forward to writing in it before I go to sleep each night. A mental purge before bed, if you will.
And finally, lavender essential oil does wonders. Lavender anything is especially relaxing, but I like to keep the essential oil on hand because you can literally do anything with it. I like to Add a few drops of it to a spray bottle filled with water and spray it on my pillow and bedding before I go to sleep or even spray it on myself when I'm feeling unsettled. I also like to keep the bottle nearby so that I can just reach for it and take a few deep breaths while smelling it. Is that weird? No? Good.
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I sincerely hope that this gave you a few good ideas! I'm always looking for ways to keep calm and carry on, so tell me: What's in your anxiety toolkit?