When Anxiety Strikes – Make a Plan

As some of you know, I am a person who suffers from anxiety. Sometimes I even have panic attacks. I believe sometimes medication is necessary. I currently take an anti-depressant that helps with anxiety. No shame in that. But pills aren’t magical. I still have to take responsibility for the action aspect of managing my anxiety. That’s where a making a plan comes in handy!

But first…

These are just my experiences and do not replace the advice of a professional. Therapy is great so if you need it, get ir. If you aren’t sure if you need it , get it. It will only benefit you. Please also know that after taking a pill and executing a plan, you still might not feel better for awhile. That doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong. Feelings take time to pass. Name your feelings, accept your feelings, and take heart knowing that they will move through you. Your ego will try to tell you that you will always feel this way and that there’s some there’s something wrong with you and you are the exception to all the good advice so you are just doomed to feel horrible forever. Yuck! That kind of self-talk ain’t nothing but the devil.

Benefits and Automation

Making a good plan is a great place to start on your path to feeling better. Not only will some or all of these actions affect your brain positively be releasing stress-reducing hormones, they will also distract you. Here are things i put into my plan. Your plan may need to be tweaked depending on what is causing your anxiety, but most of these actions can be automated. I like to make a little index card that in “laminate” with packing tape and cross things off with a dry erase markers as I complete them.

Example

  • Call a trusted friend. This will make you feel relaxed, feel reassured that you aren’t alone, and maybe even make you laughed. It will also help you overcome any shame you may be feeling.
  • Pray. Pray for healing. Sit with God and tell him all you worries. Release them into His hands.
  • Play. Create. Color. Go swimming. Play with a child. Bake something.
  • Do a grounding exercise.
  • Take a nap.
  • Meditate
  • Watch something funny. I recommend Jim Gaffigan.
  • Exercise . Dance. Just move your body.
  • List worries, then facts.
  • List worst-case scenarios and what you would do if they happened
  • List things you’ve been through to remind yourself or how capable you are.
  • Go to bed early, get more sleep
  • Delete unnecessary tasks, delegate things you don’t have to do, delight in the tasks you do have to do.
  • Give yourself grace. Eat the cookie buy the shoes. Now isn’t the time to be rigid. Don’t go buck wild and binge or run up your credit card. But it might help to eat a cookie even if you are on a diet. And buy a new pair of shoes even if you are on a budget. When the battle is harder, the needs are greater, remember? You have real NEEDS right now. You aren’t just sloughing off duties and being irresponsible. You have probably been acting TOO responsible and working TOO hard. That may be why you are out of balance. Time to take a break! My ego wants to tell me “see you can’t lose weight.” And “see you can’t reach financial goals”. Instead of being realistic and remembering the path to success has ups and downs. As human beings we have real needs that we can’t always anticipate. You have to view these downs on your path as a time when you need extra fuel to keep going.
  • Go out in nature and just take it in. Walk barefoot, feel the air, notice the movement of the trees and the sound of the birds chirping.

What are some things you do that help you with anxiety?

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