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.


  • 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?

Dear Grandma, You’ve Made a Difference

You deserve to know how you have contributed to my life. Throughout my life you have taught me many things, some directly, many indirectly – learned through your example.

The Comfort of Home

When I was a little girl your house was a magical place with beautiful roses, yummy things in the oven, and treasures to discover. A grandmother’s house from a storybook. Beautiful antiques, family heirlooms,  bookshelves built by my grandfather. You have lived there my whole life. Your house is my second home. It always looks basically the same and smells the same. You may not realize how important the home you and Grandpa made together is to every single person in our family. How important you are and the impact you have made on so many.

Me when I was a toddler at your house.

The Value of Faith

You have taught me about faith, hope and how to be resilient through your example. You have been through some hard things. Unexpected twins, three young babies at once, 15 years of caring for your husband with a brain tumor and his untimely departure. Through it all you have kept your unwavering faith. Even when your vision started to fade you focused on what you can do to make your life better. You stay vibrant by listening to audiobooks, radio, staying interested in other people’s lives, and  puttering in your garden.

 You always have had this magnet on your fridge and it shows that you live your life this way:

 Christ is the Head of this house ; the Unseen Guest at every meal; the Silent Listener to every conversation. 

There you are to my left when I was pregnant with my first baby.

The Gift of Hospitality

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Raplh Waldo Emerson

You have always been an excellent hostess. For my whole life almost every birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter was at your house. You always insist that we pray a blessing over the food. Your hospitality was not always just about throwing a great party, though, you opened up your home to me, my sister, my cousin and countless other people. Sure you needed a little extra money but you could have charged far more. You wanted to share the blessing of your home with others, and you have always created a sense of belonging, comfort, and safety.

Easter time! I was probably 8 or 9 here.
A selfie of us when I lived with you.

The Beauty of Music

You always have some beautiful music playing whether it would be from a musical, something classical or some hymns. You often sing along which is joyous to hear. You introduced musicals to my sister’s and I when you would have us over at your house. Thank you for this gift. Many of my peers have never seen any of the classics and I have had teachers surprised by my exposure to the classics. You have helped me become a more cultured, well-rounded person through your love of music. You celebrate music when you invite those in our family with musical gifts to play and sing around the piano. This is an extraordinary thing. My husband was amazed when he saw that our family does this. He thought it only happened in movies! Most families these days are far too sarcastic and cynical to engage in such a way and spend their time in front of a screen. Thank you for upholding this tradition.

Queen Grandma

I hope you know how loved you are and the beautiful legacy you have created. A closely knit family of eternal beings. You have devoted your life to family and relationships and it shows. Thank you for your beautiful contribution to all of our lives. In my heart you are elevated to the status of a queen. I love you Grandma.

You with my first baby.

Are You a Perfectionist?

I used to think perfectionism was being picky, very scrupulous and detail-oriented. Or the person humble bragging about why they take forever to complete a project, “I guess I’m too much of a perfectionist.”

Only in more recent years have I become more organized, but even now I don’t think anyone would use the above to describe me. I’m more concerned with the big picture and I am pretty easy going.

So yes, while all that may be true of some perfectionists, perfectionism has much more to do with your ego and the “shoulds” that you, others, or society have placed there.

Your Ego

For example, I may learn about my ego and how to observe it and then my ego will then think “well now you have the tools to combat your ego, so if you ever feel bad again there must be something wrong with you.”

Pretty interesting, right? Your ego is always out to make you think there is something wrong with you and perfectionism is the defense mechanism against that. That hyper awareness of checking all your boxes and covering all your bases to avoid some kind of pain, discomfort, or rejection.

That hyper awareness of checking all your boxes and covering all your bases to avoid some kind of pain, discomfort, or rejection.

Only there’s no way to completely avoid those things.

This video about the ego really resonated with me.

The Effects of Perfectionism

Being a perfectionist can result in being a high achiever but it can also result in being an underachiever, especially if it causes you to procrastinate. For example, since perfectionists want a perfect solution to every problem they will put off working on the problem until they find the perfect solution. In other words, they never start. In the home environment, this is why you see people make piles of things everywhere, because they haven’t found the perfect place to put things, discard of things, or the perfect amount of time to dedicate to a project. I definitely do this! Here’s some more details about the effects of perfectionism taken from an excellent article:

Extreme Procrastination. While they may ultimately get a lot done, people who struggle with perfectionism are often terribly inefficient in their work, suffering from persistent and intense procrastination. After all, never starting is a good way to ensure we don’t fail.

Opportunity Cost. Along with the inefficiency of perfectionism-driven procrastination comes the problem opportunity cost: All those extra hours and units of energy spent striving for perfection could have been spent on any number of more fulfilling activities and experiences.

Chronic Stress. Perfectionism drives people to constantly do more, leading folks who struggle with it to take on far more projects, challenges, and stressors than they can reasonably handle. This surplus of to-dos quickly leads to chronic stress and burnout.

Persistent Dissatisfaction. People who struggle with perfectionism have the above mentioned ever-present voice in their head reminding them of how much there is to do and how badly they should feel if they don’t accomplish it. Aside from the guilt and frustration that results from this persistent inner critic, long-standing perfectionism makes it difficult to truly enjoy things in life and find genuine satisfaction. It’s hard to enjoy the present when we’re always looking ahead to new tasks or behind to old failures.”

So what do you think? Are you a perfectionist too? I think it’s great to have this kind of self-awareness because it directs you to areas you need to grow. Realizing that I’m a perfectionist made me realize my problems with procrastination weren’t just because I was lady or whatever it actually was because I was waiting for a perfect solution and was frozen until I did. When you can correctly diagnose your issues you are put on a path towards of growth instead of staying stuck in shame and blame.

How I Inadvertently Became an Attachment Parent and Why It Isn’t For Me

The purpose of this post is to share my personal experience and to also let others moms know there are other options out there if you aren’t happy with the way you are doing things. If everything is working great for you, you and your family are happy, healthy, and well-rested, keep on keepin’ on. I would never want this post to make anyone feel wrong or guilty about their choices. I believe involved parents are all trying to do what’s best for their children and what established authorities have told them is best. Also note, this post is not medical advice. I am a mom of three sharing my experiences.

Continue reading “How I Inadvertently Became an Attachment Parent and Why It Isn’t For Me”

Why I’m Proud to be a Stay-At-Home Mom

Being a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) in some circles is a great thing and in others it’s frowned upon. (Don’t believe me? Watch this.) I have been scrutinized for choosing to be a SAHM, and we all know the typical adage of a SAHM sitting around eating bon bons. Ha! There are stereotypes of all kinds of moms, whether you work outside the home or in the home. Why don’t we stop judging people based on stereotypes and commend the actual efforts they are making for their families, amen? Anyway, how can you judge a person based on their title? You can only judge individual behaviors as being lazy, etc. It is possible to be lazy no matter what work you do as a mom.

This is MY cup of tea, it’s okay to have your own.

With all that said I think it’s important to be proud of what you do, give yourself credit for it, and be grateful for the opportunities within your work. While at the same time, own the fact it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is yours and that’s okay. Here’s why I’m proud of the work I do as a SAHM, what I have learned as a result of being one, as well as why I’m grateful I get to do it :

I can effectively balance competing demands.

My kids respect my authority.

I save my family tons of money.

I bring peace to my family.

I am a stabilizing presence in my family.

My house is well-maintained. I’ve learned to be a good steward of our belongings.

I know what we need and what we don’t.

My children can be sick and rest and I don’t have to choose between them and outside work.

I have quantity time with my children and therefore quality time happens naturally .

I get to set my own schedule and priorities.

I decide when the work day starts and ends and how strenuous it will be based on everyone’s needs (including mine) .

I have more time to teach my kids about discipline and chores.

I get to be my kids main influence.

I can set aside time for creative pursuits.

I have more control over what I and my family eat because I have more capacity to cook.

My home environment is more peaceful and under control than it would be otherwise.

A side note

This is the way my family and I are choosing to do things and it’s what works for us. We have chosen this way of life because it is in line with our values, temperaments, financial situation, and overall life circumstance in general. We don’t choose it because it is the “right” or only way to do things, and we realize our priorities may change in the future and we are open to that. We make sacrifices to live this way but for us the quantity time we are able to have is well worth it. We are blessed to be able to find a way to make it work, I realize many families can’t especially where there is a very high cost of living.

If you can’t be a stay-at-home mom, or don’t want to, own that and be proud of what YOU do

I also want to note I fully support women working outside the home for whatever reason whether it’s an emotional need or financial need. I also support any woman in getting outside help and outsourcing where she can and where she sees fit even if she’s a SAHM. I don’t think this is indulgent, I think it’s wise. When you outsource you can save your energy on things that are closer to your core values, like more family time, or time to use your blue flame. It’s all a matter of where you think it’s most important for you to be spending your time and making that work according to your financial situation. Money is a tool and I think being wise is putting using your money in a way that aligns with your values and current hopes and dreams. It doesn’t mean always saving money no matter the cost.