Better late than never! Slacking on the Monday musings… probably because Mondays are always so crazy with getting back into the work week. Nonetheless, I want to share what has been on my mind lately and I think it’s something a lot of us can relate to: Anxiety.
It seems so many of us deal with anxiety on a daily basis. Social anxiety, generalized anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, or PTSD – 40 million adults are affected with some sort of anxiety in America. 40 million!… and I am one of them.
I can’t really remember when my anxiety became noticeable for me. I honestly think it already started when I was in junior high. I remember being about 13 or 14 and starting to feel nervous or panicky; however, I was always really good at playing it off. I don’t think people noticed as I can put on a really good facade.I’m not one to make a scene or draw the wrong king of attention to myself. It’s weird because I know my anxiety is more situational and social, but the thing is, I like being around people. I majored in Public Relations. I have no problem talking to people or putting myself out there, but sometimes I just get really anxious when I’m in social settings. It’s the strangest thing that I’ve never been able to figure out.
It wasn’t until I was 24 and living on my own in Austin that I decided it was finally time to go talk to someone about my anxiety. The first time I met with a therapist, I was prescribed an antidepressant which didn’t work well with my body at all. Normally, I’m a really good sleeper but while I was on these certain meds, I couldn’t sleep. I had insomnia and the thought of not being able to sleep only gave me more anxiety. I figured screw this stuff, I’m not taking medicine! So, I gave up and went back to trying to figure things out on my own.
A couple of years went by and things got busier and busier with work. On top of working a lot, my relationship with Mitch was flourishing so we were at the point where you start becoming more and more comfortable with each other. I was able to open u[ with him about feeling anxious and having OCD. Mitch suggested I see a therapist again and try to talk it out with someone who is unbiased and looking into the situation from a third person perspective. So I made another appointment.
To be honest, I was hoping for a quick fix. I wanted someone to prescribe me something that would just instantly change things for the better. I saw the same therapist 3 separate times and each time, I would just talk about my feelings and turn into an emotional ball of tears. I actually felt worse instead of better when I would leave her office. So once again, I quit seeking help and went back to my self-coping method.
It wasn’t until a fellow colleague shared with me her anxiety issues and how her psychiatrist really helped her turn things around for the better. I thought, Ok, maybe third time is a charm?… Well, it was. I made an appointment and went to see someone who was very knowledgable in her field. She made sure I was evaluated correctly and yes, I definitely live with moderate anxiety and OCD. She prescribed me something that has really helped me and I’m also learning other methods for dealing with my anxiety and OCD.
Here are the best 3 ways for me to deal with my anxiety issues:
- Meditate. I always heard about people using meditation to deal with any mental obstacles. Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting in a quiet room and practicing deep breathing for a certain amount of time. It can also be practicing yoga, gardening, or taking a calming stroll in nature.
- Experience pleasure. Whether its eating your favorite food, calling someone special or petting your furry friend, do something that calms your nerves.
- Treat yourself. We could always deserve some “me-time.” Go to the gym, get a pedicure, get a massage, eat at your favorite restaurant… heck- play hookie from work if that’s what it takes! We can’t be the best version of ourselves if we aren’t making sure we take care of ourselves. Our relationships- both personal and professional- will flourish as a result.
Whether you suffer from mild, moderate or severe anxiety, don’t feel alone. So many of us are in the same boat and luckily, there are several ways to feel better and still live a happy, content life. Happy Monday!