I suffer with anxiety. I get heart palpitations, have panic attacks, and even have mini breakdowns every once in a while. It is normal. I am incredibly busy. I am a mom, a wife, a student, and have a job. I get stressed and stress leads to A) UTI’s, B) panic attacks, and or C) days of heart palpitations that effect my whole body and mood.
I am going to talk a little bit about how I handle stress and manage my anxiety. I know everyone is different. I am not a doctor. If you are suffering from any or all of these things don’t take my advice! Go seek the help of someone who knows what they are doing. I am just simply talking about what works for me…most of the time.
I knit. I knit a lot because it helps me find rhythm. The click clack of needles is soothing to my soul. I get to create something and that helps me as well. As ridiculously corny as this sounds, I also like to wear my hand knits because it feels like a warm hug. I like to feel the yarn and know that I have made something beautiful.
I pray. I study. I look for things that have meaning to me in something bigger than myself. It helps me to to think outside of myself. I know some who think this is the most important thing. I know some who don’t. You do you when it comes to faith and spirituality.
I listen to my heartbeat. I bought a stethoscope a long time ago when I first started having heart palpitations. Little did I know that listening to my irregular thudding heart has a way of calming me down…slowly it returns to normal. Most of the time….sometimes it takes days. And before you ask, yes, I have seen a cardiologist, everything is fine. If I have heart palpitations I am supposed to lay down and get my heart rate under control…otherwise it can be painful and bad. I listen to my body and know when things are getting heart beat stressy and take it easy. I promise.
I walk by a river in the woods. I think that is pretty self explanatory. Nature is good.
I hug my husband. I hold his hand. I ask him for help.
Last night I fell asleep downstairs on the futon in my office, this is the case most nights. I stay up late to do homework, Brad goes to bed way early because of his work schedule. I woke up about 45 minutes after going to sleep mid full blown panic attack. I couldn’t breathe, I had tunnel vision, and I had a hard time clearing my head. This happens to me on occasion. I don’t know what caused it. I don’t know why they happen. It is scary. Normally when I am awake and feel a panic attack coming I can cope with it one of the ways I have shared, but when an attack hits me while I am sleeping I can’t preemptively stop it, or make it less. These nocturnal panic attacks are bad. They take a lot out of me. They take me a while to recover from.
Today I am being gentle with myself, I am drinking water, and making sure I eat good food. I did homework and crossed things off my to do list. I will hug my family, pray, and won’t push myself to do extra today. I will knit and talk and hold Brad’s hand. I know I am far from alone. I know I am normal.