Self care in an important part of life, especially when you live with depression/anxiety issues. The first time I experienced a full-blown panic attack, I was with family visiting my sister’s apartment on the east coast. After a long day of walking around the city, we returned to the apartment. I began feeling dizzy and light-headed. Then I started breathing very erratically and shaking. If you’ve ever had a panic attack, it can be a pretty scary experience. Even in the days following, remembering it could send me back into a bundle of tears.
What I learned following my first panic attack was that I tire easily. If I do too many things, I get overwhelmed and need to take a break or else it could spiral into a panic attack. But what happens when you get an attack out of the blue–in PUBLIC? Well, I got your back! 🙂
So, senior year of college I’m in class and began to feel panicky. Out of the blue. On a scale of 1-10 it was about a 3 or 4. I could feel it inside, but it wasn’t to the level where I needed to leave the room. I had been taking notes at the time and during lulls in the lecture, I’d write small messages to myself in the margins of my notes. Messages such as, “You can get through this.” “Breathe.” “Jesus loves you.” “Don’t worry, you are not dying”. I began to notice this kept happening in the same class. One day after class, I approached the professor, who doubled as my advisor, told her what was going on and asked her what to do. Since she was my advisor she knew my daily schedule. She asked if I took daily naps. Naps? Well, I didn’t feel like I had time for naps! She encouraged me to make time every day for a nap. Especially on days when my schedule was crazy. You know what? I took her advice and my panic attacks stopped.
Nowadays I try to listen to my body and take precautions. If I do too much, I make sure I take breaks. When stressed I also indulge in activities that calm me. Watching TV is one of these. Now, in full disclosure it must be noted that this can be a slippery slope; as TV has become a bit of a vice for me. One TV show turns into 5 and before you know it, the day is gone and I haven’t tackled my to-do list. One thing that I’ve implemented is watching TV while I’m doing something else; dishes, folding laundry…ect. This method has proved to make me the most productive. So has eating chocolate. True story, I once ate two chocolate covered Oreos and managed to clean the living room more thoroughly then it had been in a long time. Seriously, I even dusted. Conclusion: Oreos must be healthy! 😀
This is not an exhaustive list of everything that has helped me overcome anxiety and panic attacks over the years, just some of the highlights. As always this might not work for everyone, but I wanted to write on this topic and share what has worked for me in hopes of helping others with similar struggles.
Remember you are not alone.
Tomorrow on the blog for LAFF #2; a tale of unbridled passion and lust….Stay tuned 🙂