Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Kicking Uncle Anxiety to the curb.

Look who showed up to class on Tuesday this week. That's right, this girl did! If you are picturing me bouncing around like Honey Boo Boo on go-go juice, you are correctly envisioning me right now.

I've decided to save my celeb chat for celeb day (duh!) which is tomorrow. Which is good because today I am slightly inspired to go back to touching on one of my favorite post subjects... Anxiety. Woooh, that relative we love to hate. My sweet friend Dani, whom I've known since the good ol' LJ dayzz, inspired this one. So, you can thank her for me bringing my anxiety to class for show and tell today. Or you can yell at her if you hate it, too. 
Kidding. Yell at me instead, Dani is too sweet for that nonsense.

Like I've said before, I am currently unmedicated for said anxiety because I'm the kind of messed up chick who enjoys feeling crazy. Ok, not really crazy, but I like to know there's some emotions hiding in me somewhere from time to time. 
That is until Uncle Anxiety comes to town and completely jacks up my day.

How do I cope with my anxiety?
That is the question.

Ok, not really. Don't have me committed to AA just yet.
My name is Whitney....
no, no.

Here's the real deal - I meditate.
I sit in silence and I force every ounce of outside noise to be gone.
I close my eyes and picture myself in a empty white room with no responsibilities. 
No nothing. 
I take a deep breath in for 4 seconds. I hold that breath in for 4 seconds. I exhale that breath for 4 seconds.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
I repeat until I'm feeling more centered and back in control of my emotions.

Once I'm feeling more centered I make a to-do list.
It can include anything from feeding the dogs to finishing a wedding edit.
Put it all on there - big or small. Anything that could possibly be weighing on me.

This always helps me realize that sometimes things just have to wait until tomorrow.
And that's completely okay.

I remind myself of my favorite mantra.
(feel free to steal this for your phone, too!)
I have it on my phone too... just in case I forget it.
You know, because I forget things a lot.

Last, but certainly not least, have a glass of wine.
This time I'm serious.
Do something to indulge. To make yourself feel relaxed.
For me, it's a glass(es) of wine. It might be different for you (maybe you like tequila?).
Either way. It's ok to indulge on the days you have to deal with Uncle Anxiety.
He's a big pain in the ass. Treat yourself.

Usually one, or a combination of a few, of these does the trick.
Even if I have to wash.rinse. repeat multiple times during the day - for me, it just works.

What do you do to kick Uncle Anxiety to the curb?


  1. I love you and I meditate too. It's crazy actually. I have to do the same exact thing. A to do list is my favorite thing to do and a glass of wine really helps. Or chocolate cookie. Ya know.

  2. I meditate too and I've found that my walk-in closet is the best place. Weird, right? Wine helps too...and the occasional Mr. Xanax if it gets really bad.

  3. Happy to see bloggers be open about their anxiety. I've been dealing with it for 7 years now and I control mine mostly by a little miracle pill called Lexapro, but I'm also not afraid to throw in a little wine, a margarita, or an ice cold beer when it's needed.

  4. I just recently finally saw someone for anxiety. I have also found mediation to help with it. My mantra is -- the pain of this moment soon shall pass. Also wine. Wine helps majorly. Give me a glass of a good red and some dark chocolate and i'm good.

  5. Its comforting to know so many other people suffer from anxiety...my anxiety cripples me at times :( I started working out again (ugh!) but it has been helping a lot! And of course a big ol glass of wine does the trick as well!

  6. I exercise, play with my dogs, and remind myself that worrying over something to the point of paralysis has never and will never change the outcome of anything. It'll be what it will be, whether I am anxious over it or not. Ohmmmmmm.

  7. Meditating is a great idea! Alcohol tends to make my anxiety worse so I try and follow doctor's orders to eat healthy and exercise. When I can't sleep or when my anxiety is really bad, I try to do something to completely distract myself like cleaning or doing crossword puzzles (no, I'm not 80, but it gets your mind thinking about something else other than uncle anxiety!) So I guess you can tell when my anxiety has been getting the best of me...I have a really clean house!

    I've struggled with it for 10+ years and it makes me sad when people don't try to help themselves and learn to deal with it in a healthy, positive way and instead just lean on medication. Glad you are finding ways to help you cope :)

  8. I do the to-do-list and then get active. When I am feeling anxious the worst thing for me to do is nothing.

  9. I try to focus on something else. Usually this results in cleaning, playing with my dogs, or I will bust out some old school Mario and pretend I am an Italian plumber. Anything to get me to calm down. Anxiety is a real B!

  10. I always picture a white room... Isn't it strage how that will wash things away so fast! Love that quote!

  11. I've never meditated before, but I think it could be good for me.
    Luckily, I don't suffer from anxiety (yet), but I definitely have times where I need to clear my head because I've got too much going on. I've got insane insomnia, and I think I should really try doing this in the middle of the night when I can't sleep and I start thinking about everythingggg under the sun.

  12. I kinda wrote about the same topic today...for me it's prayer. And more prayer. And gratitude.

  13. Look at all of these wonderful. amazing. splendid. girls with anxiety - just when I thought I was one of the only ones who deals with this. Though I haven't found anything that REALLY helps - except to cry. Yes people...I cry to let everything out. Might try mediating though because that sounds a little more logical than a blubbering mess on the couch! Thank you for being so open and honest about Uncle Anxiety he's a real PITA isn't he?!

  14. Like you I have anxiety and have chosen to stay off medication. Silence, however, tends to make my anxiety worse. Long deep breathing helps. I also try to keep myself occupied in some way. Whether it be playing with my dog, cleaning, reading a book or watching a good reality tv show to make me realize my life isn't so f'd up. Hot showers/baths and some kind of exercise also helps. I feel like my link up on Monday's has also really helped me. I start the week off in a positive note and get so much encouragement from others.

  15. Glad you wrote about this topic! I have been on anxiety meds for 7 years now. I would like to try life without them and when I mentioned this to my doctor last she told me it is a treatment not a cure and renewed my prescription. I was not satisfied with that answer so I will be getting a second opinion. It is nice to hear how others deal with their anxiety other than through medication.

  16. I love this post! I just started - as in last week - to meditate to try and get my anxiety under control. I spend so much time worrying about everything from tomorrow's to do list to finding my next job to when I'm going to meet Prince Charming that I'm losing sleep. I did a sleep meditation before bed last night and there was a marked change in my mood this morning, not to mention I actually slept.

  17. i think i need to meditate more often. and i love that you are such an open book, just love ya.

  18. Regular exercise -- endorphins make you happy and happy people just don't kill their husbands.

    Eating nutritious food -- sure, I eat PUH-lenty of cheese, but otherwise I really try to keep veggies and lean proteins in my diet. I don't overindulge, but I don't deprive myself. My actual physical body feeling balanced and in-control really helps my brain quiet itself.

    Xanax / Kalms -- prescription Rx and an OTC gem I buy in London. What a douchey statement, "when I'm in London", like I'm some world traveler. Kalms is basically "valerian and hops", so valium and beer. I love it. It takes the edge off but doesn't make me loopy. Xanax I use for the times when I need to knock myself out so I don't claw at walls.

    Journaling -- yes I write a blog but I also write things down and keep them to myself. The REALLY troubling stuff and the REALLY insane stuff I hand write. The act of putting ink on paper has always been soothing to me and knowing that I don't have to hit "Post" at the end allows me to let loose.

    I love this. And am thinking about turning my comment to you into my own spin off post...... #bloggerprobz

  19. I have MAJOR anxiety. Major. This past week my little one was sick. Started Sunday night...didn't end until the following Sunday, after 2 trips to the dr and one to the ER he's finally on the mend. Fever for 7 days will make you want to commit yourself. I don't drink, but I swear if I did...it would be a problem, for times such as this. FOr me, I read my bible. I try to focus on one scripture and just repeat it over and over. My anxiety hits at bedtime. And I keep myself up thinking about stuff. Then I get a stomach ache...then I get anxiety over 'is this nerves or is this a bug?' The thoughts progress from there. I come from a long line of worriers...but I'm determined to do better with this. Writing also helps a lot! Thus, the blog. GOod luck to you sister! You can do it!!!!

  20. I'm so happy you posted this today. Last night I wrote a blog post that I am posting tomorrow and it is also about stress/anxiety. I am also unmedicated and could use some helpful tips besides turning to wine, which I most often do.

    Life is stressful!xo


  21. I'm with BHB - Journaling always helps when I actually take the time to do it. It's therapeutic to get it out and let it flow and then sometimes I'll go back and read the things I've written and I feel stronger for overcoming those days and feelings that didn't feel overcome-able.

  22. Surprisingly work... being busy keeps me distracted from the things I can't control (which are usually the things that cause me anxiety)!

  23. I have a lot of work to do with my anxiety. I just started going to therapy for chronic anxiety/OCD so I'm still working on managing how to cope with various things. I totally appreciate you sharing the way that you did, though some of the comments on your first anxiety post left me feeling a little like I was out on a limb. Either way, sharing your first anxiety post helped me share my own on my blog and it felt better to get it off my chest. I'm glad that you've been able to find control and balance without medication - that's my goal too.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  24. Anxiety is such a hard thing to deal with...the feeling of your heartbeat increasing, clammy palms, dizzy...yuck! I find reading helps or taking a bath or showering. Light some candles, use some amazing smelling bubbles and drift into nothingness :)

  25. oh i'm sorry to hear you're having anxiety. I got anxiety when I moved into my first apartment by myself (can I mention that it was 5 minutes away from my parent's house?) I would wake up not being able to breathe and convinced myself I was having an asthma attack and was going to die. Turns out they were anxiety attacks and the doctor gave me meds to clam me down. It's not a fun feeling and I agree that making to-do list help!! I had a mini anxiety attack during my 3rd period a couple of weeks ago and had to step out and calm down in my asst. principal's office. I think what helps is making those list and just breathing and definitely remembering things will get better and to take one day at a time....and yes wine helps too!! Hope you feel better :) *hugs*

  26. I've been having some pretty serious anxiety the past couple months - I'm guessing due to breakup circumstances, but it's killer! :( Wine helps, but I can't always be drankin!

  27. I have anxiety too... Usually in e past I didn't know what it was exactly or how to deal with it and then I just got super frustrated and upset and didn't know why. I finally realized what it was when I was in the hospital for a completely different reason and now I try and meditate too, I do a project that's on my list and if all else fails I take a very mild medication for it and take a nap or zone out on a show that will distract me (real housewives anyone?)
    xoxo- Kaara http://inthekitchwithkaara.blogspot.com

    It's good to know we're not alone ;)

  28. I have to do the opposite of meditate, if Im sitting it gets worse and I never leave the couch. I have to get up and move around, and just start getting things done until I forget I was even anxious in the first place.

  29. I really like the idea of treating yourself to something special. I don't do that enough. Instead, I get all hyped up and stressed and not calm and relaxed like I should be. I think your trick will work much better, and if that treat includes wine or ice cream I really can't be opposed to that.

    I used to take medicine for mine and then decided to take myself off it...because I have an MD and all...#not. I just hated putting drugs into my body and try to deal with it on my own. Best decision? I don't know but for now it's working...for the most part.

  30. I take deep breaths....and relax...or drink..alot! I only get it really when I fly though.

  31. Wine for sure. Agreed. I also had another blogger recently recommend taking Inositol Powder for anxiety. It's an all natural supplment that helps your brain even out without the side effects of the meds, so I'm giving it a shot. We're in this together pretty girl!

  32. I drive. I just get in my car, turn off my phone, turn on some music and go. Something about being along with no destination is peaceful to me

  33. I need to do that. I totally freak out at the first sign of stress. I think your way of dealing with it is much better. And wine helps.

  34. Uncle Anxiety is a royal asshole, huh?!

    I have MAJOR all-over-the-place anxiety, especially since I live in Colorado where the weather is ridiculously bipolar. It's usually seasonal (in the winter months) but it can also appear on a random summer day from time to time.

    I usually use sunshine or exercise as my coping mechanisms. If either one of those are impossible - then to-do lists and refocusing my energy towards something productive works pretty well.

    I love your honesty about anxiety. I find that people are often ashamed about it but I like the craziness too :)

  35. I hate Uncle Anxiety and his wife Auntie Stress.
    Thanks for sharing something so personal with all of us! I'm still trying to figure out what works the best for me, and I can never get my brain to shut down long enough to clear...Wine works well, though.
    Thanks for being so honest!

  36. Hi! My name is Maxine and I have anxiety spilling out of my ears 24/7. Oh... we're not at an Anxiety meeting? I'll just use this comment form as my therapy then. Having deadlines all day has not only aged me 30 years -- it's ruining my childhood. All I want is my laundry done, my cleaners bill paid for, and someone to grocery shop for me. Who's hiring? My to-do list is never ending. You've just inspired me to blog about this. PS- that's my lockscreen... Nate got booted.

  37. Honestly, medicine has helped me with mine about 80%. The other 20% I deal with by talking it out to my boyfriend, focusing on hobbies that make me happy (blogging) and listening to my favorite music!

  38. Loved this post! Uncle Anxiety definitely has me down today too!

  39. Loved this post! Uncle Anxiety definitely has me down today too!

  40. Yoga. Yoga. and even more yoga. I usually freak out around 3 or 4am, looove it when anxiety interrupts my sleep, and child's pose is the way to go, promise!
    If I go spastic at a decent hour of the day, I will harass my BFF's or mom's phone.

  41. good tips! i can get overwhelmed too and sometimes i need to just separate myself from the situation and breathe. so helpful and you can usually realize it's not that crazy, if you put things in perspective.
    -- jackiejade.blogspot.com

  42. Great ideas, thank you! Anxiety has been a big deal in my life recently. I appreciate this post

    xx Casey

  43. I love that you posted this. The thing that helped me most was eliminating caffeine. That alone took me from operating at 100% (panic attack) down to a manageable 50% (slightly crazed). 30 minutes minimum of exercise a day also helps!

  44. Meds, mostly! lol. I've become fond of Ativan when needed because when I was on actual daily meds my body just couldn't handle them. I also changed jobs which has helped SO much, more than I ever thought possible actually.

    Good post today!

  45. Very neat Blog! :)

    Much Love,
    Jayma @ http://jaymastips.blogspot.com

  46. Treating myself every once in a while usually ends up revolving around chocolate...or french fries. Haha!

    The Hartungs Blog

  47. Oh Whitney! You don't know HOW MUCH I NEEDED to read this post today! I have horrible, awful anxiety. I cope with it using medication (just being honest!) AND "alternative" therapies when I'm in a good enough place to get myself there. Thanks for reminding me of the importance of meditation and taking those few minutes to center myself & calm down. I've been really needing to that this week & you've encouraged me to take the time to do it! I think it may need to become a lunchtime ritual on weeks like I'm having! Thanks for the relate-able and encouraging post! It helps me to be reminded that I'm NOT the only one that Uncle Anxiety comes to visit :)

  48. Lucky for me I do not have much anxiety on a daily basis but do experience it when I fly. What helps me is to focus on what I can control. I focus on playing sudoku, what I am reading and my music. And once that gosh awful turbulance hits, I focus on my breathing.

    I worked in the mental health field for 6.5 years and taught our anxiety management class. It wasn't until I actually took the advice I was dishing out that I learned what helped me.

  49. I meditate also and have suggested it to my daughter who just told me that she can't mediate and got all pissy with me but it works..........

  50. Just an FYI, it's really hard to read your blog for any length of time with all your paragraph text centered. That's a big graphic design no-no.

    Anyway… sounds like I could take a lesson from you about dealing with anxiety! I tend to just curl up in bed and watch tv until I pass out. Your way of dealing with it sounds much healthier!

  51. I do yoga and mediate! Also medication has been a great thing for me!


  52. LOVE your blog! I suffer from anxiety/panic attacks. Pinot Grigio always does the trick...I feel ya!