Posted on November 01 2018
Ah, anxiety. My old friend. Always know I can count on you to be there when I need you THE LEAST!
You know what I am talking about. You are already stressed to the MAX, you have worked more hours then you planned and YET still have more to do, your kids haven't had a home cooked meal in days and you have shoved burgers in your face all week because it's fast and cheap and let's not even DISCUSS the laundry.
One day I woke up and realized I was ALWAYS waiting for a time when I would be caught up. Waiting for the day I would feel like an adult and have my shit together. and at 37 years old, that day still had not come. I was struck with the realization that THIS is life. And either I was going to take control of it, or I was always going to feel like a stress basket. Forever.
At the time this was happening, I was selling clothing and I was making most of my income from creating outfits. More often then not, I would find myself creating a look only to find I had half an outfit and NO coordinating pieces to finish the look. And I would PANIC. How would I make my outfits, with just half the pieces? FREAK OUT!
That is when I came up with this idea of Planned Panic. If I just made my outfits a WEEK before I needed to post them, I would still be in the same boat with missing pieces to find, but instead of having 2 minutes to find them, I would have 5-7 DAYS. So essentially, by planning my panic, I could have time to deal with it and have a good outcome.
I started to wonder if I could apply this to the rest of my life, to find out, I made a list of things that caused my routine anxiety:
1. Eating - I never had anything to eat, and by the time I realized how hungry I was I was desperate and ate crap.
2. Sleeping - I ALWAYS ended up in bed late, and then didn't get enough rest! Then I am grouchy and unproductive the next day.
3. Money - I never seemed to have enough!
4. Time with family - Because I was always working because I had no routine, my family time was much less then I wanted.
You get the picture. So, I decided that maybe if I was better at PLANNING for these things, I would not end up in situations where I had overwhelming anxiety and I became crippled and made bad choices and felt bad about myself AFTER having yet another anxiety attack.
Here is an example; Food. I KNOW that eating is hard for me, and then when I get hungry I have no food ready which leads me to make poor choices for diet, which makes me anxious about my health and weight.
What if instead of waiting to cook, I chose meals that I could prepare in advance, and cook so all I needed to do was microwave them or re-heat them on the stove? Instead of making 3 pieces of fried chicken, I made 20. Instead of making 2 potatoes for mashed potatoes, I made 15. When I made Indian food, instead of cooking 2 breast, I would cook 7! By doing this I had food prepared for the entire week, and when I got hungry I didn't need to panic, and start the cycle again. I could just heat up my food.
If you struggle with anxiety, I would encourage you to make a list of the things that trigger your discomfort and see what you can plan ahead of time so you aren't caught in the moment unprepared, and then stuck in the pattern of anxiety. Planning ahead and taking steps will put CONTROL back in your hands.
I have found the best antidote for situational anxiety is ACTION and CONTROL and planning your panic!
Stay tuned for more tips on reducing your anxiety next week!