I don’t always get super personal on here, but I do want to talk about anxiety not only because it’s just something I have severely struggled with since I was young, but also because it’s caused me to really neglect my site and my Instagram over the last 14 or so days. I typically am SUPER committed to the blog, so for me to feel like I just can’t deal with it, or being on Instagram or on my phone to do work is really out of character for me. I am extremely committed and pride myself on that, but when anxiety strikes, I’m the total opposite. I have this overwhelming guilt that I should be continuing to produce content and working, but the truth is I just don’t have it in me because my anxiety has gotten so bad recently.
I never ever am okay with my anxiety getting the best of me, but sometimes it just does and it’s unavoidable. I have a lot of contributing factors: my job, my personal expectations for myself and why I haven’t met certain goals yet, money, my social life, maintaining my health and wellness, my relationships with every person in my life, and the pressure I put on myself to do my best to make a positive impact on peoples’ lives both through The Gilded Bellini and outside of the online world. But they are not the sole reasons for my anxiety; my anxiety just IS and it has always been there. When I was younger, I used to make myself sick because I was worried about school and being perfect at everything I did. Again, that wasn’t the source of my anxiety but my anxiety really did contribute to me feeling stressed, depressed and without a lack of control of my own life.
I recently was on Instagram the other day (when I felt I could handle it for literally only 5 minutes) and read on @anxietyhealer the difference between regular anxiety and anxiety disorders. After reading a side by side, compare/contrast of the two, it was just validation that I definitely do, and have always had an anxiety disorder. Here’s what I read… wondering if any of you guys can relate? Obviously, I am no doctor but I am just comparing my usual symptoms to what’s below.
ANXIETY VS. ANXIETY DISORDERS
ANXIETY: a normal reaction to stress or difficult times.
ANXIETY DISORDERS: often comes out of nowhere
ANXIETY: triggered by a specific stressor
ANXIETY DISORDERS: intense disproportionate emotional response
ANXIETY: has a start and an ending point
ANXIETY DISORDERS: ongoing and lasts weeks or months
ANXIETY: can be helpful or motivational
ANXIETY DISORDERS: interferes with day-to-day life
ANXIETY: lessens significantly or disappears away from stressful situations
ANXIETY DISORDERS: physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, lightheadedness, racing heart
ANXIETY: a response to toxic situations
ANXIETY DISORDERS: feels impossible to control or manage
Until I read this, I didn’t know how to explain my anxiety to anyone who isn’t familiar with how severe it is. Everyone GETS anxiety, but if you’re like me, it doesn’t go away. It stays and it lives in me and makes me stuck. I feel paralyzed by it actually. I have just learned to live with it at this point, but it doesn’t get any easier. It’s a new strand of it every time it comes around. And that’s exactly it – it comes out of NOWHERE, even if I have had a string of great days, good luck and positive energy around me.
I wake up drenched in sweat, at random times I will have this sense of doom and fear looming over, I feel out of control and sometimes I just sit and do nothing because that’s literally all I am physically capable of doing. I get frequent heart pounding and always feel like my blood sugar is low even though I am constantly eating. Socializing or even responding to texts is a dreaded task. Normal situations are amplified for me; when something happens that’s upsetting but are not the end of the world, it feels that way for me and even if it’s been resolved for the most part, overthinking haunts me and the anxiety or PTSD from certain situations lingers and makes me become everything I despise: unmotivated, unconfident, defeated, undetermined, low energy, de-sensitized to any situation other than the one that I am currently in and basically any other positive word, but with an “un-“ attached to it.
I know that soooooo many other people have this too, and this post is not just for people who have anxiety disorders; we ALL get anxiety. For me, just about anything can set me off into a downward spiral of never-ending anxiety that, like I shared above can last for days, weeks or months.
I just wanted to explain that sometimes I HAVE to go off the grid because of it. Even though I have accepted that this happens to me frequently, it doesn’t change the fact that every time anxiety pays me a visit I feel disappointed in myself and like a failure because I am not meeting my own expectations. Sometimes even embarrassed that I process situations more intensely than a lot of other people. How can I be battling myself? I’m slapping myself on the wrist for not being motivated and staying committed to what I have created and maintained, but I just physically, mentally and emotionally can’t handle the commitment to it.
I never let it get so bad that I’d call it quits or go M.I.A. for 2 months. I try to get myself together after a week or two and just get back into it. You have to keep yourself in check, otherwise you’ll never rise above it.
In recent years, I’ve found effective ways to cope and just take the edge off.
METHODS THAT WORK FOR ME
CBD Oil – I typically take a dropper of Pure Bloom CBD Oil and I really do notice a difference. I feel so much calmer and like I can take on what I have in front of me. I never thought I would be a huge believer and supporter of CBD until I tried it for this reason, and I can honestly say I will continue to be a huge CBD advocate. Plus, Pure Bloom was the first CBD I ever tried! It’s safe and effective. I can take it during the day or right before I go to bed and I usually get a solid night’s sleep, which a lot of times I struggle with.
Walks around 6:30 pm – Lighting permitted, for some reason I have become so addicted to taking walks around this time. The air is cooler, everything quiets down, little animals are out eating their dinner in the grass and it’s just so peaceful. This is something I have found really can calm me down at the end of the day. I have always been an avid barre and pilates goer, but there’s something as simple as walking around sunset time that gives me another layer of zen.
Joel Osteen Podcast – I am not a super religious person, but his messages are so uplifting and reassuring. You don’t even have to be religious to listen, and you can interpret the purpose of each episode how you want it to. I have never listened to his podcast before and not instantly felt a little weight lifted off my shoulders.
Getting lost in Barnes and Noble – I used to do this a lot in high school. Even if I don’t end up actually reading any books in their entirety, I get so excited to just be in silence and see what books are out there. I could literally spend HOURS in there and pick up a ton of different books and read one after the other. There’s something so soothing about just sitting on the floor in the corner of the store, smelling that Barnes and Noble smell and completely getting entirely invested in getting the mind to focus on something entirely different other than yourself.
Getting out of the house — Even though being home is relaxing, I work from home 24/7 and a lot of times can actually cause my anxiety to be worse because I am in the same location for hours and days on end. Going anywhere from a coffee shop to the beach to just aimlessly walking around a Michael’s (lol, sometimes I do this) gets my mind off of the overwhelming feeling.
Hopefully some of these tips and this insight is helpful and/or comforting. I’d love to hear if you struggle with anxiety and what you do to cope with it on an every day basis. Thanks for hearing me out and taking the time to read! It’s not easy talking about personal things, but this is definitely something I think we can all relate to in some way shape or form. x