I have a really great life. I have a husband who loves me more than anything, I have four kids who are growing into the most fantastic human beings (hey, I know they’re humans already.. you get what I’m saying), I have the world’s best friends that I can be authentic and transparent with…
And yet. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we do that one thing that deeply hurts someone we love and care about. Sometimes our friends make a choice or take a step that confuses and shocks us. Sometimes our kids take a path that we hadn’t imagined… and for an HSP like me, it can feel like the heaviness of a steamroller.
There are days, the emotional sensory overload sends me into my introvert cave, tucked under weighted blankets and lost in Netflix or a really good novel. Is this healthy? For me, sometimes it’s my mind screaming for a break and I think sometimes it IS just what I need. But as someone who also constantly pursues personal growth and development, I often wonder how I can best take care of myself.
Over the past few weeks, I started having occasional anxiety attacks. It’s no surprise really, as we’re planning a move in a few weeks and we’re booked most weekends until then. The kids are starting a new school 4 days after we move and we will all be adjusting to a completely new community. The adventure of it is exciting, but I also know that it will take some time and effort to feel at “home” again.
So how do I maneuver through this while maintaining some sort of mental health?
- Decrease caffeine intake. This was mostly my doctor’s suggestion as coffee tends to trigger my anxiety attacks. One cup a day seems to be fine, but not five!
- Go for a daily walk. When I’m really feeling crazy, I’m probably not going to run a 5k, but getting out in the fresh air (we have the best summer weather here in Alberta) makes all the difference some days, no matter how slow I walk.
- Connect with your tribe. Even though I often don’t feel like interacting when I’m anxious, it’s important that my people understand what’s going on. You don’t need to say much. I’ll tell my husband “I’m feeling panicky and I just need you to hold me.” No one can read your mind.
- Find someone who understands anxiety. I’ve recently connected with a friend who understands what I’m going through. Although we don’t live near each other, she is never more than a phone call or text away.
- Get enough sleep. There is absolutely no shame in hitting the hay at 7 or 8 pm if that’s what it takes. And there’s no shame in taking a sleeping pill if your mind doesn’t want to shut off at night. I used to be pretty elitist about meds, but no more. You need to sleep. Full stop.
How do you deal when life feels too hard and heavy? What’s your best method for combating anxiety? Let me know in the comments below!