Anxiety became a problem for me several years ago. My husband and I were under an extreme amount of stress which (in my non-medical opinion) manifested itself in these anxiety episodes where I would literally be sick within five minutes of leaving our house.
That was reality.
Dealing with anxiety doesn’t mean you can’t handle stress or you can’t perform your tasks – although this perception is a common fear. I’d hate to not be booked for speaking engagements or asked to participate in events because some well-meaning person decided it would be too stressful. I don’t want other people choosing my path for me, and I’m sure you’re the same.
It’s been my experience that many of us deal with anxiety, but we don’t talk about it until someone slips in a hint of a comment, wide-eyed, waiting to see the reaction.
It’s also been my experience that my workload doesn’t cause the anxiety. There are certain situations that trigger it for me, but those situations aren’t isolated to owning a business or attending school. Since I can’t be a hermity-introvert my entire life, there will always be situations where I’ll feel anxious. It’s part of being human.
May is Mental Health Awareness month so it’s time to break the stigma. As Christians, we cling to the verse “Don’t be anxious about anything” but what do we do when we’re still fighting anxiety as we pray for the peace that passes understanding?
I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve found that pinpointing the anxiety triggers is a great first step and allows you to avoid the triggers when possible or prepare yourself if a situation is unavoidable.
Having a plan on how to deal with the anxiety in public and sharing with your close and trusted family and friends is helpful, too. If your family understands what’s happening, you can avoid awkward explanations and focus on breathing and getting through what I call the “episode.”
Coping strategies as listed here have been helpful, too, especially time-outs, breathing, counting, and avoiding my triggers when possible. Sleeping well and eating healthy have also attributed to less anxiety for me, too.
If you’re dealing with anxiety, you’re not alone and I wanted you to know that.
Much love to you, my friend.