When anxiety started to hit me hard recently and I realized I was actually starting to have an anxiety attack, I also realized the way I have been setting up my life REALLY helped me prepare for it. This makes me understand that I’m in a good place.
When I was in my 20s, for example, an anxiety attack meant falling down in a heap, being rescued by someone and the next day having my ribs hurt from all the heavy breathing. This time, at 35 years old, I had the following in place:
*The number of my go-to friend to call about mental illness. Yes, it’s the same number I’ve been calling for years, but I was able to talk to my friend and get quick, no nonsense advice.
*My husband made an appointment with my psychiatrist. That was a luxury. Usually it would be me calling and freaking out every time I heard a ring. He did it as a favor for me and knowing that he was doing that made me really relax.
*I had all the tools available to have a (slow) productive day. List Of Tools: I had a 32 ounce bottle of water to make sure I was drinking enough.
All of Elro’s stuff was in its place so it was easy to change her, change her clothes, make her bottles. I had organized my clothes and fabric, so it was easy to get out a box of fabric for scarves I’m going to make and just look at them. Aromatherapy & fresh flowers!
Most importantly, I have medication! It’s all in a lock box and it’s all labeled (because it drove my husband crazy that I had empty bottles in it!) which made it really easy to approach, even in a crazy head space. I used the Instacart app to purchase food so I can make dinner tonight. This feels much healthier and much saner than when I was in my 20s. When I was pregnant I was terrified of having an anxiety attack when I had a baby to take care of — but she actually helps me stay present and calms me down. Wasn’t expecting that but I’m very grateful.
Playing with Puppy helped, too!
This makes me realize that these things are important: Keep your place organized! Keep your medications filled and labeled. Keep all of your baby supplies in stock — clothes, food, diapers. Depend on friends and family to do the stuff that feels way too difficult. Drink water! Don’t despair! Be proud of yourself for handling the anxiety, not mad at yourself for experiencing it to begin with. Love, Rae