It’s official. I’m exhausted.
I get like this after a super jam packed week or a stressful project. After my anxiety levels are so high that my body just cannot physically take it anymore and tries to shut itself down for a serious nap. We’re getting real today and talking about anxiety and exhaustion.
Anxiety is something I’ve always struggled with but never really realized until recently. I thought it was just normal to be that worried and anxious all the time. My personality is textbook “people pleaser.” I never say no for fear that someone might get mad and I HATE disappointing people. I’m also constantly concerned with how people view me.
I heard a statistic the other day that we have 70,000 thoughts a day and our cells respond to every. single. one. That’s insane. When I really think about it, the majority of my thoughts are worrying about something. I worry for my family, I worry for my friends, I worry about disappointing my boss, I worry that my blog content isn’t interesting enough or up to par, I worry when my Tailwind queue is empty, I worry that I ate pizza last night and today my stomach protrudes out too far, I worry that I’m getting older and you can see it, I worry that my Certain Dry is failing and all my worry is making me sweat, I worry because I don’t want people to know that I sweat, I worry that it’s probably time to get an oil change and I haven’t allocated time to go in my schedule this week, I worry that Stephen will get annoyed that I forgot to schedule an oil change.
It’s constant, and because I live like this–on the go and always worried about what’s coming next or who I’m disappointing–I get serious exhaustion.
Over the past year or so, I’ve learned what I need to help cope with all this anxiety. It doesn’t mean I do it all the time, but I know what helps. This week, I did not take care of myself and today I feel like I got hit by a truck.
This may not work for everyone, but here are my tips to handle anxiety:
–Drink water. I heard another statistic that if you don’t drink enough water, your brain shrinks and causes dementia earlier in life. My brain is full of useless worry, so my important memories are already buried, but having my brain shrink even further sounds awful. I’ve had a stress headache in my left temple for three days now. Last night, I realized I’ve only been drinking wine and Diet Coke, so I had two HUGE glasses of water and instantly felt better.
-Talk it out. Don’t internalize every insecurity or anxious thought you have. Find someone you trust and talk to them about it. You will feel better.
–Make time for the people you love. Cheese alert: I love my husband. Not just love him because he is my husband, but I genuinely enjoy spending time with him. I feel like I am the least anxious hanging out with him. When I have a total freak out, he is the person I want to talk to. So I try to set substantial time in my schedule to be with him. Also, I talk to my mom and sister as much as I can. My mom seriously could have already made over a million dollars by being my therapist, but she and my sis are my best friends so I try to see them as much as I can too.
-Make time for yourself and the things you love. I consider myself an “outgoing introvert.” I read an article about this last year and it was like my whole life finally made sense. It means you need time to recharge, are selectively social, and way more comfortable with social settings on your own terms. I definitely need time to recharge by myself (I’ve started including Stephen in this too. He is allowed to recharge with me if he doesn’t come up with lots of plans.) I like to keep my weeknights free. This rarely happens, but I just want to come home, work on my blog, and watch my shows. Last night was the Pretty Little Liars finale (yes I still watch that show, and yes I’m worried you are judging me for it.) I got home from work around 10, but still stayed up to watch it because I love it and needed to recharge before going to bed and starting all over again.
-Fur babies are great therapy. Sometimes you just need to cuddle your babes. Molly and Mimosa cuddles make the world go round. I instantly feel better when I’m with them.
-Sleep. I am not worried when I’m sleeping. I do have some stressful dreams (teeth falling out anyone?) but I am a good sleeper and I always feel less anxious when I’m well rested and not cracked out on Diet Coke.
-Remember that worrying is a choice. This is the number one piece of advice I can give you and myself. I remind myself of this daily. You can choose to be worried about something. If you can do something about it, then do it and alleviate that anxiety. However, if you can’t, the LET. IT. GO. You can’t control everything and everyone around you. People are going to do what they want to do. You can’t fix everything and you can’t take care of everyone.
Do you have high levels of stress and exhaustion? How do you cope?