Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Anxiety Days

I struggle with panic and anxiety at times.  Most people don't see that side of me, though I mention it occasionally.  My anxiety is fairly mild, I'm not medicated and usually I can function well enough to hide it if I feel like I should. And not every day is an Anxiety Day.

But, today is. And since I'm trying to blog every day this month, it is my topic for today. I'm going to tell you about my Anxiety Days.

Usually, but not always, there is a sleep link. Last night, the later part of my sleep was disturbed. I had "stress dreams" about things that aren't actually stressing me out. I woke up having worked out the answer to a question that I didn't even realize I was thinking about.  This happens sometimes and always makes me think, "I am smarter when I sleep than when I'm awake!"

My morning started as usual and today I didn't even realize it was an Anxiety Day until I got downstairs.

There was a pile of clean dishes on the kitchen counter left to dry overnight that needed to be put away. Some of Little Man's junk toys were on the stairs. The ordinary amount of clutter in the kitchen/dining room really bothered me.

I start to think I don't have time to put all of the dishes away, make Big Girl's lunch, make the kids breakfast, sort through the clutter, get the kids to clean up their mess, make sure everyone is dressed, hair combed, wearing socks, etc. before it is time to leave for school. I probably won't have time to make myself any breakfast! Two or three times I check my duathlon training log to see what workout I am supposed to be doing today and run through the timing of school drop off, errands and going to the gym.  It feels like the kids are hovering around me, asking too many questions, talking too loudly.  I am overwhelmed.

I am overwhelmed by things that are very "normal" in my life. These are things that I see, hear and do pretty much every day. And I am frozen by them today.

I check my workout plan multiple times for a few reasons. I am afraid I am going to forget today's plan. I am afraid the timing won't work out to get to the core class I need to take. And I know that going to the gym for a serious workout will help me get through today.

I check my email and cannot focus to reply. I open new windows in the middle of reading an email, but for no reason that I can recall. I answer the 2 emails that seem most pressing, that I can feel will worry me until they are answered. I am brief.

While I am sitting still, I feel the physiological anxiety signs.  My shoulders are tight. I am breathing shallow breaths. My whole body is tense. I feel like my skin is twitching or "crawling". I know going to the gym will help.

I focus on one thing at a time. I make a list so I don't have to worry about forgetting what I need to try to get done today. (I should probably instead give myself permission to forget things, but I'm working on that!) I got done everything I was worried I wouldn't get done this morning AND had time for some Greek yogurt for breakfast.

I did my morning workout as planned and it has cleared my head a bit.  I feel a little better.  I am not home right now, and am still feeling anxious about getting home and seeing mess, clutter and messy kid rooms and playroom (and living room, and dining room, and stairs...). This is frustrating because normally these types of things don't bother me so much, and I know that it is because today is an Anxiety Day.  But we will be home soon, and I will resist the urge to throw away pretty much everything in my kids rooms. Yes, I will probably actually consider that for a few moments. Seriously, it would make cleaning and finding things easier!! =)

I will finish up my day following as close to my normal routine as I can. I will try not to overwhelm myself with feelings that I am drowning in things to do, or am falling behind in my life somehow.  I will be in prayer today for peace and release from feeling this way.  I will probably talk to Eric about it when he gets home. Maybe I will even try to take a nap or read my new library book!

And, hopefully tomorrow I will wake up as my normal self, trip on Little Man's trucks on the stairs and feel good about the day.

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