anxiety hits

When Anxiety Hits, This is What You Do

(Inside: When anxiety hits, this is what you can do to help get you through. Anxiety is a beast, but you can find tools to help.)

Anxiety will break like a fever.

And you must hang on until then.
Something in mom-life hit me sideways, and in response, anxiety dropped 1000 lbs of hopelessness right on top of my head. The physical reaction was real. I felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin with worry. My stomach twisted in heaviness. And my body shook even though the thermometer read a solid 97.8 degrees.

But here’s the thing that I’ve learned: if you hang on, anxiety will break like a fever.

However, in the meantime, you’ve got to do something to distract your brain. Your mind is not going to think logically anyway, so this is not the time to make decisions: it’s the time to wait for the fever to break…

Take your dog for a walk.
Clean your house.
Hang out with your family.
Read through Psalms.
Listen to a podcast.
Scroll on your phone.
Work on your hobby.
Go shopping.
Bake something.
Breathe deep while listening to worship music.
Get together with a friend.
Go to the gym.
Eat a healthy snack and drink lots of water.
Organize your meals for the week.
Clean out a closet.

Just do something that distracts your brain.
family at dinner table

You will feel shaky and yucky the entire time but ignore the brain mess anyway. Remember, you’re not trying to be awesome, you’re just trying to get through.

Then, wait for it.
Expect it.
It will probably take 24+ hours.
Or maybe even way more time.
But at the most unexpected moment, relief will spread over your body like a faucet rinsing dirt from your hands.
And break your fever.

Who knows what makes that happen? Maybe comforting words, or the realization you get through the “worst-case scenario,” or your body embraced the long walk. But anxiety exhales. Then your brain is ready to process, understand, and figure out your next step.

My mom friend, be proud of yourself for getting through.
Then, next time anxiety hits, anchor yourself to this thought: Anxiety is playing out, and it’s not going to stay, no way. Just distract yourself and hang on…
Until anxiety breaks like a fever.

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Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?” 

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