A daily schedule…of sorts
September 30, 2009 1 Comment
Sometimes, especially during a particularly clingy relapse with anxiety and panic, I find myself struggling to remember how to do the most basic daily things. What am I supposed to do with myself all day long? I will find myself asking over and over. It seems too hard to even think, let alone move, when I’m not sure what to think or what to move to do. Half the time it takes too long to make a decision on what to do, so I do nothing, and feel even worse and more guilty.
Today I came up with a plan.
My motto is, I can do anything for fifteen minutes. These are the areas I need to do something in for at least fifteen minutes a day:
Create – I always feel better when I’ve made something, anything, even just colored a picture or drawn a smiley face on a paper plate. Creativity is a release we all need in some form or another, and it doesn’t have to be in the form of a king sized quilt or a fifteen thousand page novel. The goal is fifteen minutes.
Clean When anxiety has you so frozen and immobile that you can’t move your foot in one direction in the other, your whole house can fall apart around you in a matter of days, or in my case, hours. Spending fifteen minutes picking up trash, rinsing off dishes and switching the dry clothes from the dryer to a basket and the wet ones to the dryer and the dirty ones to the wash, can ward of complete and utter chaos. It may not seem like much but fifteen minutes can make all the difference.
Declutter You can’t clean clutter. And nothing feels better than throwing a bag of trash that you’ve moved from one place to another in the dumpster for the final time. It’s freeing to get rid of the clutter and non-important things in our lives. It frees mental space as well.
Learn By learn, I mean, learn anything. I read my bible daily. This is where I get my ‘learn’ from. But I also watching National Geographic, read world history, learn to crochet or sew by hand…the main thing is to get your brain involved in something new and interesting. It’s better to pick a subject when you aren’t in the midst of a bad bout, when you can think a little easier about what you’d like to learn about; however, if you are in the middle of a bad spell with your anxiety, one of the best things to do to help yourself is learn about anxiety and panic disorders. If you are reading this I know you have the internet at your fingertips. Do research on your condition and look for ways to educate yourself about it. It is a comfortabling thing to be able to reassure yourself that your feelings and symptoms are normal and manageable.
Love Concentrate on improving one relationship in your day. It can be with your husband, child, pet, friend, whatever…as long as you focus on thinking about that relationship and how grateful you are to have it, it counts as loving. Take yourself out of your anxiety mode and just be in love, or loving, for a few minutes a day. It’s healthy.
Move Take a walk. Turn on music and dance. Bounce a ball with your kid. Just do something. Don’t do anything too strenous if you are having a lot of chest pains or an upset stomach from your anxiety; you can still wander slowly through your house, or in your yard if you’re able to, or use this time to sweep and mop or vacuum or dust. Whatever you choose to do, just move around and think about what you’re doing.
It sounds like something that is too simple too help and too difficult to begin. But I promise, it will get easier by the minute and the day, and help you out. Try it, and remember, it’s only fifteen minutes at a time…what can it hurt?