Have you ever felt like you cannot breathe? That you have some kind of pressure on your chest? If you answered yes, then welcome to my life and the life of thousands of people around the World.
Did you know that every day the number of people seeking medical attention due to anxiety keeps growing? People will go to the doctor not knowing what is wrong and finding out it is anxiety and getting rid of it depends a lot on us, our mind and the steps we take to control it.
This is how my anxiety started, I started having some family issues, then a pandemic happened and being under lock down only made it worse, although we are almost out of it, now new issues have arised making it more and more complicated to move on with “living my best life”.
I used to “handle” anxiety by either eating my nails or eating junk food. Needless to say that now I am anxious about my body and with a horrible DIY manicure… I started looking into other ways to redirect all those feelings, the fear, the stress, the tears, I have tried a lot of things, a few more efficient than others and I will tell you about them.
I of course started going out for walks, I think so far is one of the best ways for me to calm down, unfortunately I can only go for a walk once a day between work, family and life in general, so I still have about 22 more hours to worry about something and believe me, I will find any reason to do so, because it is easier sometimes to fuel your own negative thoughts than working on them.
Someone told me to “relax” and scroll through social media, well I can tell you that totally backfired, I became an addict, I like watching everyone else's life and then totally get on board with thoughts like “if I only had the life they have”, “I wish I had what they have”, by the time you realize people in social media also suffers, it’s too late for you to change that non stop thinking of comparing to others.
Stress gummies? Yes! Let me tell you something about them, the sleepy ones work much better, so there is that. Yoga? I do love it, except the dog position that gives me the worst heartburn and I am just trying not to fall in front of the entire class and feel embarrassed that I cannot do headstands. However it does help you understand how to breathe correctly, I usually follow those steps while driving…late for work.
You know the famous quote? Netflix and Chill? I like to binge on shows, but when I do I will literally watch 12 episodes in 12 continuous hours, not in 3 days, but all at once, with some 5 min breaks, to make popcorn. There are not enough new shows at once, nor not enough hours in a day for me to just spend trying to relax.
I have tried all the massage places near my house, last time I went the lady started walking on my back and I thought a wrong step and I will end up with back pain forever, and don’t get me wrong, she was trained, she was fine, it was my own anxiety taking over myself and not letting me enjoy that massage, at the end I asked her to please just do the regular massage. I am sure you know at this point how pricey they are.
And I know you are probably thinking, why is she not going to therapy? Well I’ll tell you why, therapy is not for everyone and not everyone can afford it, you read it right. I did therapy, per my teachers and parents suggestion, it was more like a forced thing many years ago, I was still a kid. I think therapy needs to be something you want to do, and that is very complicated to open to some stranger. I was not able to do it and for years that has been the reason that keeps me out of therapy. And the fact that I believe a shopping rant is cheaper than sitting to talk to a stranger. So let's skip this for now.
I have ruined the sides of my nails for years, it is a horrible habit. I tried to do a manicure to prevent myself from biting it. I end up peeling the polish to then bite the sides again.
I try, I swear, every day I wake up and try to breathe, and not to put so much on my head, but as the day starts moving I keep feeling behind, usually because I am always late, but that is a different story. Sometimes life just happens and we are in such a rush to do everything without failing, with a smile, with energy. I admire whoever can get everything done in the 24 hours we have: exercise, work, live life, take care of chores, kids, and so on, without going through any type of stress. I really do.
This brings us to my next point, the things that are actually working a bit for me.
I have been making sure to take every week a very demanding class at the gym, which keeps me for 90 minutes so busy that I don’t have time to think about small things that make me anxious and stressed about.
I have also started working with resin, making some jewelry trays, pet tags, the only thing is that sometimes I keep messing up the quantities, which keeps me trying and distracted.
I also have some stores nearby and a postal office, so when the sun is gone, I try to go on a walk all the way there to run small errands and walk through the little old downtown of my city which is very pretty and makes me interested in looking at my surroundings instead of my worries.
I have been spending a lot of time and energy in creating my own recipes, when it comes good I even share it with my friends, this particularly brings me a lot of joy, I try to make my family or friends join us for a special dinner and share time together, so far is one of the things that has helped me the most.
We recently started doing some DIY projects around the house, we are currently finishing an amazing project in our backyard so it will be ready in a few more weeks just in time to enjoy the summer and fall, I love sitting there with a book, a cup of tea and our funny dog,
I have realized that the small things that make my routine is what provides me calm and relax me, and that there are several new and discrete ways to control my anxiety, without being noticed, no, I am not hiding this from the rest of the people, I just wanted to try to control it myself than to let other people do it for me.
Each day companies with genius ideas offer us consumers better ways to live more comfortably and let me tell you something, living our best lives without worries is to me one of the best deals to get for myself.
Have you caught yourself playing with any of your rings or a chain? Well, jewelry companies finally found out that we love to use our jewelry to keep our nerves under control and they have come with anxiety rings, yes, an anxiety ring you read that right.
There is a model for everyone, classic, sport, fancy, flashy, discrete, you name it, there is one that matches your personality, your outfit of the day, your activities. It is like a reinvented fidget spinner, do you remember them? Not so long ago that was the most sold item in the world! Everyone had one, parents, kids, teachers, high ranked employees, everyone had one. But there is a problem with it, companies started complaining about employees playing with it and it was not something you could use at any time to relax.
However a small piece of jewelry, particularly the anxiety ring is perfect because only you can play with it, without bringing all the attention your way. It is an item that nobody will complain about and it still lets you be efficient on your everyday tasks.
My husband got me one, a beautiful ring (I used to play a lot with my engagement ring, before) that keeps me distracted when I get anxious, yet focused when I need to keep working and handling every day tasks of life. I love it, I wear it everywhere, it goes great with my lifestyle and my outfits, it has helped me release all the anxiety even when I am waiting in line at the groceries.
It is well known that nobody wants to be targeted as a person that is constantly worrying about everything and having something small to release is a great way to avoid being judged about this situation. On top of that, everyone keeps asking me where did I get it, there are so many anxiety rings out there that it makes sense to have more than one, you know because jewelry is never enough!
Everyone keeps complimenting my ring, it makes me smile, not because of the compliment, but because it truly is a happiness ring for me, it distracts my mind when I am most needed, even during conferences, meetings and social gatherings which for me is the most important.
I believe that we should all be able to find something that helps us in this non-stop world, where everything needs to be done and dealt with on the spot. There is no time to stop and relax and do things slowly, we have pushed ourselves to believe doing everything instantly is the way to go, but if we can at least have little tools to help us deal with all of this then we are on the win.
I personally think that we all should invest in whatever that makes our life better, and if what it takes to not have a breakdown while driving is an anxiety ring so be it, we should not be feeling like we are alone struggling, there are many people having the same issues and having to deal with them in silence.