Anxiety. That sneaky little sucker. There are no warnings as to what will trigger it and when it will come, yet it hits you like a mother f*cking wrecking ball. I am lucky in that I don’t suffer from anxiety on a day-to-day basis. A heavy workload, stressful to-do list, or uncomfortable social settings aren’t triggers for me. Instead, I get health anxiety– which basically means I get anxiety about my health (read more on this here).
While I don’t suffer from anxiety attacks often (maybe a small handful per year), I get anxious thoughts when I sense that something is off about my body. Of course in my right mind I know that the tickle in my throat isn’t esophageal cancer, but in the (anxiety-ridden) moment Web-MD’s diagnosis is all I can focus on until I can regroup and ground myself.
I recently took to Instagram and asked my followers what helped them during moments of panic and anxiety. A lot said CBD and lavender, some said exercise, others suggested talking yourself out of it with comforting thoughts or prayer, and a few said weighted blankets. Hold the phone. There are blankets that can help with anxiety? Sign me up. After sorting through the responses, I had to figure out what worked best for me.
When I feel a cloud of anxiety coming over me, I go to a mirror. Seeing myself in the reflection, and reiterating (literally talking to myself in the mirror like a looney-tune) that I’m okay, helps bring me back to reality when my anxiety is trying to convince me that I am dying. If this doesn’t work, I talk to someone (anyone) about what I think my symptoms are. For example, if I think I’m having a heart attack my friends and/or family will quickly reassure me that I’m not. It helps for me to hear that I’m fine from an outside source, even though deep down I already know that I am. Make sense? No? Okay.
After that, I try to find something to distract myself. Like I mentioned, I don’t get major anxiety and I don’t get it often, so usually distracting myself (and avoiding web-MD at all costs) helps kick any lingering panic. I’ll put on a feel-good show or movie, write a blog, or do something with my hands (like clean or make a bracelet). Shifting my focus away from the root of my anxiety and on something productive helps to level me.
Lastly, I snuggle up with my Baloo weighted blanket (per your suggestions, thank you very much). Baloo blankets are made with lead-free, glass microbeads and the softest cotton– so they’re equal parts cozy and eco-friendly. I went with a 15 pound blanket, which is heavy enough to ground me when I’m feeling restless, but light enough to sleep with if necessary. To be honest, cuddling up on my bed with a good book or movie, a cup of tea, and my Baloo blanket feels (almost) as good as being comforted by a familiar hug. Since I don’t have a boyfriend to squeeze me when I’m feeling anxious, a weighted blanket is the next best thing. Believe it or not, a blanket really can help you to feel more at peace and centered. I wish I had known this years ago.
And, when all else fails, I drive home to mom and dad’s. I’m only human, after all.
How do you deal with your anxiety? Tell me in the comments, or send me a message, but just know that you’re not alone.