Category: Anxiety

Reducing Anxiety: Step Three

I’m a multi tasker. I don’t know how to do one thing at a time. Even when there is no reason to multitask, I do. I drive my husband crazy when we watch TV together and I’m on my kindle the whole time.

Some people may multitask happily. It stresses me out. I do it constantly, but that doesn’t mean I’m good at it or it makes me feel good. I need to stop.

Sometimes it seems multitasking is the only way to get shit done. But it’s not! If I have 3 tasks I need to do and I don’t prioritize them, I just do them all at once. This doesn’t get anything done any faster. It probably takes longer because I lose my train of thought. And nothing is getting done well. I’m half assing everything because I can’t stop thinking about the other projects I’m working on.

I’m learning to focus on one task at a time. While I do this task, I shouldn’t be thinking of the 8 other things I need to get done in the next hour. It doesn’t benefit me at all to stress over what needs to be done. It’ll get done. And if it doesn’t, the consequences are usually pretty minimal. Truly, I stress myself out over things that have such petty repercussions. Things that don’t matter.

Even worse is when I multitask while spending time with my kids. Here’s an example: I’ll be feeding Lennon and reading articles on my kindle. That’s fine if Lucille is entertaining herself. But when I’m done breastfeeding and I’m still reading this article or looking at pictures on Facebook and one of the kids starts interacting with me, I need to put it down. I don’t need to Facebook and spend time with my kids. Spending time with my kids is enough!

I’m not saying if the kids want my attention I need to drop what I’m doing no matter what. I work from home. There are times I need to finish writing a script and email it to my client before I can read Lucille her book. But other times, I’m just reading a mother’s debate about what to name her child while I watch Curious George. And then when my child interrupts me I get agitated. But why am I reading that instead of snuggling the babies and enjoying the movie with them?

This may be my issue and nobody else’s, but screen time makes me angry. It makes me feel like I have too much to do. So many tabs and apps open. But in reality, none of those tabs or apps matter. When I need to react to what’s happening in the real world, it needs to take priority over what’s happening on the screen. Not just needs to, I want it to. I’d much rather spend time with my kids than pin a bunch of recipes I’ll never take the time to cook them. But I’m not used to just spending time with my kids. I feel inactive, like I need to do more…. But something about that glowing screen in front of me… it just makes me irritable. And in reality, I’m not accomplishing anything on it that needs to be accomplished.

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From now on I am only using electronics when it’s necessary for my job, I’m breastfeeding, or both the kids are in bed. This may not be a necessity for everyone to live a happy life, but I believe it is for me. At least for now.



Reducing Anxiety: Step Two

I recently posted that I’ve been struggling with anxiety. I still am, but I can honestly say, I’m getting better. Last post I talked about enjoying time with my family to relieve stress. This time I want to focus on spending time by myself.

When looking into natural ways to reduce anxiety almost every article I read recommended exercise. And originally that stressed me out more. Lennon is constantly breastfeeding still and as a result I’m 13 pounds less than when I got married 3 years ago. I’m down to 103 pounds. I know some people are reading this and cursing me out for losing weight without trying. But truthfully, I’m beginning to feel self conscious about how skinny I am. I don’t think I look too thin. But I’m close…and the fact that I haven’t worked to achieve this weight makes me feel unhealthy and uncomfortable. The idea of exercising and becoming skinnier terrified me.

But then I realized, I don’t need to do an intense workout that’ll make me shed 5 more pounds in a week. I can do something easy. Something that’ll make me feel healthy. Maybe even build up some muscle instead of looking mass. And I remembered how I used to walk. Almost every day of Jr. High, high school and college I took a walk. I brought music and just thought or day dreamed or listened to the music until I was ready to go back home and back to reality. After college I started dating Peter and became happier than I’d ever been. My walks became less frequent. But on particularly stressful days, I would still walk to clear my mind.

When I got pregnant with Lucille my walks ended. I felt too sick. And they weren’t necessary for my stress. I was a happy newly wed and excited soon to be mother. Once Lucille came and I was recovered from my c section. Once I could walk, I forgot about it. I was too busy working and momming. I’ve missed walks.

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A couple weeks ago I found my college iPod and decided to take up walking again. I’m getting the exercise that is so highly recommended to fight anxiety. But I’m also getting time to be myself and think. Think about my past. About my future. About my dreams. And mostly about all the things I’m grateful for in the present. I come back from these walks refreshed and with priorities straightened out.

I have not made these walks a part of my daily routine as they used to be. For now, a couple times a week seems to work fine. If I continue to struggle with anxiety I may decide to walk more, or I may add yoga to my schedule on non walking days.

Thanks for reading. Tell me, how do you get rid of stress in your life?



Reducing Anxiety: Step One

I’m an anxious person. I always have been. But since I’ve had Lennon my anxiety has become a whole new beast. I get so upset over such small things. I get so overwhelmed for no reason whatsoever. These should be the happiest days of my life, raising my babies. I’ve wanted to be a mom my whole life and now that I am one I’m so stressed. I’m happy, but I’m stressed. More than I should be. So I’m taking steps to improve myself.

I work from home which means when Peter is home on evenings and weekends I am often doing work because (this will surprise you) it’s hard to get my work done when I’m taking care of two babies. Peter also works a half day every other weekend. So for me, weekends are sometimes more filled with work than Monday-Friday.

I’m grateful to be able to work from home and help support my family financially without having to go to an office. But I need to enjoy my family as well. My entire family. When Peter is home, all 4 of us should be making memories together. So Memorial Day weekend I decided not to even look at my work for 2 days. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

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Seriously, I don’t think we’ve spent so much time relaxing, enjoying each other’s company and having fun since Lennon’s been born. And it definitely helped that the¬†weather was gorgeous!!

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Recognizing that my anxiety has become a problem I believe is an important step to overcoming it. Because now that I’m aware of overreactions and disproportionate stress as I’m feeling it, I can calm myself down quicker. But weekends like last weekend are going to help me too.

One weekend a month I am vowing to not touch work. This may mean I will have to do more work throughout the week. It may mean I’ll have to give up some of my work responsibilities. But I think I need to take time to enjoy all the blessings I’ve been given. Focus on my loved ones and nothing else 2 days of every month without interruption. Because they are what’s most important.