We’ve all been there in some shape or form: that feeling of anxiety. It is a familiar feeling for me. I’ve had it on and off through most of my life. When it’s bad, my heart and head feel like they’re fluttering at mach speeds trying to outpace each other. When it’s managed, it’s often been the extra burst of energy that has allowed me to accomplish some pretty cool things. I don’t look like an anxious person, I’m a pretty chill mother and boss, but inside my head, I’ve usually got enough logistics running to help out NASA. I can plan and execute like a mother. The problem is that it’s not always necessary. One of my top tips to manage anxiety with my clients is to rediscover what used to make them feel good. For me, that’s yoga.
Yoga may not be your thing, but something is. I’ve had great conversations helping clients rediscover what they used to do that helped them feel good. What was the thing that brought them calm or joy or really built their sense of self? For some, it was dance, or singing, or running. For others, it was taking the time to write or curl up with a good book or spend time in the backyard. Most of us have one or two things that we can remember always loving or always feeling good when we were doing them regularly.
A great anxiety management tip: go back to what you know. You may be surprised by what you find out about yourself.
After a Sunday morning (4:08 AM) wakeup from the scent of a freshly baked Jack’s frozen pizza wafting up the stairs (one of my teenagers is taking advantage of the last remaining nights of winter break to stay up late as they often like to do), I had to revisit this mantra myself.
While I like to be up early, I don’t like to be up at 4:08 am, and it takes me a while to fall back asleep. Long enough that I get to the point of contemplating whether or not I should get up and tackle my Sunday to-do list. God may have said to rest on the 7th day, but Sundays often feel like the day of all days to prepare for the upcoming week, and for me, there is usually a sense of anxiety about using the day in the most efficiently balanced way of planning, preparing, self-care, laundry, family time and a nap. Today there is a bit more on my plate because my daughter is heading back to school this week and that comes with its own set of challenges. So, as I laid in the warm bed, trying my best to meditate and burrow back into the covers, cajoling my active brain back into sleep I could feel the anxiety building.
Thankfully, this morning I was able to fall back asleep. My secret: counting in sets of 10 with my breath, odds on the inhales, evens on the exhales. When I woke again I knew that I needed to do something about the anxiety because otherwise I would spin, so with about 7 minutes to spare, I put on my yoga clothes, grabbed some tea, and went to a yoga class. I have been a fairly frequent doer of yoga for close to 20 years; however, for no good reason other than life has been happening, I haven’t been to a class in close to three months. I had motivation though, I just felt like I needed to get there this morning, the thought was, go back to what you know.
The first downward dog and forward fold were downright painful, and for a moment I wondered if I was going to make it through class, but I kept going. One of the great things about yoga, in a class format, is that you don’t know what is coming next, so your brain has to pay attention. If your brain is paying attention to the instructor and how not to fall on your ass, it cannot pay attention to all the monkey business in your head.
There were definitely some moments of doubt and “I can’ts”, but midway through class, it didn’t matter what my brain was thinking, I was in the middle of doing it anyway. We think thoughts all day long, and they’re real, but they’re not always accurate. How many times do we find ourselves in the middle of an “I can’t” moment, only to find that we just did?
I saw friendly faces, I got a big hug and a Happy New Year, I walked into the studio that I know and love, rolled out my mat, loosened up my tight back and hips, and laughed at myself. I remembered being strong and yoga being a necessary part of my self-care routine, so I dropped the worries and got some perspective. Most of all, I felt good. Don’t forget, the familiar feels good, and when we stoke those parts of our lives that feel good, everything else is much easier.
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What a week for our world. As everyone tries to adapt to a new sense of normal amidst an ever-changing landscape, we've all been asked to do things differently. And humans do not like change! We crave the familiar, the predictable, the known. One of the ways we are encouraging our community to stay healthy during this time is to keep as much routine and consistency as possible, including self-care and support.
We understand the anxiety and worries that are in the world right now, we also understand the importance of connection and care and healing. We are moving all of our appointments to Telehealth sessions as of Monday, March 23rd. While this may be a different way of doing things for some of you, it allows us to be a consistent source of support for our community.
Our practice has been using telehealth for over two years, and we have a HIPAA compliant platform in place that is really quite simple to use for our sessions. All of our therapists are able to walk you through getting used to your first telehealth session and not much will be different other than you'll show up online instead of at the offices.
In fact, we're still taking new clients during this time, so if you are feeling like you'd like to talk to someone or know of someone in need of extra support right now, let them know that we are here to help. You can call or text our offices at: 630-563-0044 or sign up online via the "Book Appointment Online" button on our website.
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