How I Deal With Anxious Feelings

I don’t know about youuu, but I’m feeling twenty-twoooo….

…mosquito bites.

I counted twenty-two mosquito bites on my legs thanks to an evening session of frisbee golf on Saturday (worth it). I used to never get bitten (mostly in my ED phase, perhaps because I had low blood sugar?).

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looking slightly diseased

Since I was unaccustomed to so many bites, I Google searched what to do with the itchiness and found some good suggestions: aloe, rubbing alcohol, and oatmeal. I also found some questionable “cures”, like Scotch taping your mosquito bites at night to prevent subconscious scratching. I mean, I get the idea, but I think I would subconsciously rage over the fact that there were little pieces of tape all over me.

Anyway, yesterday was a MONDAY kind of Monday, especially coming home late from a few days of vacation in St. Louis. A long list of errands needed to be completed on minimal sleep, although a couple mini naps happened in order to tame the beast that is Alison Sans Sleep.

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It’s no surprise that I have a greater tendency to feel anxious and stressed when I’m very sleepy; I think most people can vouch for that. The anxious feelings* and stress escalate when I know I have a bunch of time-sensitive tasks on my to-do list.

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After dealing with insomnia* during my senior year of high school— perhaps the most stressful time of my life— I’ve learned how to reign in the anxious feelings and deal with stress in a more mature, effective manner (i.e. not bawling my eyes out in a panic at night).

So today, I’m sharing with you how I deal with some of those anxious feelings that threaten to interrupt my daily flow, productivity, and joy.

*I use the term “anxious feelings” rather than “anxiety” because I have not been diagnosed with clinical anxiety. I’ve also never been diagnosed with insomnia. All I know is that I couldn’t sleep for an extended period of time, which impacted my daily life for a while. Since I have no clinical diagnoses and since God blessed everyone with different brains, I understand that these tips may not be helpful for everyone or even anyone.

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1. Tell myself that it’s okay to feel anxious.

Nine times out of ten, my anxious feelings perpetuate because I am nervous to feel anxious or tired. My brain tends to create catastrophes out of small trials or signs of negative health.

“I NEED to get a lot of sleep. I’m not going to live as long if I don’t. My performance will plummet if I don’t fall asleep now. This isn’t okay.” 

“Stress will kill me. I need to stop being so stressed. Why am I feeling so stressed? I’m trying really hard to reduce my stress.”

Answer: It happens. This too shall pass.

2. Make a to-do list of many little things.

Write every little detail down in your to-do list. This may seem counter-intuitive, since your to-do list will look longer, but being able to check off several little tasks is a big morale booster for me.

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Always.

For example: Rather than writing “clean bathroom” on your list, you could break that down into “clean toilet, clean bathtub, clean sinks, clean floors.” That way, each item on your list is a small and doable task. This strategy can make a monster project seem less daunting.

3. Make humorous commentary about what’s happening.

(Edited to add this one!) 

Whenever it seems that more stressors are arising, sometimes I just need to laugh at myself and just make lighthearted commentary about all the things that are stressing me out. It’s the same idea as making humorous commentary when watching a scary movie to decrease the fear factor. 🙂

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4. Move (and groove).

It doesn’t have to be a grand workout or anything.

I didn’t include a solo dance party in my day in the life vlog just for comedic effect. I truly do love blasting tunes and dancing to keep me smiling. Some quick yoga or inversions to get the blood flowing in all sorts of directions helps to clear the head as well.

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5. Talk to someone.

The power of a listening ear is such a blessing. And if no one is available, I talk out loud to myself or to God. Hearing myself sort out my anxious feelings can help me understand them better.

6. Nap.

Naps are magical if time permits. Even if time doesn’t seem to permit, sometimes I allow myself a quick one anyway, because it will help me be more productive and less crabby for the sake of others.

If I can’t sleep, lying horizontally with my eyes closed for ten minutes can still bring me some sanity.

7. Make a mental gratitude list.

“Be grateful for what you have, and you’ll end up having more.” (<— from this amazing blog post via Marc and Angel)

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Gratitude helps eliminate any of the “woe is me” thoughts.

8. Remember Him.

The #1 thing that gets me through anxious feelings (or any negative feelings, for that matter) is remembering that my life belongs to God. He will provide, and He will not give us trials that we cannot overcome with His help.

There is nothing that I’m feeling that our Lord Jesus Christ has not felt.

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With that, I hope you all have a day free from anxious feelings! Stay tuned for a cool blog switcheroo tomorrow with Actively Gemma!

So tell me:

Do you deal with anxiety or anxious feelings often? How do you deal?

Do you know any good mosquito bite treatments?

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Feelin’ Like Wonder Woman

Hello!

I feel so accomplished. I actually buckled down and got some serious work done this weekend, and I’m proud of myself. Now all I have to do is get into the mindset of studying like this every weekend….College is laughing at my face right now.

Even though it was a nicely packed weekend, it was nothing short of marvelous (and full of sunshine)!

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Katie‘s got the marvelousness all in one spot!

Friday

Once I got home from the gym, I was ready for a hefty snack— one that involved all my favorite things:

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Greek yogurt, apple banana muffin, half a banana, chia, hemp, and peanut butter. Are you tired of seeing this?? I’m not. 😀

Fast forward to 8:30 PM at a restaurant called Bistro Z, for which my mom had a Groupon. Expected. This time, we weren’t just going for our sheer foodie selves! Ben was home for a couple of days, so we wanted to have a farewell dinner with him before he left back to work in Boston for the summer.

Dinner was fantastic and super filling, as all Groupon dinner deals are. I could have been completely content going straight from appetizer to dessert!

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I started with crab cakes because they’re my all time fave. These were awesome!

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I also had a bite of mom’s brie with lingonberry jam on seedy baguette. Fruit and cheese is a match made in heaven.

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For my entree: Griddled polenta tofu cake with black bean ragou and jicama + anaheim chili slaw

When I asked the waiter if he would recommend this, he said: “I’ve never tried it. I only eat real food.” He was half joking, half serious, but I say that this is all “real food”, thankyouverymuch. And it was flippin’ delicious (even though I could only fit a little bit of this in my stomach➔ leftovers for the next day)!

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Apple tart with vanilla ice cream. Just…YES.

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Chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream. Just…meh. Although, chocolate lovers would LOVE this.

Thanks for coming home, Ben. 😉

Saturday

Wake up. Type out to-do list on my Reminders app. GO.

Oh wait, we gotta take a half hour or so for breakfast and Saturday morning Food Network.

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Greek yogurt + hot banana berry oatmeal + a luscious pool of sunflower seed butter

THEN I got started on my homework! I knocked off a bunch of things from my to-do list before noon, which made me feel like Wonder Woman. Is that sad?

Moves: I set my phone alarm to ring every 15-20 minutes so that I could chip away at the 100 challenge (100 squats, 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups) throughout the day! I also added 10 burpees of different variations every time I took my study break. I love doing this when I have a lot of homework to do because it’s a great way to stay moving (and have an excuse to step away from the work).

After some more AP Calc studying and evening Mass, I came home and had a home-cooked meal thanks to Mom.

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Malaysian chicken, coconut oil sautéed asparagus, and quinoa/wild rice

Mom, can you come to college with me? (<— I might regret that statement later.)

I was thinking of having my usual dried figs with Greek yogurt for dessert, but then my dad pulled out our long lost tub of vanilla bean ice cream from the fridge…

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…and that sounded absolutely fabulous with some fresh fruit. Yumyumyum.

Sunday

This Sunday was my last day of teaching religious education for probably a very long time (since I’m going to college next year). It’s another bittersweet end-of-the-year event for sure. Bitter because I absolutely love sharing my faith with the little munchkins, and sweet because, let’s be honest, third graders wear me out. But it was definitely more of a bitter goodbye with notes like these from my students:

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*sniff* It’s incredibly humbling to get such sweet notes from them because, in the grand scheme of things, I’m also still an inexperienced child learning more and more every day just like them. I give them whatever I have, and I can only pray that they’re walking away with something from the class.

Alright, moving on from the sappy stuff. Let’s take a look at this phantasmagoria of fruit that my mom assembled:

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Yup, I just said phantasmagoria. Look it up and add it to your daily vocabulary to see how many weird looks you get 😉

I had a 3-hour practice AP Calc exam on the agenda yesterday, but I wanted to let out some energy before I sat down for the torture...wait yes, torture.

The weather was gorgeous, so I knew I had to take my moves outdoors! I warmed up with 50 squat jumps, mountain climbers, and side lunge jumps, and then completed this KILLER 18-minute plank workout from Purely Twins. I just don’t get how Lori and Michelle do it with such ease. If you don’t think planks can’t make you huff and puff, I dare you to try this workout. It will actually make you feel like Wonder Woman/Superman.

After getting some exercise and fresh air, I ate lunch, showered, and hit the books. The practice exam was alright I guess. I sorta failed on the short answer part (my utter weakness), but I’m just glad I did it so that I know what to study and how to pace myself for the real exam on WEDNESDAY!!!

And there’s my weekend for ya! If I only I had the willpower and self-discipline to feel like Wonder Woman every weekend. But even superheroes need a break, right?

I hope you all have a marvelous Cinco de Mayo!

So tell me:

Best thing you ate this weekend?

What/Who do you feel like when you accomplish a lot?

Do you use a fancy word in your daily vocabulary?