How I Deal with Stress and Anxiety
Oh hello. Yeah I am still here. Looking at all of my draft posts that I have to finish, but I figured I'd start this one fresh. I'm sitting here, on the couch, in our new place, staring outside at the view. It feels like summer. Sunny and 75 in Las Vegas in November. No one is complaining over here. Wait, be right back, I just spotted a bird that sat on our balcony, and admired that little guy for a minute or so. I'm sure this isn't the first time a bird sat on the balcony, but if you asked me a month ago if I noticed, the answer is no, probably not. In this very moment I just feel like I could take a breath, and kind of clear my mind. If you really know me, you'd know that my mind is always busy, even when I don't try to be. I do not know how to sit still, I do not know how to power my mind off at times. I sometimes forget to stop, look around, and forget all my tasks, errands, big plans and shit I have to do for a moment. Meditating is not my thing, although I have tried it, and I guess I was hoping I did it right.
Listen, you don't need this or that to be happy. You don't have to wait for something big to happen to celebrate. You don't have to constantly be planning for the future and neglecting the present.
I am writing this for myself as a reminder, too. Planning is not a bad thing, preparing your future is not going to hurt you. When you place all of your thought on what you're doing next, instead of what you are doing now, that is when you might sabotage your current stage in life.
So take a deep breath ladies and gentlemen. You're all doing more than enough. Enjoy the stage you are at now and enjoy every little up and every little down. Enjoy the downs? No, but appreciate them. Take those times as a learning curve, it is an obstacle that will get you to where you need to be. Our struggles are placed in life to test how we react toward them. They are there to teach us how to work through, go around, or step above them. If you've ever looked back at your life, and noted all of the obstacles you've been through, you'll realize that it all starts to make sense now why you went through that. For strength, for an eye opener, to become wise and less naive, whatever the case may be. We sometimes do not realize the importance of a down, until we have continued to walk our path and look back.
What helps me the most when I feel overwhelmed, I write things down. I write down every little task I have to do, and then scratch that shit off when it's completed. Sometimes we have to fool our mind. We do a lot every day, but how come at the end of the day we think, "Ugh I still have so much to finish," instead of saying, "Wow I completed a lot." Count the blessings not the problems, scratch off your accomplishments and completed tasks instead of piling more stress on your list.
Stress and anxiety is something that happens to me from time to time. Sometimes I know it's around, because I'm worried about something or I am anxious, and other times I wake up after having weird dreams relating to my stress with chest pains and a knot in my stomach. Yesterday I woke up like that, and it took me a couple hours to get my breathing at a normal pace. I was functioning, I was able to drive, I was able to talk, but inside I felt this scared and tensed feeling. I wanted to feel better so bad, but thinking about my anxiety caused more anxiety.
I drove to pilates, took a few deep breaths, and walked inside. I had 15 minutes before I had to teach, so I was coaching myself, "Come on Steph, get it together." Clients started piling in, and I was trying to calm my breathing. I felt so out of breath, like I finished running a marathon. In class I always ask how everyone is doing before we start. My clients asked me how I was. As an instructor, or as anything where you're providing a service for someone else, you tend to just say, "I'm well," even if you're not. That's because this time isn't about yourself, it's about them. BUT I was truthful, and I responded, "to be honest, I don't feel my best, I have some anxiety and I don't know why." The first few people who were there all comforted me, and responded how they get stress and anxiety sometimes, too. It was a quick conversation, and I took the spotlight off of me. Once everyone was in class, I turned my mic on, and said, "Alright, let's get started." One client looked at me, and said, "Wait. Not yet." I thought, oh no, what's wrong. She finished her sentence with, "Can I give you a hug?" I tried to hold back tears, because that was the sweetest and unexpected response. She gave me such a genuine hug, and I told her, "this is going to be a great class, I already feel better."
It's little things like that. Small acts of kindness when you least expect it that mean a ton. In class I always cue when to inhale and when to exhale. I put all my focus on teaching my clients, as I do every time, but my cues were also helping me subconsciously. I was taking those big inhales and big exhales, too. After class, my regular client came up to me, and he told me, "That was an amazing class, thank you so much." He gave me a hug, and I again, felt that warm and fuzzy feeling. These clients truly made my day. Teaching has been the biggest reward. I look back at how this started, and if you told me I would be a pilates instructor, I would ask you, "really?" Never thought much of it. Never did it before until two years ago. This passion found me.
Funny how life works.
There are other remedies that help me with stress and anxiety.
1. Lavender oil
2. Listening to ocean waves or the rain on spotify
3. Chamomile tea
5. Go outside
6. Putting my phone away and closing my eyes
What are some ways you deal with stress and anxiety? Has someone helped you lately? Have you helped someone?
Thanks for reading, as always, feel free to comment, message or email me. Love hearing from you! xoxo