A reminder to you that when you are having a setback with anxiety and things seem to feel all wrong, how important it is to be kind and gentle to yourself.
Yesterday at work I was off my A game. For whatever reason, I slipped back into feeling a lot of unease and what I would call borderline generalized anxiety for most of my shift.
It didn’t actually get to the point of being unbearable, and I didn’t have an all-out panic attack, but I definitely didn’t feel as well as I usually do.
It was very unpleasant. But on another level, I was ok with it.
That’s the thing I notice lately. I am able to be genuinely kind to myself when things are in a backslide.
My old M.O. was to mentally beat myself up when I had a panic attack or otherwise horrible anxiety -ridden day, and just get out there and try try harder. Or sink into despair and anger and numb out on food and self-pity.
I now understand how negativity feeds on itself, and this only makes an anxiety setback last longer and keeps me feeling like crap.
Today I know that it’s ok – in fact it’s essential – to be gentle with myself and give myself space to restore and feel better after a setback.
The result of this kinder, gentler me is that on my drive home I didn’t feel like crying. And I didn’t feel all pissed off at myself. Instead I just felt mentally tired and it was ok. I could just be there for myself and be the space of compassion for myself. I knew that it was fine that the day wasn’t stellar, I knew that these days I have far more good days than bad. And when they come, the bad days aren’t nearly as bad as they used to be.
I didn’t toss and turn last night or replay the day over and over in my head either. I was able to let it go and just have an early night. That’s big progress for me 🙂
Its funny because I know I would never berate another human being for being anxious, and yet I have berated myself hopelessly for years and years. If that’s not completely nutty, I don’t know what is. It’s like beating the proverbial dead horse.
Today I woke up feeling just fine. I didn’t feel hung over from overeating or lethargic and depressed. It was pretty nice 🙂
Setbacks are a normal part of anxiety recovery. So accept it as part of the process and be kind to yourself. Hug yourself. Tell yourself you’ll be fine, because you will. Being nice to yourself after you have had an anxiety filled day can really help set the stage for a better day tomorrow.
How do you treat yourself when you are in an anxiety setback? Can you make it a point to remember to be kind to yourself?
I wish you peace,
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