Tuesday was not a good day for me. I woke up at 4 o'clock in the morning with that anxious pit in my stomach that I know so well. It comes and goes in waves. Tuesday morning it was there in full force.
What triggered it? Could be anything. Or nothing. John was not feeling well the day before. He was running a temperature and I was pretty sure he was going to have to stay home sick on Tuesday. I was worried about him missing a test. Was he concerned? No. But I was. My mom also was not feeling well. I was hoping she was getting a good nights sleep. Was she still awake? Should I check? Over the weekend I started thinking about Christmas gifts. Who to buy for and what to buy? Will I have enough time for shopping? Will they even like what I pick out? The holidays can get stressful that way. Will all the Halloween candy I've been sneaking every night make me fat? Yes, probably. Wish I had a piece right now.
And so on and so on. And so on...
Stress and anxiety can be brought on by the littlest things. Little things in my mind that escalate into big things. I am the type of person who worries about everything. Sometimes I worry so much I make myself ill. My whole life I've battled stomach aches and headaches as a result of stress. The good news is now I know that when I'm having a bad moment or a bad day it IS only temporary and it WILL pass. My Tuesday 4 am experience resulted in many cups of coffee, me pacing around the kitchen for a half hour, consumption of more Halloween candy, and going outside into the freezing cold to take some deep breaths....which actually did help. John woke up early still not feeling well. He took the day off from school and I decided to take the day off with him. I had emotionally drained myself with mindless worries and needed to recharge.
Unfortunately this is a pattern with me. I am telling you this because if you also struggle with stress or worries of any kind, just know you are not alone. It happens to many of us and we all have different ways of coping. I find comfort in appreciating the little things. A pair of cozy pajamas, a cup of hot herbal tea with lemon, a steaming hot shower, putting my worries aside and getting lost in a good book or TV show. These ordinary things can take on a whole new meaning if you approach them as therapeutic. Sometimes it takes taking a day off from work and staying home and hibernating before facing the world again. I find comfort in my family and friends. Hearing John's laugh, a text from a friend to say hello, watching a Hallmark movie with my mom. All these things calm my nerves and the wave passes.
By Wednesday John was back to school feeling better and so was I. In the back of my mind all my worries are still swirling around. They are never really gone, but I've pushed them aside for now. It will be OK. I will get it all done. I will find ways to take time for myself. I will appreciate the little things. John can make up his test. My mom is doing fine. She didn't sleep great but she had a nap the next afternoon. Christmas will come whether I finish my shopping or not. I've always managed to get it all done and I will this year too. As for the Halloween candy....well, I should probably lay off the Kit Kat's.
Today I had to run a quick errand at Whole Foods. I had only a few minutes because from there I was picking John up at school. As usual I was running late and time was tight. It was very busy and all the customers had seemingly overflowing shopping carts. I was literally buying one thing. Oh no. I'm going to be late picking up John. Why did I try to squeeze this errand in?...was all that was going through my mind. Just then a very nice man (who had a full cart!) let me go in front of him. I was so happy. He had no idea what a relief that was for me. Little acts of kindness like that can mean to world to someone. I try to remember that as I go through my days. Maybe I can help someone like that man helped me today. He relived my stress and reminded me that there are still nice people in the world.
If you struggle with worries like I do just remember the wave will pass. You will find something good in your day. Even if its just something small.
It will help you get through it.
Let yourself recharge and tomorrow will be a better day!