Accept stress when it comes

Stress is always going to be apart of our life. Stress is a natural reaction our body undergoes to help encourage us to complete tasks and it, in some ways, acts as a natural motivator. Now, for those of us who suffer from anxiety disorders, small amounts of stress can send us into a tailspin in a quick hurry! 

We have to learn how to effectively combat stress so that it won’t take a physical or emotional toll on our bodies. Think positively when you find yourself in stressful situations and remember that it will get better. 

I am learning how to handle my stress while continuing to remain positive. I have to admit it is incredibly difficult and I have found myself leaning towards the side of self pity, and that is NOT where I want to be. I am going to continue push myself to push onward inspite of the stressful decisions  and situations I face. 

What do you do when stress and anxiety follow you?

I have to admit that today was not my best day. Work was rough, the kids were wild, and anxiety decided to follow me around all day. When measuring it on my Anxiety scale, it would rank at about a 4, which isn’t overly high but it is still uncomfortable. At one point in the day my eyes welled up with tears while I was working one on one with a student. Luckily, I have had that student for three years and he was very sweet about it. By the time I headed home my anxiety level had risen to a 6.

What I found most helpful in my anxious moments is distraction. I was at home so I decided to listen to my audiobook while I packed for my business trip (I am heading to a technology training tomorrow). I love listening to books so that helped decrease the anxiety. Also, I cuddled my pups, which is actually proven to lower stress levels, so I am going to cuddle even more now! Once I was finished packing I started a new tv series on Netflix to further distract from the anxiousness. I have to admit, it all helped a lot. I am sitting at about a 2 right now.

There is a large part of me that doesn’t want to go to work tomorrow because I want to avoid all stress triggers, but I love my students and they are why I continue to fight this battle against anxiety! I want to be there for them and help them discover the joy in learning! I am going to focus on the positive to keep the anxiety at bay.

What are your strategies for dealing with your anxiety or stress?

Flipping my thoughts

When 3am came rolling around today, I found myself wide awake. I was filled with stress concerning all the things I had accomplish at work over the the next few days! I had to grade papers, write lesson plans, write sub plans, read essays, set up centers, write IEPs/FBAs, emails staff members, meet with students… Oh man, there was so much! My mind was racing and I could feel the anxiety rising up in my chest. It started to feel overwhelming! I couldn’t imagine relaxing, let alone going back to sleep because the only thought that filled my mind was, HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS!?

The hour rolled by and it was suddenly 4am. Then 4:30. At this time I was getting annoyed because I knew my alarm was going to go off in less than an hour, and I had barely had 5 hours of sleep (I personally prefer a solid 8). As I kept stressing out about time, the stress about my responsibilities began to worsen and I felt like I was stuck in an endless trap! My anxiety was rising and I wasn’t sure I could handle it…

Then suddenly, as my stress reached an all time high, I remembered something I had heard the other day. I heard we should be thankful even during our times of stress. Take our stress and turn it around to be praise. It seemed crazy to me, but instead of thinking “How am I going to do this?” I said, “Thank you, God, for helping me to do this in the future.” I began to thank God for his strength, and focus on the positive instead of the negative, and suddenly I felt lighter. I didn’t feel burdened down by the stress. I felt freed. I knew I would get it all done. And guess what, I did! YAY! God is good!

Try and turn your negative thoughts into positive ones, and see how things in your life start to change.

How best to support my husband?

Currently, my husband is getting his masters degree in educational leadership, and I am so proud of all the hard work he has invested into the program. He goes to work all day, as the Dean of Students at our middle school, and then comes home and works on his homework until he goes to bed. This has been going on for a year and a half.

To add to his stress and success, This past Monday, he began working as the Vice Principal! He is now filling the role of Vice Principal and the Dean of Students, all while he is balancing the final 16 weeks of his Masters. Talk about a crazy schedule!

Obviously with a schedule this jam packed and overloaded, we do not get a lot of quality time. Of course it is incredibly difficult for me, but I have been working on understanding the stress and strain he has been under. I noticed I had been arguing a lot with him about how he doesn’t have time for me, but I need to remember that he is doing all of this work to provide for me and support the dreams and aspirations I have for my future.

My question is, have any of you ever been in this situation? I feel out of my element and I do not know how best to support him. What are your thoughts?

Thank you!

We don’t have to take on the burdens of the world

Today was a bit of a rough day, and I spent some a lot of time being angry. I knew that I needed to vent to a supportive friend before I exploded with anxiety. After telling my friend about the situation, they pointed out to me that I was placing a lot of responsibility on myself for what was happening, and that I should take a step back and not take things personally.

I believe that those of us who struggle with anxiety take things personally frequently. Perhaps we overhear a vague comment that a co-worker makes, and we take it as something aimed at us. We hear our boss lecture colleagues, and we feel it is directed at us. Someone snaps at us when they have had a rough day, and we think they hate us. I know my anxiety makes me a people pleaser so I struggle whenever someone is upset.

I believe we need to remember that all the problems in the world are NOT our fault!  It is our job to take responsibility for our actions, but we do not need to take on the cares and worries of those around us. By doing that we are only creating more anxiety for ourselves, and recreating an endless cycle of stress.

Remember, do not take on more burdens than you need. It is not your job to fix the world. 🙂 Relax and release your stress! You deserve a break!

Handing Stress with Grace

Have you ever had one of the days when you feel like you can never catch up with all your responsibilities? No matter how hard you work, you are stuck two steps back. With each new moment, a new fire sparks to life and you alone must put it out. On top of all these challenges, you must have a smile on your face because EVERYONE is watching.

That was my day. From the moment I pulled out of my stone driveway and onto the bumpy, cemented main road, I felt behind. Far behind. I even woke up early, slept soundly, and had the entire week’s lesson plans written! (That never happens). I suppose today was just one of those days where I needed to learn how to cope with unexpected situations. Emphases on the pluralness (is that a word?) of situations.

Now that I am laying comfortably in my well cushioned bed, I am able to look back on the day and assess what I learned. How I handled various problems, and the attitude I displayed to my students while contemplating solutions. All my students knew things were going wrong, yet they stayed calm and quiet (whaaat? incredible!) while I tried to fix everything. They were wonderful and I am so proud of them!

I am also proud of myself because never once did I experience anxiety! Not even in the most stressful moment of the day did the crippling grip of anxiety wrap its cold fingers around my heart. I stayed positive, kept pushing onward, and most importantly, did not throw a pity party. I am learning that things rarely go as planned in a classroom, so I must learn to be flexible and stay calm when it all falls apart. I am finding that my best teaching moments are when something unexpected happens. I feel best about my teaching practices when I have to think quickly on my feet. I am so pleased that I did not have a bad day just because things were behind and broken. I am so happy that my mind is healing and I am back in control!

If you are in a dark place with your anxiety, just find one positive moment in each day and focus on it. Don’t loose hope because one day it WILL get better! You are strong and you will make it through!

Pushing Onward and Leaving Anxiety Behind

The past few weeks have been very busy and stressful at work (outside of working with my students, which is the best part of the job). Last week was particularly stressful because I had so many items on the to-do list and not enough time to complete them (isn’t that everyone’s struggle?) Now, this week I have been able to reflect on the previous week and realize that even though I was in the middle of high stress, I was almost anxiety free! I honestly did not think that I would be able to have stress without anxiety. Just a few months ago I was anxious about going to the store, and I couldn’t even fathom running around a school and leading meetings. It is so freeing to no longer be tied down by the weight of my fears and rationalizations that accompany the disorder.

Healing is possible! 🙂

A new week approaches

It is, once again, time for a new week to begin. All the stresses and troubles of last week should be left in the past. If you had a rough and exhausting week, that doesn’t mean it will repeat this week. It is time to begin fresh. New. It is a Clean slate. Anxiety has taught me that every day, if not every
hour, is a chance to start over. A time to say I am no longer living in negativity, because I choose to be positive! This does not mean that conflict will not arise. It means that in the face of conflict you choose to rise above. Your circumstances do not effect your outcome! You decide your future, NOT those around you and NOT your past!

Every day brings a new beginning.