Sunday, March 28, 2010

old habits die hard

now i know i say it a lot... anxiety will never go away.  it's an emotion.  but what does go away?  (i can practically hear everyone saying it with me) the ability of anxiety to control your life.  so why, even knowing this, do we still get frustrated when anxious situations come our way?

i never hide the fact that early mornings tend to cause me stress.  i still have two early AM classes a week and every now and then i find myself in an anxious struggle while i get ready for the class.  it definitely doesn't happen every morning (insert psyched emoticon here!) which is absolutely a step in the right direction.  however, i still tend to get hung up on why it happens at all.... still... even though its becoming more and more rare.

so i did a little mental detective work.  am i giving myself enough time in the morning?  no.  even though i get up at 5am for a 7am class that's 20 minutes away from my apartment, i still find  that for me i need more time.  so this week the alarm is getting set for a respectable 4:45am wake up call.  am i burdening myself with too much to do once i'm up?  yes.  before that class you can find me feeding all my pets, walking my dog, sweeping the hallway, wiping down the sink, attempting to make the bed if my hubby gets out of it before i head out the door.... i'm putting too much on my plate.  so now the bed will wait for  me to get home.  if i see a little ball of cat fuzz hiding in the corner of my hallway i'll make sure to make a mental note to tackle the chore first thing when i get back.  and as for the pets... they can  wait till i'm back from class too.  - KIDDING!  my 4-legged loves will be the only things i take care of in the morning besides myself.  i already prep hubby's breakfasts and lunches the night before (now if that doesn't deserve wife of the year award, i don't know what does!). 

and lastly, while a lot of things are directly in my control.... waking up earlier, delegating responsibilities, altering my schedule.... there's one thing that's not so easy to control.  and that's my habit of anticipating a panic attack in the early morning hours.  i had to think long and hard about this one.  what really makes me anxious in the mornings?  what's underneath the surface... because usually that's how we can best help ourselves.  understanding where the panic comes from.  mine can be traced back to my days spent climbing the corporate ladder.  i used to stress about my commute and the work ahead.  i was obsessed with trying to have everything be perfect and be the ideal worker bee.  in reality, all that pressure used to make me sick with anxiety every morning.  so now, even though the job has changed and the schedule has changed, my mind and body still anticipate having anxiety -sometimes- when i'm up really early and getting ready to head out.  i used to experience anxiety and panic attacks near daily around that time... 5 days a week.  it was routine.  as routine as showering and brushing my teeth and packing my lunch for the day.  it was habit.  it was just a part of the plan.  it just shows me that even though i can change things around me, there's always an element of breaking the cycle that has to take place.  it's not enough to just change places and things around.  we have to go right to the source.  so i'm also, in addition to all my other changes, going to make one more that tackles this problem right at the sweet spot of it.  i'm going to aim to wake up and get going by 5:30am each morning.  little by little i'll wake earlier and get my day started, so whether i'm going to class or not is irrelevant.  the point is that i'm going to create a new routine and a new healthy, happy habit.  early mornings won't be my enemy anymore.  and even though the anxious feelings i have are rare, i still don't want them at all.  i don't want to be back in that old school mindset (if even for a minute!) of stressing before heading out to work.  so i'm going to make every morning a nice one and therefore help change my outlook before anything else can! 

if you have a nagging sensitive anxious time, do you know what causes it?  can you make changes to help or do you have to dig a little deeper?  sometimes we gotta really get into it before we can get outta it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment