Panic, Thy Name is Lemon
I’ve been struggling a lot with my anxiety the last week. There are some aspects of my life that have been causing me a lot of stress recently, and I’ve definitely been feeling it in the ol’ brain box. I could feel it building up all week so I drew from the techniques I have in my back pocket – extra sleep, eating regular meals, cutting back slightly on caffeine, Tree Feet* – but it just kept coming on, and suddenly I was eating a brisket sandwich in the basement of a barbecue restaurant fighting against a rising tide of panic while freakish anthropomorphic lemons** sneered at me from the wall murals.
It really took away from the sandwich.
I managed to choke down most of it with coaxing from my ever-patient boyfriend and escape the lemons. Now that I was calm(er), I assumed I would be able to conk out at home and get a good night’s rest. Alas, that was not to be. Exhausted though I was from my panic attack, I was unable to quiet my mind enough for sleep. I ended up with about 2 hours before dragging myself to work.
Writing this from a much calmer vantage point, I realize how important it is to stay on top of my mental health. That means trying to leave extra stress from work at the door when I have downtime, and being easy on myself. I need more rest and more sleep than some other people, and that’s okay. It’s up to them whether they can accept that or not. I also realize I need to make time to do what is good for me, like scheduling in exercise and preparing my own meals. The point is, I need to cut out external stressors so I can lead a healthier, more productive life. It’s definitely something I struggle with, but hopefully with practice, something I can master.
*What is Tree Feet? Tree Feet is a relaxation exercise I do: sit, feet planted firmly on the floor, and breathe in and out while imagining the breath flowing through my feet like tree roots. Hence, Tree Feet.
**Not the nice lemon pictured above. If you’ve ever been to Underbones, the lower level at Redbones, you’ll have seen the murals. I’ll try to snap a photo the next time I’m in there.