When Self-Care Doesn’t Work

Last week for about the whole week, I had really, really bad anxiety. Like ‘a bubble bath and bottle of wine’ isn’t gonna help this kind of anxiety. It was strong and I didn’t feel like myself – this icky feeling possessed my brain (not Exorcist style in my body though, thank God!) in what felt like an unshakeable way. I’m not sure exactly what sparked it, but probably lots of little things that kind of exploded into a ball of overwhelm.

I tried everything. Watching my shows on Netflix, eating ridiculous amounts of pizza, drinking wine, reading cheesy magazines and books, taking walks – but nothing worked. My brain kept circling the same thoughts over and over again. Why didn’t I have more plans on Labor Day weekend? Am I going to live in this tiny studio apartment my whole life? Will I get get married and have kids? 

Those thoughts just kept repeating and repeating in my head, and I couldn’t shut them down.

I started getting angry at the idea of ‘self-care’ because it sure didn’t seem to be working for me.

So what do you do in these situations? Obviously, there’s medication, which I believe can be very helpful if you need it. But aside from that, what’s the biggest way to deal with moments like this? Now that I’m a little out of the anxiety fugue state, there’s one thing I know that works.

Riding it out. Accept that your (anxiety/loneliness/depression/fear/anger) may be PART of your life experience, but it’s not ALL of your life experience. It will pass.

feelings

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2 responses

  1. I had the same thing happen not too long ago! None of the therapy/self-care methods work to shake it; in fact they only made me more anxious. One morning I was laying on the floor, petting my cat, and trying to make myself go to work, and the only thing that worked to clear my head was to tell myself, “Lauren, people lived through the HOLOCAUST, you can get through today.” And that did the trick, actually — completely removed the weight I had been feeling and snapped me back.

    A bit harsh, maybe — perhaps a less drastic way to achieve the same effect would be with this mug: https://img0.etsystatic.com/127/0/11209049/il_570xN.1012058532_g27h.jpg….

    Like

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