Anxiety Life Hacks

The day will be what you make of it. So rise, like the sun, and shine.

This is easier said than done some days. Some days, I wake up and no matter what happens, I know it’s going to be a good day. Those days, it’s much easier to shine. You don’t even need a quote like this on a day like that.

Other days, like this morning, my anxiety is high – for no reason that I can figure out. When I’m anxious for a reason – knowing the reason helps me to fight it. When I’m anxious without a reason, it’s harder. It’s harder to push through, harder to use the tools I have, harder just to get going. For me, anxiety is an elephant that sits on my chest. It makes my heart ache and it feels more difficult to breathe. I’m tense, clench my jaw and shoulders, and feel so very heavy. It’s discouraging and it’s sad and it’s something I have to deal with every day to some extent.

Today has started out as a yuck day. I had trouble sleeping and woke up with my ever present elephant. Side thought – I like elephants. I wonder what would happen if I named my elephant and called her Ellie or something. Maybe I could reason with it better… haha!

Today as I looked through my picture quotes to blog, this one jumped out at me because I know it’s going to be an effort to rise like the sun today. It’s going to be an effort to shine. But I do have tools and I can rise above this. It may not go completely away, but I can conquer this yucky feeling right now. Here are some of the tools I use…

  • Prayer – I struggle with religion but I love God and despite any struggles I have, He has always been there when I needed Him, and has provided peace when there was no sight of peace ahead.
  • Affirmations – I am statements are so vital to my spiritual life that I cannot imagine a day without them! On days like today, I will say things such as “I am strong. I am brave. I am loved. I am safe.”
  • Meditation – Quieting an anxious mind is like trying to herd cats but my meditation practice has helped so much. There are days I am able to quiet my mind easily and days I have to work like a boss to achieve it but it’s so worth it. The Calm App is a life savor for guided meditations!
  • Picture Quotes – This is a personal one for me. Looking through pictures and adding quotes to them calms me. It’s something I love to do. A hobby. What’s your hobby? Do it when you’re feeling down!
  • Snuggling my Daughter – Nothing makes me feel better than this!
  • Nature – Getting outside is soothing to my soul. Especially the beach! The beach is soul food. Since it’s already pouring outside, that won’t be happening today but getting outside into nature is very healing!
  • Get Moving – This is a hard one for me because when I’m anxious or depressed, the last thing I want to do is exercise. If I can get myself up to walk or do yoga though, the effects are immediate!

If you are struggling, know that you are not alone and that it’s OK to ask for help. I see a counselor on a regular basis. I began when I was going through trauma but continue to go now because it’s OK to need help. Anxiety is hard and it takes support and tools and strategies and hard work to get through. It takes bravery and strength just to get through the day sometimes! And that’s OK. It’s really, truly OK.

The beginning of a Blog

I have wanted to blog for a long time… thought about it for years, but never dove in. Well, let’s be real, I once bought a domain, paid for it for 2 years while doing nothing with it, then cancelled it. A couple of days ago, I re-bought the same domain (momstronglife.com). I had no idea how I was going to start or what it was going to look like, but I was going to do it.

One of my best, best, best friends – Vanessa from http://braveblessedandbeautiful.com has been blogging for three years now and is so inspiring and brave and yes, beautiful! She’s the most beautiful person I know – inside and out – and when I grow up, I want to be like her! (I’m 39… when does “grown up” start?) I told her that I had no idea how to begin, that it would be totally different from hers, and that it would probably be so random but I was in. She, of course, supported me 100% just like she always does. That’s what best friends are for, right?

While driving and thinking about this blog I was going to start, a thought came to me. A divine intervention, as my counselor would say. Why not combine my love for pictures & quotes with my desire to blog? When researching themes, I realized that Photo Blogs are a thing!! And Boom! Here we are!

I have tons of pictures to share, quotes that have meaning to me, and a life story that I hope will inspire others. I was married to an abusive husband and went through a nasty divorce but I am stronger now than ever before. I struggle with anxiety and depression, but I keep moving forward. I am on a journey of self love that is HARD but I am determined to keep going. Part of my self love journey is to live a healthier life which is my impossible mountain but I’m willing to share along the way.

Parts of my life have been very dark and this quote has stood with me through those times. What are we going to do with all that dark? Find a way to glow in it. I hope that this photo blog will be my chance to glow in the dark. To show that beauty can come from yuck, to show that we can grow through the hard times, that we can use the nasty dark parts of our life to shine light on others. From past stories, to present struggles, I plan to be here. Empowering women to glow and promoting self love just as we are. Here’s to new beginnings!

Embrace your cape, hero

When my daughter was five years old, we were at the end of a very hard year. Trauma comes in many shapes and forms and we had been through it. Every year, my beautiful friend Amy does pictures for my punkin’s birthday. We always have a theme and a location. For THIS birthday, I wanted something that said – We made it. We got through. I wanted something powerful, brave, and strong. I wanted something that said my daughter is a hero.

Dictionary.com defines a hero as someone who is noted for courageous acts and noble character. Coming out of a traumatic situation, rising above the hard things in life… that’s my definition of courage. In the moment, you may not (probably don’t) feel courageous or brave. You probably feel like you’re just barely making it – one foot in front of the other, breathe in, breathe out. But that, my friend, is so so brave.

Continuing on when your heart is broken, pushing through when you feel like you. just. cant. But you do. You do what needs to be done. You feel weak and worthless, but you soldier on. That is bravery. That is courage. And this post is to celebrate all of you brave people – who soldier on and do what needs to be done. You already have your cape – you’ve earned it. You may be earning it now. Embrace your cape, hero. I admire you.

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