Anxiety and Fatigue
Anxiety and fatigue can be a tricky thing. It can be situational, short term, long term, chemical imbalance, etc… Luckily there are things you can do to help ease the symptoms anxiety can bring. Below I am discussing my own experience with anxiety and some ways you can manage anxiety and fatigue on your own. *Please do not take these suggestions as a replacement for medical help. Therapy is a wonderful thing and medication can be amazing when needed.*
For as long as I can remember (going back all the way to age 3), I have had anxiety. I had separation anxiety from my parents, bursting into tears when I would be left with a babysitter or even going to school. It evolved as a pre-teen to avoiding going places with friends and being extremely shy. In High School, I grew out of it but it manifested into needing to have control over everything.
In my twenties and now, ive learned how to cope and manage a “normal” life, I have two degrees, a job, married, two kids, etc… but the struggle is real. Having kids means you have zero control of 99% of your life 😉 When I got pregnant with our second child, I felt even more control slipping away from me. The moment he was born I knew I was in for a rollercoaster ride. My kids are only 20 months apart, and at that young age both require so much attention. The thought of letting something go or asking for help made me feel so defeated.
Taking A Toll
Having these feelings for the past 2 years took a toll. I found myself with chronic fatigue, headaches, nausea, and brain fog. Basically the worse hangover I could ever imagine day after day. I saw my doctor many times for this, was screened for depression, had blood work done, an MRI for the headache, and everything came back normal. I am slowly coming to terms that this is likely due to chronic anxiety and stress. While I continue on with more medical tests, I am taking initiative and testing various diet and lifestyle changes to see if anything helps get out of this funk.
Hands down, this is the hardest thing to change of all! Being a mom to two little kids under 3.5 is challenging. Preschool, daycare, cleaning, meal plans, the dog, hygiene, groceries, schedules, etc… is a lot to handle. I am so fortunate I am married to someone who equally parents our children, however when it comes to stressing over everything, I wear that hat. For good or for worse, I obsess over allllll the things that go on every second of every. Single. day. Do I have to do this? No. But I choose to. At this point, it is easier to just do it, than work at letting it all be.
I have made progress, I don’t freak out when dirty towels are left on the ground, we have corners of the house that are piled up with clothes or junk, and I let it go. I make a huge effort to ask myself, does this really matter? To be honest, 95% of the time I think, yes! Yes this is important to my sanity! But, a lucky 5% of the time I am content with the mess.
So…What Do I Do?
So, how does one make lifestyle changes? I have no idea. Theres really a million things you can do to create positive change. An overwhelming amount of things one can do. But, I have put on my decisvice big girl pants and plan to do the following:
Luckily I love working out. Unfortunately it was something I stopped doing as often as I would like because I felt so terrible. I have mad a conscious effort to get back into my routine and I am taking about 4 Hot Pilates classes a week, in addition to two days of weight training and walks with the dog.
I know my body responds best to eating a clean diet without artificial ingredients, which kind of sucks because I love junk food and Diet Coke haha. But, I know it is important for me to put cravings aside and fuel my body properly.
Every day I am devoting at least 5 minutes to some type of yoga flow that I can find on YouTube.
Ugh. I really don’t like meditating, but I hear its good for me. My goal, 1 minute a day. Gotta start somewhere, right?
This is a big one for me, but difficult. I am usually go, go, go. I like to get things checked off my list, but when I look back at my day, I don’t want to see a list of chores that got done. I want to remember the silly thing my 3 year old said, or the new word my 1.5yr old learned. I want to br proud of myself for not losing my temper and being patient with the kids. I want to remember all the hugs I received that day.
Do you suffer from anxiety and fatigue? What coping mechanisms do you use?