Need help with anxiety

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by runsw/scissors, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,491
    Likes Received:
    100

    Jun 2, 2020

    I have never been a highly anxious or highly sensitive person. The past couple months, and especially the past week, have proved otherwise. I can't watch the news or look at social media without my mind completely spinning out. I find myself fighting feelings of helplessness and despair. I know no one on FB or anywhere else is judging me, but I feel like I am completely helpless. How do people with high(er) anxiety manage these feelings? I need some strategies for managing this beyond simply turning off the news.
     
  2.  
  3. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,449
    Likes Received:
    1,460

    Jun 2, 2020

    Many people who don’t typically have any sort of anxiety are experiencing feelings of anxiousness. Feelings of depression and anxiety are currently heightened.

    I have been taking lots of walks. I have also started listening to books on Audible while sitting in the backyard. Something else that takes my mind off stress is turning off the news and watching mindless TV for a bit.

    There’s no shame in talking to someone, so think about looking up a good counselor. Your insurance might cover the visits.

    Take good care and I hope you feel better soon. You are not alone in this battle!
     
    CherryOak and Tired Teacher like this.
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,844
    Likes Received:
    1,336

    Jun 2, 2020

    See if your insurance covers tele-therapy appointments.
     
  5. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,411
    Likes Received:
    579

    Jun 3, 2020

    Here are some things I do to help with anxiety:

    1. Walk outdoors. I usually put on headphones and zone out listening to music, but I sometimes just let myself listen to the birds.

    2. Turn off my phone! Walk away from anything with a screen!

    3. Lie on the floor and take deep breaths. Probably if you do yoga, that would have a similar effect. There are several free breathing apps for your phone.

    4. My anxiety manifests with a lack of attention span and inability to process new information. So I need to do small tasks and/or repetitive tasks. That's part of why I started tie-dying masks to sell. Washing the dishes also works. I can't focus to read a book, but I can sometimes focus on a magazine article, so I keep some magazines around the house, and read them a little at a time. Or I can reread a book I've read before. Another thing I like to do, and it seems cheesy, is put together Lego kits. Something about following instructions to create something helps.

    5. See a doctor and have your blood pressure, blood sugar, and vitamin levels checks. Now, when I feel anxious, after I take some deep breaths, I check my blood sugar. Often, it's off, and when I've corrected for it I feel better. My anxiety improved dramatically when I started blood pressure medicine.

    6. On that note, stay hydrated! I'm always amazed how much hydration impacts my mood.

    7. Another thing to consider: how old are you? Could it be hormonal? My doctor has recommended several articles about hormone changes that happen in women (and to a lesser extent men) that happen earlier than most people recognize. There are some foods and exercises and medicines that can help with that.

    8. Obviously, if you continue to have anxiety, seeing a mental health professional can help immensely. There are several options right now. Your doctor should be able to recommend someone.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  6. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,491
    Likes Received:
    100

    Jun 3, 2020

    Thank you for the suggestions, everyone. Please keep them coming. I know it's the chaos of the outside world that is causing this. More specifically it's the news about said chaos. Information is one thing, but my DH is a news junkie and will just have it running constantly in the background. We are complete opposites that way. He wants to know as much as he can about everything. I want to know enough to keep me informed and that's it. I keep the screens off during the day when he is at work. Frankly the 12 hours between 6AM and 6PM are the best times for me. Evenings are hard. I do take the dog for walks. Yoga isn't very relaxing because I'm not good at it, but I do it.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    1,146

    Jun 3, 2020

    Walking always helps to calm down and clear your mind. I would say just stay away from the news or social media.
    I cannot stand watching all these riots and looting (protests are fine of course but all I see now riots and looting). I don't get anxiety but it just makes me mad, and when I think about it more, even more mad. So I refuse to let it enter my life and thoughts, I just stay away.
    All these people trying to guilt others by saying: of you stay silent, you're part of the problem, etc, I just ignore. I know what I stand for and I don't need to protest or break into stores or post back squares on Instagram and memes on Facebook to prove it.
     
    stargirl, runsw/scissors and bella84 like this.
  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1,444

    Jun 3, 2020

    Have you asked him to limit the news in the house? Can he just get his news on his phone it's not "in your face" so much? We don't have tv except for some streaming devices so I avold all that. My husband will watch things online or read articles but he does it in his office where I never step foot! I think if you explained to him your anxiety you could at least limit your exposure to things that are making you upset.
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,426
    Likes Received:
    1,571

    Jun 3, 2020

    Rockhubby has mandated a no-news after 10pm rule so we can sleep. Also, no current event discussion during dinner so we can digest. We both follow the same things on our news feeds, so when one of us closes their laptop with an expletive, the other knows something bad is going on. Maybe this could work for you and your husband?
     
    stargirl likes this.
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,121
    Likes Received:
    1,719

    Jun 3, 2020

    Since I've been home a lot, like we all have, my screen time has gone waaaaay up. That, coupled with the naturally anxiety filled time we are in, is a recipe for anxiety disaster. My anxiety has shot up too, so I totally get it. I've been waking up at 1 AM thinking about school lately too, and we are now done with school, so hopefully that helps a bit.

    Like others have said, step away from the screen. Maybe even delete your social media apps for a while. It really does help. Try to read more. It's easier said than done, but when I am anxious, switching out a screen for a book helps a lot. I feel it change my brain from fast-moving screen clicking to slower-moving and focused on the text. Walking, getting outside, and doing something creative is helpful to me too. I used to like crafting more and still have a lot of the supplies. Even though scrapbooking and card making isn't my "thing" anymore, I do feel like sitting down and doing something creative, whatever it is, is helpful and calming.
     
    runsw/scissors and bella84 like this.
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1,444

    Jun 3, 2020

    I have a friend who says she's anxious about things yet shares tons of upsetting news stories every day. She's making herself more anxious but I don't think she realizes it. We're our own worst enemy sometimes.
     
  12. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,326
    Likes Received:
    665

    Jun 3, 2020

    1 thing that takes anxiety away from me instantly is to do something nice for someone who needs help. It is MUCH harder to do right now because of the virus. Still there are kind things you can do. It takes the focus off of how I feel.
    Write a letter or email an elderly person. Send a picture or something they'll think is cute, inspirational, or funny. ( You have to look which changes your focus.)
    You can cook a meal/ dessert and deliver it to people you know will like it. People know I am pretty cautious and will eat what I cook. (I wouldn't give it to some one outside of my circle right now b/c of the virus.)
    I wish you could get your husband to turn down the news. I think it was a huge cause of stress even before all of this. If you can limit it to maybe reading what happened in the morning, it'd help.
    If you have something you can make that are pretty or useful to others, focus on making something. You could sell them or give them to people. One lady, CB, here made face masks. It changes your focus.
    If you can't get him to turn the news off, hide the remotes behind the cleaning supplies or some place he never looks. ;) Remember where you hid it though b/c 1 time I did that w/ my d-in-law. It was a long time ago, and we both forgot where we hid it. We never did find it! Best wishes!
    PS We are not total morons, but it was in a summer cottage. We did it near the end of the summer and we both thought we'd put it in the same place. It just wasn't there the next summer. I figured he may have found it and thought it would be funny to see which 1 of us brought it up first. Neither of us did. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
    runsw/scissors likes this.
  13. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    89

    Jun 3, 2020

    I have crippling anxiety that I hide very well at work. I've recently become very close friends with someone at work, and she said she didn't know I even had anxiety. It's very bad. My mind races all day every day. I took meds for a few months, but that didn't even help. Therapy has helped a little, but my insurance stopped paying for it. It's just something that I have to live with. I don't even know what life would be like without being anxious.
    Sorry. I can't help. But, just know you're in good company. HAHA
     
    otterpop and runsw/scissors like this.
  14. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    123

    Jun 3, 2020

    Following this thread! Thank you for asking this - I know I'm struggling too. I cried in front of one of my classes (e-meeting) when I shared with them that I miss our community as this is where I turn to help process everything going on in the world. Some of them starting crying too. (High schoolers - they are so empathetic!) It was a messy day. I love the suggestions people are sharing. The issues aren't going to go away anytime soon, but how we see them, how we react, that's the part I need to work on. And I have to accept that so much of it is far more than I can control. I need to change my focus to what I can control - like my breathing. My breathing I can control. In through the nose, out through the nose. And I can notice my 5 senses. What is something I see? What is something I smell? hear? taste? Feel (as in touch, right here, in this moment)? And if my world is that small for a moment, maybe it will help me expand to the larger world, maybe not. But that is where I am right now. No apologies for it. And I am lucky, I have my students sharing with me their takes on everything. I am listening. Not trying to solve, just listening. It's a different type of news feed.
     
    runsw/scissors likes this.
  15. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,905
    Likes Received:
    1,875

    Jun 3, 2020

    I just recently started taking a magnesium glycinate supplement. It was intended to help with muscle pain, but it’s also very relaxing. I haven’t slept this well in a long time, and my anxiety is also reduced.
     
  16. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2019
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    52

    Jun 4, 2020

    I feel the same way. I stopped watching TV and stopped reading the news. I just can't.....
     
  17. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    53

    Jun 6, 2020

    When I am having an anxiety attack, I count backwards from 100 by 3s. Also, breathing techniques help.
     
  18. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,905
    Likes Received:
    1,875

    Jun 6, 2020

    Yesterday morning, I woke up and deactivated my Facebook account, almost without a second thought, because I just couldn’t take the news or constant reminders of other life issues. I may not know what’s going on in the world or my community as much anymore, but I have a feeling my anxiety will decrease, as well as my screen time.
     
    readingrules12 likes this.
  19. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,151
    Likes Received:
    2,060

    Jun 6, 2020

    If you are not the type of person who can put the constant information being thrown at you via the media and social media platforms out of your mind, limiting information is a good thing. Nothing you see on any media is without bias. Most media is designed to scare you or rile you up anymore. It is not the "here are the facts" anymore. It is almost all opinion based or agenda driven.

    So, if you can process this while viewing all types of media, it helps quell the fears they are trying to instill in you as they all try to "tell you want to think" as they analyze it with their spin. ALL OF THEM.

    Also, if you struggle to put these fears into perspective, it is best to step away.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  20. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,905
    Likes Received:
    1,875

    Jun 6, 2020

    My issue was less with the current events/news media itself and more with things my FB friends posted (political or very opinionated things in response to the news) or groups I joined because they related to personal issues I’ve experienced (think health-related things). Of course I could just “unfriend” people or leave groups, but I already have my FB friends limited to true friends and family, and I still want access to those groups when I need them. I just wanted a break from it all, plus a chance to disconnect from my phone. I’m actually still using news apps to keep connected to the news. It’s just that my sources are limited, and my exposure is on my terms instead of something that just comes across my feed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  21. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,411
    Likes Received:
    579

    Jun 6, 2020

    I have done a pretty good job of curating my news feed. You post something from an uninformed place, that is irritating? Thirty day snooze. You post something overtly racist? Unfollowed permanently. You come at me or my friends on my Facebook posts? Blocked. I have unsubscribed from two groups (one for teachers and one for my neighborhood) because tensions in those groups got super high.

    I have always been very cautious about creating an echo chamber. I have always been very adamant about seeking out diverse viewpoints. But, if you aren't capable of having a discussion respectfully, I don't need to see your opinion, no matter what your opinion is or if I agree with it or not.I've learned I am healthier that way.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  22. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,905
    Likes Received:
    1,875

    Jun 6, 2020

    Yes, it’s all about being healthier and happier. I was finding that I’d check Facebook thinking it’s be a quick mental break check and then, instead, be caught up in something half an hour later. I would get riled up or saddened by a post or comment, or I’d scroll aimlessly. Or, even worse, I’d feel anxiety when I wasn’t checking Facebook because I thought I was missing something “important”. I’m hoping that by leaving Facebook for awhile, I’ll break my bad habit of needlessly wasting so much time on it, and instead use that time for reading actual books or doing something physically active.
     
  23. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2019
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    52

    Jun 6, 2020

    I've been good about not going on social media and it's definitely helped my anxiety. I stopped watching the news and try not to read it online because it's upsetting.
    However, two days ago, someone in one of my online classes who is not a teacher posted something so upsetting attacking public education. I don't know why this triggered me. He did this when he found out I was a teacher. It was a video filmed in 2000 talking about "soviets infiltrating public schools" and "indoctrination". I don't know why it bothered me so much but it really upset me and made my anxiety go through the roof.
     
  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1,444

    Jun 11, 2020

    I'm pretty good at just scrolling past things that are annoying. I had one friend who would post political stuff all day/every day since she was out of work due to medical issues and had more free time than usual. She even had the nerve to message me saying that she didn't agree with what my mother in law posted (she clicked on my MIL's profile and read her wall I guess. I don't even do that)!! I was about to snooze her when she decided to deactivate her account for a month. Problem solved for me LOL She came back after a month so I know she's in better health but she's posting less thank goodness.
     
  25. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,491
    Likes Received:
    100

    Jun 15, 2020

    I haven't deactivated my account, but I have limited the amount of time I look at it to about 10 seconds a day. I'll log in and check my notifications. If there is anything from anyone that I feel I need to check I do, but mostly I don't even look. DH still watches his news tv but not as much when I'm in the room. If it gets to be too much I'll go do something else. My anxiety has gotten better (somewhat less). However, I don't want to be the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand so I feel I need to have some idea of what chaos is happening in our country. In the meantime my entertainment is in the forms of Netflix, books, and podcasts.
     
  26. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,905
    Likes Received:
    1,875

    Jun 16, 2020

    I went back to Facebook this weekend, but I've made some big changes. I created a second account. One account is personal - family, local stores and news stations, groups related to things going on in my personal life, etc. The other account is education-focused - all teaching related pages and groups that I follow. That way I can stay engaged in one but take a break from the other whenever needed. I also went through and "unliked" 16 years worth of pointless or outdated pages and groups that are no longer active, relevant, or interesting to me. I only have 67 Facebook friends, and they are all people who I'm still connected to personally in some way. I'm in the process of indicating which friends, pages, and groups I want notifications from, which ones I want to see in my newsfeed, and which ones I just want to have in the background to access when I care to. Although this has taken some time, I think that this will make a huge difference in my sanity. I keep reminding myself that I don't need to know everything that is going on everywhere; I only need to know what is personally relevant and interesting to me.
     
    Tired Teacher and MissCeliaB like this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. sevenplus,
  2. vickilyn,
  3. ssgirl11,
  4. TeacherNY,
  5. TeacherBrooke,
  6. bella84,
  7. K1teach
Total: 533 (members: 9, guests: 487, robots: 37)
test