how to overcome anxiety while traveling

how to overcome anxiety while traveling

With so much travel in both the personal and professional aspects of my life, it may seem surprising that I haven’t written a blog on this topic yet (I mean, my blog is named after my love for adventures!). While I’ve posted a little bit on Instagram about this, I’ve recently felt the need to expand further on the impact that travel has on my mental health – both the good and the bad.

I’ve touched on the tools I, personally, need to handle my anxiety on a regular basis and while on the road (therapy, supplements, food) … But sometimes, those things are simply not enough. And for me, right now? They are not enough. 

So far this year, my life has been filled with exciting personal events (weddings, babies, and more!) that have allowed me to explore new places, and I’ve been traveling more often for work. Lately, this has taken its toll on me mentally … I’ve been feeling downright sad with how much I’ve been away from my husband, my pup, my family, my routine, and my home.

Now, this is in no way a complaint. I am so, so fortunate to have the means to travel and to see new places – and for that, I am forever grateful! Discovering new places has pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to see life from new perspectives … But if I’m being real, recently, this constant go-go-go lifestyle has put a strain on me physically and mentally, and on my relationships.

When I find myself in this less-than-ideal headspace, when I am far from my therapist and even farther from my comfort zone, I’ve been forced to dig deep to find peace of mind and mental clarity. On my most recent trip, I identified a few things that helped me to get through moments of anxiety and sadness, and I’m excited to share them with y’all.

Traveling for work? Do your best to carve out time for Y O U. This is something I’ve learned from a mentor of mine, and it has made all the difference in being able to enjoy the professional side of travel. If you have a travel-heavy job like myself, I encourage you to work toward setting boundaries around these trips. What do I mean by that, exactly? Amongst the long work hours, dedicate time for you. Wake up an hour early to go for a walk outside. Take 10 minutes to meditate before bed. Maybe you’re a foodie? Look into local restaurant(s) to try! Think about what makes you happy, and prioritize time in your schedule to fit in at least one of those things (if at all possible, of course!).

my co-workers and I woke up early one morning prior to a work event to explore Mount San Jacinto State Park in CA

Let go of the need to control every situation. I’m a planner, a fixer, a Type-A worrywart, so ~ going with the flow ~ is not exactly something that comes naturally to me. But when it comes to flight delays, last-minute cancellations, and other travel obstacles, there is really no other option than to do just that. Learning to shift my mindset and accept this has proven to be imperative to pushing through some especially tough times.

And on that note … Focus on what you can control, especially how you react to these situations. Feel, process and re-center. Then, tap into what you know works for you: meditation, breathwork, a good cry, journaling, or calling your bestie!

Practicing gratitude will never get old. When I get too in my head and start thinking negatively, I do my best to balance those thoughts with things I am grateful for. I am beyond appreciative for a career that allows me to travel to new places, network, build relationships, and more. Sometimes, even a simple phone call or text to my husband, parents or sisters will bring me an instant feeling of gratitude.

Prepare, prepare, prepare! If you’re able to plan your trip(s) in advance, dig deep, identify what triggers your stress/anxiety, and make sure to do everything you can to feel great before leaving town: prioritize quality sleep, eat nutrient-dense foods that make you feel good, don’t skip a therapy session, etc. Oh, and right before you head out? Pack your bag with healthy snacks, download your favorite podcast(s), pack comfortable clothes, and do your best to relax (easier said than done, I know).

Travel is a common anxiety trigger. And most of the time, it’s a tough one to be fully prepared for, since most aspects of travel are out of our control … So, if you’re feeling bogged down with work trips or additional stress from being away from home for too long, I encourage you to try these tips! They can help you to overcome stressors while away, and prepare you to make your next adventure that much more enjoyable.

Safe, happy travels! 🙂


xoxo,

Lisa


Please note that I am not a mental health professional. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your condition.

5 facts to help you understand and overcome fear

5 facts to help you understand and overcome fear

Fear has always played a big part in my life, unfortunately.

I had many fears growing up, including being late (I was known for constantly asking my mom, teachers and friends what time it was), being alone (thank goodness I had sisters!), or change of any kind.

But, my biggest fear as I grew older? Failure.

I’m sure many of you can relate to the fear of failing. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but I truly believe my fear, worry and anxiety around failure actually has a lot to do with my successes – and for that, I am grateful. But if I’m being honest with myself, fear has controlled way too many decisions in my life.

While I do my best to include some lightheartedness in every blog post, this one may get a little heavy here soon … Fair warning for what’s ahead!

Within the last few years, I’ve lived the highest highs and the lowest lows I’ve ever known. I’ve experienced tragic loss and painful grief, but also discovered a new level of love inside of me that I didn’t know I was capable of. These experiences—the good and the bad—have brought me to where I am today. But these experiences, specifically those that were tragic, ignited a level of fear inside of me that I’ve never felt …

Not just the fear of failing or the fear of being late, but I felt plagued by intense, irrational fears. For example, for a week or so, I was scared to walk my dog alone in the evenings for fear of being attacked, hurt or even killed (a little irrational, I know … But I couldn’t control those thoughts!). Where did this fear come from? I, along with my therapist, identified that it was how I was processing loss + the additional stressors in my life at the time.

And while that explanation makes so much sense to me, these borderline-irrational fears have seemed to follow me for a lot longer than I expected. There was even a day where I made myself physically sick over the fact that I thought I left my stovetop on while at work. Spoiler alert: I asked my step-mom to go to my house and check the stove … And it was off.

This intensified fear had started to negatively affect the quality of my life. And while I am still working through this phase, I am determined to conquer it.

So, I’ve been reading up on facing fears and fear + anxiety recently, and I’ve compiled these five facts that have helped me to start overcoming this challenging time of my life.

  1. Fear is a part of our survival kit. By definition, fear is a response to a perceived threat. Fear activates our fight-or-flight response by stimulating the hypothalamus, which directs the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal-cortical system to prepare our bodies for danger. Basically, since the beginning of time, fear has kept us alive … Literally. So, fear is instinctual and we all feel it in our lives.
  2. Anxiety is a type of fear. Sure, this sounds like a no-brainer, but I’ve honestly never linked these two feelings so closely. Anxiety is a word used by health professionals when they’re describing persistent fear – how you feel when you’re frightened and anxious are very similar, as the basic emotion is the same. So, anxiety-prone folks like myself are much more likely to experience higher feelings of fear (*lightbulb!*). With that being said, tactics to overcome anxiety and panic can also help tackle fear. I finally saw positive progress with my fearfulness after I re-focused on what I know helps with my anxiety levels: regular exercise, nutrient-rich foods, quality sleep, regularly taking my medication, and mindfulness.
  3. Get to know your fears. Instead of avoiding your fears and pushing them to the side, dig deep to find the root of these worries. Start by asking yourself how you got to this feeling, followed by determining the next steps you will take to move forward. Getting to know your fears deeply may actually soften them.
  4. Facing fears is really, really hard … But also really, really worth it. Per The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook (highly recommend investing in a copy!), continuing to avoid a situation that frightens you, more than anything else, is what keeps the fear alive. No, this doesn’t mean curing your fear of heights by going skydiving tomorrow (unless that’s your thing). But, while facing a situation you’ve been avoiding may seem impossible, it can be made more manageable by breaking it down into smaller steps. Start small and gradually work your way up. For instance, I’m an anxious driver, especially on crowded highways that include bridges. While I’m still working toward conquering this obstacle in my life, I take the highway to work every morning as a way of de-sensitizing myself to this experience that I’ve begun to dread. So, every weekday morning is a reminder that worry does not control me, and I can do this.
  5. You don’t have to face your fears alone. Last, but certainly not least, you’re not in this alone. Tap into your support system—your tribe, your therapist, or maybe just your partner—and don’t hesitate to lean on them, open up and ask for help.

While there is no immediate cure to feeling bogged down by constant worry, fear and anxiety, I’m done letting fear rule my life. How about you?


xoxo,

Lisa


Please note that I am not a mental health professional. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

8 effective tips to manage stress as a bride-to-be

8 effective tips to manage stress as a bride-to-be

If you follow me on Instagram or have communicated with me in the last 10 months or so, you know that I was in the midst of planning my wedding. My now-husband Bobby (husband, AH!) and I got married on Saturday, March 30, 2019. And yes, it was the most magical day of our lives. 🙂

We are definitely still processing all of the emotions from the big day, but we have taken the time to reflect on the outpouring of love and joy we felt on Saturday, and still feel in this moment. Shout out to every single person who celebrated with us – WE LOVE YOU!

While our wedding day was something out of a fairy tale, it’d be unfair to all of us if I didn’t say that both Bobby and I feel relieved that it’s over. In the moment, we didn’t want the night to end, but now that the wedding is behind us, we are both so content and noticeably more relaxed. It’s a great feeling!

Photo by Karla Korn Photography

I’d like to think I was a pretty chill bride-to-be for most of the planning process (or at least I tell myself that, LOL). But about two weeks out, I finally learned firsthand that the term “bridezilla” exists for a reason … Planning a wedding + processing the fact that you’re getting married is OVERWHELMING to say the least. In fact, marriage was listed in the top most stressful life changes by Inc., coming in at No. 7.

The final few weeks leading up to the big day are filled with the little details piling up, family coming into town, finalizing the day-of itinerary, and more. Throw in my full-time job, worrywart tendencies and natural anxiety, and let’s just say I was a hot mess. I definitely had a handful of panic-stricken moments and even a few sleepless nights.

But when the day arrived, I was surprisingly calm and genuinely excited for the event ahead of us. I did my best to be as in-the-moment as possible and to embrace this beautiful time in our lives.

Your wedding day should be enjoyable … And not just for the guests! So, if you are in this chapter of your life, congratulations! Here are the 8 things I learned throughout this process that will help to manage your stress levels and allow you to have some fun on your big day:

  1. Hire a wedding planner/coordinator. I cannot emphasize this enough – HIRE. A. WEDDING. PLANNER. Our planner made all the difference on our wedding day. We didn’t even have to think about the flow of the event, the decor, or if our guests were happy and taken care of. She did all of that! Our planner also guided our decision making throughout the process, as she has put on hundreds of successful weddings.
  2. Don’t wedding plan right before bed. I learned this one late in the game, after a few sleepless nights in a row. About a month out, I was coming home from work and would dive right into wedding-related details, like the seating chart or the reception playlist. And while these are relatively fun things to work on, I could not calm my mind in order to fall asleep afterward (and we all know I need my sleep). I recommend setting aside time to wedding plan, like weekend mornings with a big cup of coffee!
  3. Discover what truly matters to you and prioritize those things. This sounds simple, but it took me awhile to figure out what I should really focus on. The flowers? Eh, I knew I wanted sunflowers and neutral colors, but that was really all I knew. I trusted my florist and she did an amazing job! Believing in the professionals we hired, such as our florist, photographer and wedding planner, to do their jobs, allowed Bobby and I to focus on what really mattered – like the food, of course! We met with our caterers multiple times and were able to customize the menu exactly to our liking. It was perfect!
  4. Put yourself first. Everyone knows someone who has been married, and has seen this or that at a wedding … And you will hear about this and that throughout planning, trust me! Definitely take into consideration input from family and friends, but ultimately, remind yourself that this day is about you and your partner-to-be. Put your wants and needs first!
  5. Include your partner in the planning process. I definitely did most of the work when it came to the wedding decor and color palette, but I made sure to keep Bobby in-the-know throughout the time leading up to the wedding. He was a big help with the guest list, seating chart and ceremony playlist, among other things. Making sure we were both happy with those details is super important, too!
  6. Do your best to let go of the details that are out of your control. I started checking the weather more than two weeks out, and I even Googled “average temperatures in Jupiter, FL, on March 30“. I was driving myself NUTS and my anxiety was through the roof over it! Shout out to my Bridal Party for getting me out of my own head and letting nature do its thing. Our weather was PERFECT (and even if it wasn’t, our wedding planner had a foolproof Plan B).
  7. Don’t crash diet. Please just don’t. You are perfect and beautiful exactly how you are! It made me miserable and more stressed than ever trying to add on calorie-counting to my to-do list (which I already knew wasn’t a good idea). Stay hydrated, eat your veggies, get your sleep, and you’ll be good to go!
  8. When the day comes, let the mistakes go and simply enjoy it. Let me tell you – something will go wrong. Our DJ played the wrong song as I walked down the aisle AND my dress strap broke during the dance with my dad (my wedding planner sewed it back together!). But in the end, none of that mattered. We still had the time of our lives!

If you are planning a wedding, you are bound to feel the pressure of this life event and all the details that go along with it. So, I’m here for you when you get to that point!

Here are some more pictures from our big day from the amazing Karla Korn.


Cheers!

xoxo,

Lisa

3 eye-opening facts about alcohol + mental health

3 eye-opening facts about alcohol + mental health

Let me start this one off by telling you that I miiiiight have had my first drink in high school (sorry, mom!), which was followed closely by my binge-drinking days in college (not as sorry, mom!). I had the cutest, most delicious mimosa bar at my bridal shower last weekend, and heck YES I love me a good glass of wine or a crisp Tito’s + soda + lime.

Needless to say, I enjoy having a drink or two, especially in social settings. But I also know the effects alcohol has on me, which is something I’ve learned through plenty of trial-and-error.

Rewind to my late-high school and early college years … I would wake up most Saturday mornings with a headache, nauseous as all get out, and with what I would eventually learn was crippling anxiety. I worked through the misery by trying my best to sleep in, taking a long shower and carb-loading on bagels or a burger + fries (speaking of, I could really go for a burger right now …). And after all of that, it was almost time to go out again. Fun, right?! Oh, college.

As I matured and my responsibilities grew, those drinking habits and lifestyle dwindled. But when I did decide to go out and drink a decent amount, I was noticing that I’d wake up the next morning in straight-up panic mode.

My chest felt like one giant knot, and thoughts such as “did I say anything stupid last night?” and “dear God, I hope I didn’t embarrass myself or my friends” raced through my mind so fast that no matter how late I stayed up the night before, I could never sleep in. These anxiety-ridden mornings lasted throughout the entire day. It was miserable.

I’m sure you’re able to guess, but this didn’t exactly make my anxiety any better … It made it worse – much worse. Actually, now that I think about it, this was when I started having regular panic attacks.

But why? Did everyone feel this crappy after a night out? I started to dig a little deeper through my bff Google, and ask both my doctor and my therapist questions during my visits. I learned a lot in a short time, but the following three pieces of information completely changed my drinking habits and my quality of life for the better.

  1. Alcohol is a depressant. This may not be news to some of you, but I honestly had no clue that alcohol is classified as a depressant until I looked into it. Logically, I thought “I drink to relax, to loosen up and to have some fun … So, how could alcohol be a depressant?”  Well, while drinking alcohol may initially have that energizing, “upper” effect for some, that feeling will not last. In fact, the effects of alcohol can actually include increased anxiety and stress, specifically. Yikes.
  2. Alcohol depletes the serotonin levels in the brain. This tidbit of information blew my mind (literally). As a depressant, alcohol lowers levels of serotonin (our “happiness” hormone). Considering I take an antidepressant to increase the levels of serotonin in my brain, drinking heavily was clearly counteracting that. (I take an SSRI, which stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. More on that here.) Basically, for me, excess alcohol + Generalized Anxiety Disorder = worse Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
  3. Alcohol messes up your sleep cycle. And we allllll know what it’s like when we don’t get enough sleep … It’s just not good. I used to think that passing out after a night of drinking meant that I slept hard, but boy was I wrong! A study revealed that drinking alcohol actually disrupts your body’s sleep homeostasis, or sleep regulator.

After typing this information out, I’m sure that many of you knew of these effects of alcohol … But, maybe you didn’t know or consider how it may affect your mood, your emotional state and/or your overall mental health.

I know that these three facts completely changed my outlook on alcohol and my drinking habits as an anxiety-prone gal.

Knowing all of this, I’m still all about balance and truly enjoy a tasty alcoholic beverage. So, in order to keep my mental health in check, I keep my drinking during the week minimal (if any), and indulge a little more on special occasions and at social events. And yes, I am DEFINITELY having some champagne at my wedding. Cheers, friends!


xoxo,

Lisa

Please note that I am not a mental health professional. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

the 4 positive attributes I can thank anxiety for

the 4 positive attributes I can thank anxiety for

Anxiety has a bad rap. It’s time to take a look at the other side of it.

Let’s face it: just the word “anxiety” has a negative connotation. Mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression and agoraphobia are tied to undesirable feelings like worry, sadness and fear.

Negative, negative, negative.

When my breath shortens before a presentation, when I wake up in the middle of the night with a painfully tight chest, or when I’m white-knuckled driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic, it’s hard to feel anything else but like utter shit.

But when I take a moment to reflect on these emotional patterns I experience daily, there’s a big part of me that is actually grateful for my anxiety and panic.

Yes, really.

Besides the fact that it makes me me (Type-A worrywart and all), I’ve learned that not everything that comes with anxiety is bad. Some things are good – like really, really good.

1. Academic + professional successes

Rather than only being considered a burden, anxiety may actually help you feel more motivated and prepared when faced with challenges. Research shows that students and athletes with some level of anxiety displayed improved performance on tests or while participating in competitive sports. Throughout school, I was always a straight-A student, which allowed me to get into the college of my dreams (Go Gators!). This lead to scoring some pretty amazing jobs so far in my career, including my current role in marketing.

Now, my anxiety wasn’t the only reason for the above-mentioned successes. I work my butt off day-in and day-out and have been blessed with an amazing support system … but, my anxiety wouldn’t allow me to fail in school or at work. I feel the need to be prepared in order to perform well in most situations. This is probably a trait of being a little bit of a perfectionist, too (which is not always a good thing!), but I’m truly grateful for how it has helped me get to where I am today.

2. Increased self-awareness

Ten years ago, I started going to therapy to help me understand my anxious feelings and daily panic attacks, and to this day, I’m still going strong. I’m a firm believer in the positive impact of therapy (more on that here), but my biggest takeaway from going? The increase in my self-awareness.

What situations trigger me into a downward spiral of stress and worry? How do I cope with tragedy? Is my anxiety affecting others? Therapy has helped me answer all of these questions and allowed me to mature, understand and love myself in ways I never knew were possible. Would I have ever gone to therapy if I didn’t face mental health struggles in college? Who knows.

3. Empathy and compassion

Anxiety is all-too common, and it seems especially so for my generation. In fact, a 2018 study revealed that millennials are by and large the most anxious generation. Some of my closest friends and family members have suffered from a mental health disorder. For anyone who has had to overcome these struggles, you know it’s not easy to talk about with others.

My mental health journey of learning and overcoming Generalized Anxiety and Panic Disorder has allowed me to understand what others have gone or are going through. It allows me to see the other side of things and dig deeper into why certain people react in certain ways. I am so, so grateful to have found an all-new level of empathy and compassion.

4. The passion to help others

I love writing. I love this blog. I love sharing my thoughts, experiences and the lesson I’ve learned. A couple of weeks ago, it really hit me that my message is resonating with others when one of my images went viral on Facebook (it has over 200K shares!).

Quote by Cheryl Richardson

When starting adventures & anxiety, my goal was to help, inspire and be there for at least one other … And without living through my own struggles, I would never be able to share my story, relate to others and live my dream.

It can be so easy to only see the negative side of having a mental health disorder. But if you dig deep, I’m sure you can see and embrace the positives, too!

xoxo,

Lisa


Please note that I am not a mental health professional. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your condition.

how prioritizing diet & exercise made my anxiety worse

how prioritizing diet & exercise made my anxiety worse

I know, I know … I don’t need to tell you that a healthy diet and regular exercise are extremely beneficial for both your physical and mental wellbeing.

You’re most likely familiar with the research that reads something along the lines of, “exercising 30 minutes, three times per week releases ALLLL the endorphins and decreases stress, symptoms of depression and anxiety, etc.” (OK, so maybe it doesn’t say exactly that, but you get the point!)

You’ve seen the before-and-after #transformationtuesday posts on Instagram (and yes, I’ve posted a couple #guilty). You’ve seen the ads promoting weight-loss products popping up in your Facebook feed. You’ve heard the “New Year, New You!” resolutions that revolve around dropping a few pounds to kick-start that healthy lifestyle.

Look, I’m all about supporting those who reach their goals, but what if I told you that the years I followed a strict diet and exercise routine were the most anxious and panic-attack prone times of my life?

It’s true. In my early 20s, my appearance and how others perceived me was the main thing I cared about, which somehow translated to “I must be fit to be worthy!” in my brain. I was not only an employee at the local gym, but I worked out at least five times per week. I’m serious when I tell you that even if I was bedridden with bronchitis, I still made myself believe that getting a workout in was the best choice (I won’t even begin to elaborate on the germs I spread. Ick!).

During those years, I counted my macros. I planned my workouts weeks in advance. I made sure to take plenty of group fitness classes to “get in more cardio.” I did all of it, ALL OF THE TIME. And that was not necessarily the issue … The issue was that for years, I made that the priority in my life.

The thing is, even though physical activity and wholesome, nutrient-dense foods are beneficial for those dealing with depressive disorders, forcing workouts and depriving myself of the foods I love when I was SO FREAKING HUNGRY was not good for me. In fact, it was only making my anxiety worse. Like, way worse.

To dig a little deeper, let’s recap daily occurrences during this chapter of my life and my feelings associated with them:

I didn’t hit/I went over on my macros. Anxiety.

I ate too many sweets. Guilt.

I skipped my workout. Shame.

And god forbid my pants were a little bit tightPURE PANIC.

This lifestyle consumed me. No matter what diet I was on, no matter how many miles I ran a week (spoiler alert: not many), it never seemed to be enough. And that in itself pushed my anxiety and panic to the next level. So, after years of living it, I finally decided to step away to focus on what’s really important: self-care and genuine happiness.

Now, don’t get me wrong – healthy foods and regular sweat sessions are still a significant part of my life and they play a big role in progressing in my mental health journey, I just look at them a little bit differently now.

Instead of calorie-counting and dwelling on how s l o w minutes seem to move on the Stairmaster, I make it a point to focus on these three things:

  1. Eat the foods that make me feel good. I elaborate more on my relationship with food here. I highly recommend aiming for a balanced diet including protein, fat, fiber and yes, carbs! … And dessert. Don’t forget the dessert!
  2. Exercise for enjoyment. I like lifting weights, but not every single day. Yoga for longer than 20 minutes bores the hell out of me. I’ve recently discovered boxing and not only is it fun, it’s seriously therapeutic. Basically, I make the time for the exercise that I enjoy and I’ve noticed that I get A LOT more out of it.
  3. Stop comparing myself and my body to others. It’s hard to ignore the fitness models and the overall perfection on Instagram. I find myself making comparisons to others all too often and I’m working on that daily. But, there is no other YOU in this world, so own it! You are enough just as you are.

My approach to diet and exercise is not perfect by any means, and I am definitely still a work in progress. There are some days when I emotionally eat and days when I judge myself for not being “active enough.”

I am fully aware that everyone, every body and every mind is different. Even though a simple mention of Whole30 gives me anxiety, it may work well for you!

Regardless of what you choose to do or if you agree with me, I do recommend taking a step back and asking yourself, “is this making me happy?”

Friendly reminder: ultimately, it’s not about looking a certain way, but about feeling a certain way … And that starts with your mindset (not in the gym!).


Do you follow a certain diet or exercise routine? Or maybe you’re into intuitive eating? Please do share!

xoxo,

Lisa


Please note that I am not a professional in mental health, fitness or nutrition. Always seek the advice of your qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have.


how to navigate anxiety in your relationship

how to navigate anxiety in your relationship

getting intimate with the role anxiety plays in relationships

Anxiety has a way of finding its way into everything –relationships included. This not only affects the person who lives with an anxiety disorder, but their significant other, too.

Some common relationship woes for those who struggle with anxiety include feeling dependent (*girl-raising-hand emoji*), overreacting to certain situations, letting insecurity takeover, and feeling fearful or defensive all too often. [1]

As a soon-to-be bride (March 2019, I see you!), navigating my anxiety disorders in my current relationship has proven to be crucial to our development as a couple and as individuals. All relationships take work, but when one (or both!) of you deal with regular anxiety, there’s a little bit of extra work you have to put in on a daily basis. Because no one ever said marriage was easy, right? 🙂

Before I dive into the steps that have helped me navigate myanxiety in my current relationship, I want to note that it takes being with the right person for this to be successful. I’m beyond grateful for my patient,understanding and supportive fiancé, Bobby. Love ya, babe!

With that, here are the steps we have taken in order to not let my anxiety and panic takeover our relationship.

  1. Educate yourself and your partner. First thing’s first – educate yourself. I encourage you to learn as much as you can about your anxiety/mental health disorder, including what triggers you and what helps you. Knowledge is power here. I highly recommend therapy, as a professional can definitely guide you in the right direction and help you find some answers. Once you know more, you can communicate your feelings to your significant other and work together on how you can better each other. I ask so many questions in my therapy sessions, and it allows me to understand my reactions and my ways. Also, my therapist recently recommended The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, and that has taught me even more!
  2. Open up. This is a friendly reminder that you, your anxiety and your emotions are not a burden. These feelings may not be something you feel comfortable sharing early-on in your relationship and that’s totally OK (although, I did tell my fiancé on our first date that I was super needy … Oops?). Regardless when you decide to do so, open up about your emotions and the struggles you face even if they feel like “too much” to you. The right partner will listen and do whatever they are capable of to support and to help you.
  3. Be patient. Figuring this out by yourself takes time and hard work – so, adding in another person into the equation…? Yeah, it ain’t easy. Remember that developing a healthy relationship is a process with ups and downs, as is learning and healing from a mental health disorder. Be patient with yourself, communicate with your significant other regularly, and know that it gets better.
  4. Have some fun! Not everything needs to focus on your symptoms or struggles – don’t forget to have some fun together! Laughter really is the best medicine, especially laughing with someone you love. My fiancé and I go to a new place each year and it’s something that brings us so much joy! Find something you and your partner love (well, besides each other) and make it a priority in your relationship.

Of course, every relationship is different. Some of my past relationships worsened my anxiety (cue all the worrisome questions like, “does he even like me?!”) and some, like my current one, have helped me to progress in my mental health journey.

From my experience, anxiety does not have to make or break your relationship. It can be a catalyst for personal growth as an individual and as a couple, and even strengthen your relationship.


Do you struggle with anxiety or constant worry in your relationship? If so, what have you tried to ease these struggles?

xoxo,

Lisa


Please note that I am not a mental health professional. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your condition.


[1] https://www.verywellmind.com/generalized-anxiety-disorder-and-relationships-4129126