June 18th is International Panic Day. Yes, like, panic. June 18th, as in today.

There are two ways to go about this day; absolutely lose your shit about everything that could possibly go wrong in your life or just take a step back and find ways to handle your panic situations.

Now, personally, I am a panicker, all I need is a disco. Yes, that is actually a word, I have decided that that really is a word, sue me. Seeing that I am a panicker, it means that I have already spent more than enough time panicking and have no business doing that today unless I cannot control it.

However, I did not want this day to go unmarked, at least not on this my little corner of the internet. I figured a nice way to commemorate it would be sharing ways I cope with my panicker self when anxiety strikes. Here we go;

1. Take a long ass shower
Showers are one of my happy places and a shower is not just a shower please, it’s an experience. So on days when my spirit could use a little soothing, I take my favourite body wash, find a playlist or an album I am currently loving and take a trip to the bathroom. I play that music on maximum volume, turn the shower to ‘scalding hot’, whip out that body wash and take as much time as I need. 
At the end of it all, I will end the shower with a cold rinse. Potentially psycho? Yes, but there’s nothing as relaxing as this experience. 

2. Create a to do list
In this house, we stan organization, as this post might have intimated but creating a to do list off your bigger to do list helps, especially after that shower. The point here is to break your tasks into chunks that will not have you overwhelmed and undo all the good work that the shower did. 

3. Change your environment
Sometimes even the longest shower cannot really save you, I know this. So when the shower and the to do list fail, I try and physically take myself out of the stressful situation. 
This could either mean going for a nice long walk, listening to a soothing playlist, going to work from the office for the day or settling for a nice chill cafe, if the moneys are with me. 
Removing myself from the environment the pressure/panic/anxiety hit me from might come across as escapism, and perhaps it is, but being in a neutral environment allows me to chill out and focus.

4. Time to do some chores
I’ll be the first person to admit that chores are the absolute ghetto and yet, I find them ever so soothing, and functional. As an adult, an activity that ticks both functional and soothing boxes is a win, I digress. 
The point here is to allow yourself to get lost in the everyday stuff, whether it’s making your favourite meal from scratch, folding clothes, washing dishes or sorting laundry. I draw the line at doing the actual laundry. 
Mundane tasks, especially repetitive ones like folding stuff or cleaning are calming as they put back some form of control into your own hands, quite literally. 

5. Call a friend
Have you ever had such a tough moment that you felt like you couldn’t go on only to call a friend and laugh so hard, or cry it out and end up feeling so much lighter thereafter? I have. 
With the internet at our disposal, you have numerous ways to call them, be it video call or audio. Or you could take the traditional route. Just… call a friend, okay? 

6. Put your phone on DND
Now, I know this one sounds a little extreme but hear me out, sometimes the biggest source of your distress is that device. So take a break from it for an hour or so. Use this time to nap, read a few chapters of your current read or take that long shower I was talking about. Just be. 
You will return feeling so much better, more often than not. 

Are you a panicker too? Share with me how you deal, won’t you? While you are at it, don’t forget to be kind to yourself through it all.

Love & Potatoes,

V

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