- Panic attacks come in all shapes and sizes
- If this thought of the day inspired you…
- Join us and become a Simplifier!
- Watch the video version of this episode
Panic attacks come in all shapes and sizes
Today, I want to talk about moments in life when you definitely DON’T feel like you’re shining. Can we talk about panic attacks?
I’ll be honest. I never really understood what they were like until I experienced them for myself. I just thought, “oh, you’re just a bit stressed huh?”
This thing is real and I want to start the conversation, so you too can spot if you’re having a panic attack and what to do about it.
I share my story simply, as a way to shed light and help others who might be going through this scary situation.
It feels like dying. Or at least, what I think dying might feel like, one day.
Have you felt this?
Here are a few symptoms of a panic attack;
- heart palpitations
- chest pains
- hearing going in/out
- blurred vision
- shortness of breath
- numbness or tingling
- fear of losing your mind
You may have experienced one, or even a few of these symptoms. It’s important to know, what you’re going through will not last forever. Most symptoms will peak at around 10 minutes, but it’s frightening as all get out.
This happened to me not too long ago and it wasn’t triggered by anything big. It was the culmination of an over scheduled lifestyle, mounting stress, and generally not looking after myself.
On that day, I thought I was dying. It felt like I was having a stroke. Or a heart attack. I was certain that my body was shutting down and I was dying.
My vision started to blur. My hearing was fading in and out. My lower back pain was flaring up, and I was starting to get a bit nauseous.
Flash forward to an hour later and my mobility was impaired and things got super scary in the emergency room.
Long story short, I wasn’t dying. I hadn’t thrown my back out. I just experienced my very first full blown panic attack.
And it was scary.
It woke me up… something in my life needs to change—and FAST—because this is not okay.
How I took control
I took inventory of my life, my work and my daily schedule to see what I could simplify, delegate and ultimately, let go of. I needed to get back to basics by nourishing myself and focusing on self-care, so I could get back to thriving.
I had a strong feeling that my addiction to my phone—and to social media—was feeding this mental illness. Something had to give.
I took a digital detox for an entire month and started to heal when I asked myself the question:
What would nourish me today?
Tips to help you
If you find yourself in the middle of a panic attack or feel one coming on, here’s a few tips that might help:
Slow down and focus on your breath. This is the single most important thing you can do. It slows down your heart rate and it’ll help overcome dizziness. Breathe slowly, counting the in breath through your nose, pause 2 seconds, and then breathe out through your mouth. And start again.
Put the coffee down
What you need right now is cold water. Drink it slowly, maybe get a cool washcloth for your neck. This is the time to rehydrate, not get caffeinated.
Stretch and visualize
Go to a safe space and relax your muscles as best as you can. Roll your shoulders back, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Visualize taking a shower in warm, liquid sunshine, dripping down from the top of your crown, all the way to your toes and fingertips. Healing is coming. You are safe.
I’d like to share a few resources I found helpful;
- Blog – 10 Clear Signs You’re Having a Panic Attack: https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/panic-attack-symptoms/
- Blog – 6 Ways to Calm Yourself When You Start to Panic: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a19928772/calm-down-1/
- NHS guide: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/understanding-panic-attacks/
And just one final whisper, just from me to you, dear friend… come in closer.
I see you.
I know what this feels like and I know it can be scary.
You will find kind, loving people who can help you through this.
You don’t have to carry this load all by yourself. This pace is not sustainable. It’s okay to step back, reassess your schedule, and focus on nourishing yourself once again.
You are strong, you are beautiful, you are valued and worthy.
You will make it through this but it’s time to reach out for help.
You can do this, I believe in you.
It’s time to SIMPLIFY.
If this thought of the day inspired you…
Snap a photo of you doing the thing and send it to me via Instagram, privately or publicly… Just tag @thesimplifiers – I’ll be your virtual accountability buddy in your quest to simplify your life.
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As always friends, keep things simple.
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