How to Deal: An Email Conversation About Anxiety Between Leandra and Amelia

The Writers | September 29, 2015

Helpful tips in e-mail format to deal with anxiety


On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 12:38 PM, Leandra Medine wrote:

Hey! Are you getting that post-summer anxious feeling?

On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 12:45 PM, Amelia Diamond wrote:

I would say that my post-summer anxious feeling has transitioned into near-violent, premature winter terrors. It’s already made getting out of bed hard again, which is stressing me out because I was so good this summer…


On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 12:48 PM, Leandra Medine wrote:

My career coach tells me that when I start to spiral (that’s what anxiety is, right? Like mental spiraling), I should just acknowledge that my mind, in a state of distortion, is doing something it’s now conditioned to do and then let it go and move on. It sounds and seems so simple and sometimes works but other times does not at all. I feel like wearing sandals even though it’s getting colder also helps. And fitness! You should have come to The Class with me this morning. I screamed, I cried. It was good.

On Sep 22, 2015, at 2:40 PM, Amelia Diamond wrote:

What’s tough about anxiety is that it can be paralyzing. There are days when you wake up and despite logically knowing that working out or even just getting up and tackling the source of stress will help you feel better, you can’t. You just sort of lay there and panic until it’s too late and you have to run to work. Cue more anxiety.

Anxiety is such a buzz word now, too. Everyone I know “has anxiety” (some medicated, some not, some involving panic attacks), but almost everyone I know claims it in a very real way. Do you think that’s a sign of the times or has everyone always “had anxiety” and we’re just now in tune with it? (Or bigger wimps?)

On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 4:03 PM, Leandra Medine wrote:

Well, anxiety is pretty closely connected to depression, right? I think there is really something to living in NY and the pressure that presents. This is a menial example but the traffic in London was so mind numbing, considerably worse than the traffic here and yet drivers (and passengers!) remain calm through it. There’s no honking or anything. In NY, I feel like I’m constantly supposed to feel like I’m about to blow up. Not sure really what a cheap (as in: not a monthly, week-long vacation) antidote is. Breathing does help and so does laughing. What do you do to quell it?

On Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 10:22 PM, Amelia Diamond wrote:

I have to escape the city. (Sorry for this: I go riding.) The problem is that it comes back when I come back — the moment I hit reality.

I’m least anxious when: I’m ahead of my work, I’m working out, my apartment is clean, I have money in the bank after paying rent and responding to my Venmo payment requests. But life happens, so there has to be a way to alleviate anxiety when things are stressful, too. I wish I could stick with meditation — is that helping you? I never stick with it because I’m like WHO HAS TIME FOR THIS?

When I stop everything and put music on and draw, that helps. Moving helps, like walking/running. Getting away from anything with a screen helps. I want to do what we talked about the other day and put my phone away at least an hour before bed.

Sometimes the only thing that helps is repeating, “It always ends up being okay, it always ends up getting done.” Because a little bit of stress can push you to meet a deadline but anxiety can prevent you from being productive at all.

On Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 10:33 PM, Leandra Medine wrote:

Yes, meditation helps immeasurably. I’m finding the afternoon meditations a bit harder to commit to, but when I do them, I feel like a new person afterward. There is something so empowering and energizing about just closing your eyes for 20 minutes in the middle of the day and then coming out of it. You just clear up or something. It’s like emotional Benadryl wherein the city is your allergy.

I’m also doing a new 24-hour technology detox every week (Fri at sundown to Sat at sundown) and according to those around me in my personal life, I have become, like, 20% less insufferable. Last night my dad even accused me of seeming happy! I’m also really trying not to internalize things and take them so personally/make them so personal. E.g. if comments are down on a specific day, I’m not taking it as a direct assault on us and literally driving myself to the point of illness trying to figure out what everyone is doing at 3 p.m. on a Wednesday in lieu of reading Man Repeller.

^^^ So that was me projecting. I do think you’re on to something with the staying ahead of work and taking good care of yourself — the thing with working out, I’ve realized, is that it’s starting to seem like holy me-time in a way that manicures or blow outs don’t really feel anymore. (Probably because we’re glued to our phones in those latter situations whereas when you’re working out, you have no choice but to torture yourself with dumbbells and the like). And you’re right! In the end, it’s always okay. Why is it so hard to remember that while we’re freaking out? Maybe because we feel like it’s only ever okay in the end because of the way that we freak out in order to get it done?

On Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 12:00 PM, Amelia Diamond wrote:

How do you detach yourself for 20 minutes mid-day in the afternoon? Aren’t you like, OhmmmmmmRENT. FUCK. I FORGOT TO MAIL IT AND THEN DO 2345678 OTHER THINGS I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO YESTERDAY and then open you eyes and poof, ruined?

The fact that you just pinpointed why blow outs and manicures no longer feel like “me-time” was such an epiphany for me. Basically anywhere I have service and a free hand — just one — I’m on my phone. That is so bad.

Maybe we freak out because of some sort of latent survival instinct: the chillest cavemen probably died. (“Na man, I’m good, I’ll learn how to build fire later.” *Death*)

I swear I once read or heard that it’s actually harder for the brain to be happy and it’s easier for it to worry.

The other day, I lost my wallet (in my apartment) while I was already super late, worried about a million things and sleep deprived. I was cursing at inanimate objects and made my roommate turn the TV off so I could concentrate. I was all hot and thinking: great, now I have to get a new ID. Cancel my credit cards. Wait for new credit cards. Go through the awful motion of having Chase read a list of all of the dumb things I’ve spent money on in the past 24 hours just in case my wallet was stolen.

Then I found my wallet on my bed and felt really dumb. Not for losing it because that happens but for letting myself freak out. That’s what I want to avoid more than anything, you know? Is that anxiety or just a personality disorder?

On Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 12:12 PM, Leandra Medine wrote:

Sounds like anxiety perpetuated by distorted thinking. I feel myself under a lot of pressure right now, actually. Between London, then being offline for 25 hours for Yom Kippur, and feeling like I’m not hitting any of my deadlines because there aren’t enough hours in the day to write and organize and schedule and edit and shoot videos and Instagram and answer emails and eat and call my mom to tell her that I love her, it starts to weigh on me and make me feel like an inadequate person. My heart starts racing and I start pulling at my eyebrows. I so miss the days when I had no responsibility but to just write what I was thinking, which has essentially been superseded by making sure that everyone around me is either writing or shooting or thinking and feeling and that’s when I know I need to not drink coffee and do shut my eyes.

So I’m gonna do that right now.

And then I’m going to make a list in priority order of all the things that I think need to get done today. Then I’m going to group it by things that actually need to get done and things that can wait until tomorrow. And then I’m going to tackle and destroy and by the time this piece is published, I am probably not even going to remember what was stressing me out.

Do you think that’s it??? Just like, breaking down the experience of anxiety and turning it into a series of to-do’s that are manageable and can be checked off your list?

On Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 2:02 PM, Amelia Diamond wrote:

Reading what you are going through which is what I/the whole world except for babies am/is going through and then watching you come out of it was so reassuring, like when a stressful movie ends in a comforting way.

Having a game plan, not necessarily a solution, must help. I love that you have a to-do list, and are then realistic enough to chop it into days. I definitely just make long, looming lists which don’t help so much as they do remind me of all the shit I’m not doing.

I think what really causes anxiety is feeling like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. A long, imposing, scary to-do list is a long, long tunnel. You can’t see the light.

But if you’re like: Okay, look! I just gotta do all of this by the time it hits 7. Then I’m done. Then tomorrow I do round 2, but look: another light. That helps.

The only thing I’m putting on today’s list is: drink margarita.


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  • As someone who has dealt with anxiety from a young age, which was then compounded by the ridiculous demands of teaching (gave it up after two years – spending every Sunday in hysterics lead to the realisation this might not be the profession for me), your line about “breaking down” your anxiety rings true. For me it’s not necessarily by turning it into a “to-do” list, but literally sitting there, letting the anxiety wash over me (sounds cliche, I know…), and while that’s happening, identify (or break down) what has triggered it. I’ve been amazed by how many times I’ve been able to just ease out of a potential anxiety attack at my desk by taking a moment or two to zone out, and back tracking to what set it off. From there it’s as though I’ve hit the restart button and can refocus.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I like this idea a lot…they sort of say that in yoga too I think, like let it wash over and by you and just point out things like they are leaves floating by: oh yea there’s that thing i have to write. there’s that errand I have to run. ok. noted. (or whatever it is)

      • Yeah, it’s not about trying to “not think about the stress”, but instead acknowledging that there are factors that are stressing you, facing them, and coming to terms with them. It genuinely helps me deal with things I think are problems but really aren’t!

    • Lulucylemon

      I’m glad you specifically mentioned teaching. I’m sure lots of people have high-stress jobs, but I’m in my eighth year as a high school teacher and I find myself wondering whether/when this anxiety ends. There is always more to do than there are hours in the day, and my tendency towards perfectionism means I work 12 hour days for low, low pay.

      In addition, we can work FOMO and work/life balance into this discussion. I’m single with no kids, and I can’t ever wrap my head around how someone could do my job, as good as me, with a family at home. I spend my weekends alternating between sleeping, grading papers, and panicking. I am insanely jealous of friends who get to do things like eat lunch outside or grab drinks on Wednesday. It’s not a sustainable lifestyle, especially when you consider that I’ll be forever alone (and poor) unless I somehow prioritize personal life & dating.

      • Teaching is indeed a completely different kettle of fish to most careers (even in my most demanding and overloaded job in publishing/editing, it pales in comparison to anything I experienced as a teacher). Something about holding the future generations’ education in your hands is both amazing and nerve-racking. I do need to say that I was teaching in a secondary/post16 school (high school) in England and their demands are quite possibly even more ridiculous than those put on teachers in the US (the BBC ran an article yesterday saying that 50 per cent of the country’s teachers plan on quitting next year, just to give you an idea).

        That said, I’m not an expert here and can only offer up my own experiences. What I can tell you is that there comes a point where you need to prioritise your own health and happiness over your career (which as a teacher will be easier said than done), particularly, if like me, you begin to find that your panicking begins to affect your lessons/daily expectations at school. I was absolutely wiped out even before I started the day (towards the end of my time), which, when you have a 12+ hour day ahead, does not bode well for the students’ learning experience.

        But before you plan on jumping ship, I assume you’ve spoken to your department head or line manager about your concerns? I know the dynamic in schools is also rather different to a standard office job, but sometimes bringing these issues to the attention of whomever is in charge is worth a try. Also, I found that prioritising what demands could fall by the wayside helped ease my workload. For example, we had to mark their lesson books/note books that they used in class (for things like note taking…yeah….) – I realised that if I didn’t mark every single lesson it didn’t affect their learning in the long run (all hail unnecessary workloads!).

        If, however (unlike me) you find that teaching is your one true calling, there are other options out there that allow for a healthier work life balance (one on one tutoring, after school SAT prep, etc). Jobs that allow you to make your own hours, and actually have a life – I don’t know what the pay is like, but if, like you said, you’re being paid a low wage to begin with, it might be worth having a look.

        Good luck!

        • Lulucylemon

          Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. I have spoken with my principal, but I think that I’m not the only one in my school who’s stressed and overwhelmed. I love your ideas though. I am actively trying to make to-do lists that are prioritized by importance vs. feeling like it all has to get done right now. I definitely have moments where I accept that perhaps this isn’t my “calling” in life… but then I know that I am good at it! So I loved your suggestions for similar careers that are lower-stress options.

          • Not a problem! Even though I’m no longer a teacher, I find I’m still super passionate about the field and how those who work in it are treated (at the moment, it’s not very well – both in the US and the UK) . Good luck in finding something that makes you happy though – I really do hope that, if teaching is your passion, you can find an area of it that allows your a work/life balance 🙂

  • the anxiety I find the most bone crushing is when I cannot pin point why I feel anxious. I will be out having a grand ole time and then a split second later feel like I got hit with a basketball in the stomach and have no idea why. I try to go over the thoughts in my mind that lead up to that feeling and work through them, but sometimes I cannot and that is when I rely on my prescriptions. AMEN. If I know my anxiety is from a list of various stresses or worries that I have, I find that more manageable (most of the time). Making lists helps, realizing no one dies from a missed payment also helps. Not knowing the problem is frightening. As I’m writing this, Verizon just called me because my phone bill is late…. it’s like they know!!!!

    • Oh and I know this sounds silly since to relax people try to get away from their phones and computers but I do use some apps that can help

      • Amelia Diamond

        what are some apps!

        • Simply being and calm down. Simply being is great for when you can’t sleep although some think the voice is creepy I find it soothing!

        • PCE

          Also, Pacifica

    • Allie Fasanella

      I totally understand the anxiety for no reason thing and then you’re anxious about being anxious

    • PanarchyInTheUK .

      I get that. It seems to happen when I am in a relaxed state, often early morning, eg out for an early walk, admiring the quietness of the park, the birds, the water – and then BAM! Gut spasm. So fleeting, so anonymous, but shaking me up.

      I’ve really tried to work on this, tackling it from different points of view. Eg one way in is that early mornings have always been difficult for me, going back to childhood. That sense of dread re: going to school, facing the day, scary situations. So it’s like my muscle memory is reliving it.

      Another way in is: in that moment of walking through the park, I had a teeny tiny ‘random’ thought. So teeny tiny that I barely noticed it. And because in the mornings, we are more vulnerable to our subconscious (all that sleeping seems to re-set, or throw things up into our conscious mind), we haven’t clamped down on all the unresolved stuff that swims in the murk. I had this once at the airport, in the lounge waiting to board for a nice business/pleasure weekend to Oslo. Husband was sitting having coffee, I’d wandered off to the loo, then on the way back, I passed a stack of magazines about something that I obviously thought was really important at the time. Can’t honestly remember what it was. Either new technology or hip happening stuff in Oslo, or…something. Anyway, I had this thought that I should buy the magazine and read it because I’d maybe learn something really important about that particular subject that could stand me in good stead. That sounds more coherent than the actual thought I had. It was more like ‘I should get that because then I’d be better at…’ and BAM!!! Anxiety punched me in the gut. Then it ducked back down into its manhole, leaving no trace. Left me uneasy, off-balance, with lingering dread and shame. I only realised the magazine thought was the trigger because I stopped dead in my tracks and noticed it. Sometimes there’s too much other stuff going on (particularly in a work environment or socialising) to be able to stop and absorb.

      I talked it over with my husband. He’s done a lot of different kinds of therapy and ‘processing shit at home’ and he’s really good at helping me explore this stuff. Conclusion (which doesn’t mean I’ve ‘fixed’ it) was that one of my coping mechanisms as a child was to try to understand things in a world that I couldn’t always grasp. The unknown was scary. If I could just ‘know’ how it all worked, I’d get a handle on it. I’d be safe. But I was quite unorganised as a child. Homework was often done late, or completely forgotten about. I’d rush to do it before class, or waiting at the bus stop when I realised that I’d forgotten to do it. With gut-clenching anxiety! I crammed a lot for exams, feverishly racing through information, getting all jumbled in my head. Therefore being faced with a cramming situation immediately put me in anxiety mode.

      I didn’t mean to write so much! Sorry for the ramble. I think this is a really important article and it obviously struck a chord!

      We’re all trying to deal with shit, aren’t we. Hang on in there, keep on learning and loving. xxx

  • AlexaJuno

    An artistic rendering of my thought process. Adulting, amiright?

    • Amelia Diamond

      hahah i love this / know this

  • Eveline

    My internal monologue every day. And, just for the record, I always read this stuff, but never comment. 🙂 Top notch work ladies!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Eveline thank you for commenting today and happy to have you reading 🙂

      • Friederike

        I do too!! I read every post (and also the comments) but usually I am not comfortable commenting. But i love this site so much- it’s been part of my life for the last 4 years or so and i feel like I am growing together with you. So thanks for everything, for all the effort and thought you put into it!!

    • Caroline Connelly

      ditto, until now.

  • I really liked what Amelia said about the feeling like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes I think: oh hey after this week of writing exams you can relax, but you know what? I don’t relax because I give myself things I have to do. The reason? I’m not accustomed to have nothing to do. That’s somehow my biggest anxiety: having nothing to do.

    • Amelia Diamond

      maybe you can make “having nothing to do” your something to do and just REVERSE-PSYCHOLOGY YOURSELF

  • The absolute gamechanger for me was when I realized that thinking about all the things I have to do will never get any of them done (duh, right?)

    Every time I feel crushed by my to-do list I have to have a serious face-to-face conversation with myself about tackling one thing at a time, because that makes it feel possible and actually makes me productive, instead of halfway trying to get done six things at once. It’s amazing how much that can clear up your brain. I remember the first time this ever clicked I was sitting in a Panera Bread by myself filling an entire sheet of paper with “All you have to do today is write this paper. You don’t have to do anything but write this paper.”

    • Amelia Diamond

      “one thing at a time, because that makes it feel possible and actually makes me productive, instead of halfway trying to get done six things at once.” <- YES. this is my new thing i'm trying.

  • I have been struggling with anxiety for a long time. I can thank genes/brain chemistry for most of it, but of course there are factors in my life and choices I make that ultimately perpetuate the issue. One of which is negative self-talk. I think people are always surprised at my ability to absorb rather fluidly and nonchalantly, constructive criticism or just criticism-criticism, but that stems simply from the fact that whatever I am telling myself is presumably much worse. There is nothing you can say to me that I haven’t said to myself. And if you, too, are in this cycle — I get it — it is far easier to find faults than successes when it this mindset!
    But the main point I am getting at with all of the above was actually brought to my attention the other day by my mother. She said, aside from baseline anxiety (the hereditary, yada yada), the issue is that all of the self-talk, the introspection is essentially stemming from placing too much attention on the self. The solution, then, is to get outside of oneself. My mother made three quick suggestions that have helped me thus far with the aforementioned issue, should you need a way to get out of the rabbit hole:

    -Read the front page of the NYT to glean perspective of pressing issues (i.e. the weight of assignments vs. living everyday in a war-torn nation)

    – Help others. Volunteer at a local women’s shelter or YMCA or food bank, and in times of stress make yourself useful by tending to others’ needs.

    – Go on a walk, in nature. Crest a peak or something! Look up at the night sky! Listen to the silence of the desert or the wind in the trees! It is meditative but, like tip one, gives immense perspective as to your actual place in this huge, huge world.

    • AlexaJuno

      This is super cool of you to share and a great piece from Amelia and Leandra. My depression has recently returned in full bloom, running through my body like a destructive puppy, bringing with it all the anxiety, paranoia, and harmful inner monologues that I manage to banish periodically. While I do manage to drag myself out of bed each morning with whatever crumbs of determination I can scrape together and plan on beating this thing back (yet again. I work regularly with a therapist and try to avoid medication if I can help it. Seems like I won’t be able to for much longer), I am comforted to know that writers and thinkers like yourselves are right there with me in your own way. Let’s learn to love ourselves and take it easy while de-stigmatizing this thing. I’d love to see more mental health pieces

      • Amelia Diamond

        Hey Alexa!! Thank you for this comment, mental health pieces noted for sure. It’s something everyone struggles with but I think we’re all finally starting to talk about and find MULTIPLE, creative solutions that work for each individual –without stigma — in the same way you would if you got like, very serious headaches.

        • AlexaJuno

          Thank you for starting the discussion and your plans to continue it. These are flaws in chemistry not character. It’s an important step toward a better understanding for all.

      • Allie Fasanella

        aw Alexa I’m sorry you’re going through this. your internet friends think you’re dope! and needing medication is nothing to be ashamed about

        • AlexaJuno

          Thank you for your encouragement. I’ve had some complications with meds in the past, so the prospect is a little daunting but I’m willing to try anything that will provide some relief at this point.

          • Allie Fasanella

            ugh I feel you. that’s frustrating for sure. just do what you can to take care of yourself and keep getting out of bed. you can do it babe!

          • AlexaJuno

            Thanks girl. 🙂

          • Keep on keeping on, girl. Adjusting to medication can be a PITA, but hopefully–if necessary–you and your therapist will find the right one and the right dose. You’re not alone and you can do this! One of the things I have to repeat to myself when my inherited Anxiety disorder starts eating at me is: Everything is going to be ok. It just is.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I really like idea of getting outside yourself, emma. Thank you!!

    • I love the bit about volunteering. In high school my mom pushed me to coach for the Special Olympics, and in focusing on the athletes – teaching them, being patient when they got frustrated, and celebrating with them – I was able to get out of my head and feel like I was doing something positive for others. It was mutually rewarding! I’ve been saying I need to start coaching again…

    • Andrea Raymer

      I think I definitely struggle with being too introspective as well. Only recently have i figured out that that was what I was doing. honestly one of the most helpful prices of advice i have heard in a long time came from an old episode of the Nerdist podcast with Ethan Hawke as a guest. He talked a lot about how young people tend to get stuck in that state of mind a lot and it was only when he got a bit older that he realized that it was much easier to be happier with your place in life when you start looking more outside of yourselves. I think having anxiety around school, careers, relationships and how it is the beginning of the rest of our lives is very true for many young adults and it just isn’t acknowledged as much as it could be. What i found so comforting about that podcast was that he and Chris Hardwick are both older and have been through it and were discussing it in a way that was not at all dismissive. When I try to express these anxieties to my parents or other people that are older and wiser, my feelings are often brushed off as being silly and dramatic because I am so young and don’t have enough life experience to know better. Being told that my feelings aren’t real problems doesn’t help me feel better about them. It was great just hearing that my anxieties are normal and not an overreaction to life.

      • I think a lot of composure comes with age and experience, because you’ve been there and you know that in most cases, it’s all going to work out just fine and in retrospect maybe you didn’t need to feel so anxious; and if it doesn’t work out, well, maybe that’s ok too. I’m 38 and I definitely feel that way now. But the anxiety/Anxiety is real and present and has to be dealt with when you’re in the middle of it, and having others brush it aside as unimportant or a symptom of youth or something really isn’t constructive. I mean, in a way, it is often a symptom of youth in that when you’re young, you’re unsure of yourself and still finding your place in the world and trying to live up to all of society’s expectations–those are real things to feel anxious about. I think people are so relieved when they don’t have to deal with those anxieties anymore that they want to ignore them in others so they don’t have to relive them. After all, it’s not like ‘growing up’ and acquiring more experience does away with things to be anxious about–they just change and maybe the things you felt anxious about in your 20s feel small and insignificant compared to the now-more present anxieties of kids/marriage/financial planning/health care etc. I don’t know.

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  • CK

    Reading about others anxiety, to-do-lists and iphone addiction actually lifts some of my own anxiety. Does this make me evil? Oh and meditation in the afternoon – sounds awesome – yet a little bit trick in an open landscape office environment. And bathroom meditation at work just doesnt have that zen-feeling to it (plus I guess my co-workers would come knocking after like ten minutes).

    • Amelia Diamond

      no reading about it helps me as well because either we’re all NOT crazy or we are ALL crazy in which case, phew.

  • Quinn Halman

    For me, the anxiety comes when I cannot control an outcome and cannot foresee the results of an upcoming journey. So really, the unknown. Anxiety grows the night before a trip and when a boy hasn’t texted me back. What helps me deal with this is a hot shower because no one can disturb me and all of our best thoughts happen in the shower

  • Lucy Martin

    Wow you two win at honesty. God bless

  • MMR

    Total mind blown moment from why ‘blow outs and manicures no longer feel like me-time’—wow… I am definitely going to start forcing myself to put my iPhone away. This was inspiring, and truthfully came to read it during a high anxiety period. During my work day, I go on manrepeller at least 3 times a day, which allows me to break away from the number crunching and enjoy reading about something I truly enjoy. Thank you guys!

    • Morgan

      I agree — reading Manrepeller is a great brain escape during a busy, stressful work day!! THANKS MR

  • Is it genetic or conditioning from a young age? My mom was anxious and constantly cleaning everything. My sisters and I are ending up just like her. I KNOW that avoiding coffee and getting good sleep fixes things but it’s so hard to do. There is a horrible cycle of feeling like I need to read every article/comment/link/status before I go to bed. Then I’m up too late and too tired in the morning. So I have coffee and spend the rest of the day freaking out but not actually ever getting out of my pajamas.

  • Morgan

    I love the idea of a 24 hour phone free situation! I am going to do that! Leaving your phone behind is really calming and freeing and anxiety alleviating.

    I am in law school and I find meditation is very important to keep me sane, like most of us here, so I try to remind myself to do it every morning upon waking up: I do downward dog for 2 minutes and I set my intentions for the day. I learned this practice from my yoga instructor years ago, and I love it. It’s a great way to wake up and to motivate yourself and also a sacred mental space to forgive and love yourself and start a fresh new day, and getting a good stretch! And it’s only 2 minutes! So it could also be done in the mid afternoon, instead of a 20 minute session . . . Probably good for the bod to get out of the desk chair! Oh and I am getting my hair done on Friday, which takes an incredible 3-4 hours, and I am going to go phone free – CANT WAIT! Thanks for the tip.

  • Rachel Zuckerman

    This is everything I needed this week – thank you for calming my brain down

  • Guest

    Thank you for this!! Makes me feel like a normal person!!!

  • SAR

    As the daughter of two psychologists, their constant mantras have finally seeped into me. What finally hit home for me (after consistently thinking they were both wrong for over 20 years), is the idea of mindfulness. When you get in an anxious spiral, your brain tricks you into thinking that the anxious thoughts are real, when some might be, but often more are not.

    Being able to really be aware of WHAT you are thinking and then subsequently being able to identify if it is reality or not is one of the most important coping mechanisms I have found. It controls all the “what if” statements, since you confidently say to yourself, “that is anxiety talking, that is not real.”

    More often than not, I am able to get out of the whirlwind negative/anxious/get-me-out-of-this-situation self talk with that one sentence. Taking control of your anxiety and saying out loud that anxiety is a bully, is surprisingly powerful.

  • Caro

    OhhAmelia, paralyzing has been my go-to word for anxiety and my depression. It leaves me completely unable/afraid to make any decision- I blame it for my inability to have a college degree at 24. One of the things I’m grateful for though, is that is has forced me to drop out of college twice and leave jobs which has given me several periods of time to convalesce. I think those times are the reason why I’m able to even be alive and function.
    I’m also a huge fan of actively giving yourself a break and acknowledging accomplishing small tasks. I.e. I remembered to put my tabs on my car and was like, “my god, I deserve a fucking medal for doing this”. Do I really? Absolutely not but at least I covered the baseline requirements for a car owning person.
    I really really have to stay on top of the stories I tell myself- why I got that grade, why that fucked didn’t call me back. AND I have to both allow and accept my mood to change based on my level of anxiety. It’s there and drinking it away or diving into some new project ain’t going to take it away. I have to do the work of managing. It is work. It is work. Which is why I have such compassion for people who are crippled by it- and why I have little patience for people who clearly ignore their feelings. To be happy is work and you can tell me it’s a choice but I’ll always just laugh at your face.

  • tiffany dalton

    you guys are just awesome. and yes, meditation helps. a ton.

  • Dani Heifetz

    lol when a “24-hour technology detox” is Shabbat ; )

  • Alessandra

    The day I discovered Headspace my senior year of college (amidst graduation, competing with my peers for the same seemingly 20 jobs, and finding an apartment that wouldn’t necessitate a diet of ramen noodles exclusively) was an epiphany. It walks you through meditation and relaxation, but not in a creepy. Think of it as guided meditation. For anyone struggling with anxiety (chronic, long-term, or not), I highly encourage you to try it.

  • Bobbi Marie

    What an authentic and vulnerable piece, ladies. Mad applause for the honest and thoughtful language. Your verbalization of a sometimes vague / soul-crushing feeling is really empowering, and thereby (I think) provides a platform of connection.

  • Allie Fasanella

    I think there’s def variants and levels of anxiety. like traffic and losing stuff and worrying about getting things done and then there’s like “shit, I’m spiraling for no reason, my head is like a damn prison.” anxiety is definitely a tricky thing. I don’t worry about normal stuff like money or work, I worry about irrational, batshit crazy stuff that doesn’t matter. it’s obsessive and debilitating at times for sure. I got to a point where I was like this isn’t normal and I shouldn’t have to live like this so I chose to go on medication and I am a completely different person now. it’s honestly helped me and friends so much, but I know it’s not for everyone. reading that I’m not the only one whose mental health isn’t a hunit percent really feels good bc sometime anxiety can be a really lonely, silent battle. thanks for always keepin it real baddies

  • Alex Horton

    Very much appreciate the honesty here – I think a huge part of anxiety is the fear that others don’t have any.

    One list recommendation – I love the Kanban board method of “to-do, doing, done” columns so you can actually see your progress and the “to-do” column get smaller.

  • Andrea Raymer

    This is so comforting to read. I just spent the whole weekend stressing about UPS holding my new iPhone hostage. I got extremely upset about missing the delivery attempt on Friday and then having to go to the distribution center to pick it up only to find out that it has my dad’s name on the package and they will not release it to me without a copy of his ID. I then spent all weekend in a vicious cycle of getting really angry at UPS about the situation and then getting really angry at myself for being so angry about a stupid phone. When it all finally ended yesterday morning I was still so on edge that I burst into tears at the drop of a hat because I had spent all weekend convincing myself that the world was out to get me.

    I think throughout my life I was always so skeptical of everyone else that it has taken a while to realize that not everyone hates me and some people are trying to help me. Shocker, I know.

  • Jennifer Buso

    Sometimes I wish I could get anxious about things like traffic or keeping my apartment clean/organized. Instead I find myself becoming extremely anxious and worried about my parents getting older; a cough that my dad has (I automatically go to the worst case scenario of cancer or heart failure); whether I’ll ever have enough money to buy a house (do I really want a house?); etc etc. My mind is racing just thinking about this! It’s a very weird thing to have anxiety about situations you have zero control over, and I’m still trying to find a way to deal with it. It’s particularly bad in the fall/winter months — the impending doom/gloom of winter staring me in the face.

  • barb

    I wonder if much of this is a New York thing? Living in such a very fast paced, kill or be killed environment cant help. Also I think some of that is the natural outcome of being young, as you age I think it is easier to realize the “no one is going to die from a late bill, missed deadline etc” mentality. Aging does help you to learn to be “softer” with yourself.

  • there’s anxiety and then there’s Anxiety. Everyone deals with anxiety from time to time, or even frequently, because it’s easy to blow little things out of proportion or to worry because worry feels like you’re at least THINKING about the problem instead of ignoring it. But Anxiety as a disorder is different; you can try to medicate it and sometimes succeed. I’ve experienced both. Like Amelia said, a little stress and anxiety can actually help you get things accomplished, but Anxiety is a big crippling monster standing in your way keeping you from doing anything because you’re about to completely lose your shit (or already have). I inherited my Anxiety (thanks Mom). With regular anxiety, breaking things down into manageable bits is the best way of getting past it. And managing both it and Anxiety is so much easier with daily exercise and unplugged quiet time and enjoyable pastimes that are relaxing (yoga, hiking, reading, sewing), and also learning how to say ‘no’ to unnecessary demands on your time and emotions and energy.
    Like Leandra, I believe in the power of lists. I have lists and sub-lists and also-ran lists and addendum lists and sticky notes… that sounds a bit hectic, but writing it all down in various places and ways helps me organize my thoughts and decide what really needs to happen now, and what can happen later. I work in publishing so there’s never really a light at the end of the tunnel–at least in the office. But there is at the end of every day, because I leave work at work 99.5 % of the time. When I get in my car to go home, that’s it. No more work thinking. That’s my ‘me’ time. Work does not get any of my me time. I’ve done it the other way and the only thing that happened was burn-out and it sucked and it’s not worth it. I’m sure as hell not paid enough to burn myself out working 24/7. So non-work hours are for me and my personal pursuits. That work-life balance is critically important for reducing my anxiety and keeping Anxiety at bay.

  • sds616

    Anxiety kicks in aggressively for me when I am forced to rely on someone else to carry out a step in the long process of completing a task fully… If I can execute on my own, then at least I can ‘control the controlables’ (being my own efforts). That being said, sometimes the sheer length of the to-do lists that compose the 14-16 hours of being awake each day is enough to send me into a tailspin (which as of late, has been hitting me routinely during the 10 minutes before I get to work each day). And once I am through the door, behind my desk and starting to operate and in turn cross items off said list, the anxiety lets up. Sometimes anxiety does really fuel the fire in an okay way.

    And while phones do enable us to be more efficient via email, text messages, internet and the like, sometimes being too available or susceptible to the pleasures of social media are anxiety-ridden in and of themselves… which is why I have taken such a liking to flying for the simple fact that…. I am totally and completely unreachable. Which is an extreme (and one of the more expensive) examples of a technology detox.

    So, as with everything, balance is key. I guess anxiety can be partially quelled by staying connected, focused and fairly productive for 12-14 hours each day, and being unreachable while being present in your unreachable moments.

  • Minniem

    Thank you! Wonderful, intimate and empowering. It is kind of easier when I see that so many of us seem to have this.

  • PeachyGirl

    I love love love this post. Thank you so much. Having anxiety can make me feel so isolated, lonely, and lost in my own mind sometimes, it’s incredibly comforting to hear others stories about their anxiety. I think just talking about the anxiety helps tremendously- not letting it be this secret dark cloud over you.

    One thing I learned is to designate a regular time every day to let myself be anxious. This means that throughout the day, as I feel anxiety creeping in, I stop what I’m doing and make a list about what it is I’m worrying about (eg. Pup is way overdue for nail trimming, am I a bad parent? Do people think I’m a bad parent? What will I be like as a real human’s parent? Etc etc). Then I tell myself, “okay I’m not going to worry about this now, but I will let myself worry about it at 5pm, my designated worry time.” It takes a bit of self discipline but once you’ve got the hang of it it can really help.

    More often than not, when that designated time rolls around, I’m measurably less anxious about said anxiety inducer, and I have it written down so I know I need to deal with it head on (eg. Make appointment with groomer!).

    Thanks again for the lovely post!

  • Leah

    You guys rock and don’t forget it even when the to-do lists feel like they’re taking over.

  • Christina Johnson

    Yes to this article. I love it. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Also, riding is totally my outlet, too. My horse basically doubles as my therapist.

  • Claire

    Super helpful to somebody who also has anxiety!! this hit on a lot of stuff I could relate with. I’m a high school student, so my situations are obviously different, but the added pressure of intense homework, ACT and SAT prep, cross country, being newspaper editor, socializing, blogging can just be so crazy and send me spiraling sometimes! I need to start using some methods from this post.

  • Azemina Lucevic

    You know when you tell someone what you’re going through and they tell you of a time they went through that same thing BUT WORSE and you feel like wow, you suck more than I do. Thank you for making me feel like I am better than you at life. This is how this post made me feel.

  • Lucy Korn

    Absolutely! Whenever I feel completely overwhelmed with work/life I just take a moment to sit down and make a list of the things I need to get done in the next 12 hours, it’s never as bad as it seems in your head.

  • Jillsky

    I had chills reading this as it hit home in more ways than I can articulate. As a college student that looming endless to-do list really never ends because there is ALWAYS more studying or work or networking or internship hunting to be done. And, on top of that, you want to be social and have fun and do things that make you happy and de-stressed.
    Running every day helps keep my mood up. Also, I put my phone on airplane mode whenever I’m working so that I’m really focused and present. And, like Leandra, I have experimented a couple times with the 24 hour tech-free periods which always make me feel cleansed and great (but are hard to commit to when you have essays to write and friends that want to hang out etc.).

  • Anna

    taking the to-do list and immediately putting eveything on it in my schedule works for me. also, little trick i’ve learnt is to put things in the schedule in the past tense. i don’t really know why – it’s a little bit magic. i think it really creates the idea of that thing already being done and that’s inspiring.

  • Veevee

    We definitely get anxious in London too, trust. I never comment but this was really good, thank you. All my girlfriends suffer like this and it’s exhausting (but not the guys – do they just handle things differently or are they just not telling us?!). The phone is the biggest culprit in my opinion! Xx

  • muiringue

    For anxiety around work tasks, it really helps me to think about it like a jigsaw rather than thinking about my workload in terms of time (which tends to stress me out more). I find it helps to break tasks up into (1) stuff I can do right now, (2) stuff I can roughly outline even without all the info, and (3) stuff I can’t start without something else (notes from a supervisor, reading up more on the subject, etc). Then I write all the things that need to happen for me to make 3 into 1. Only then do I start to think about priority-ranking. As someone who gets totally paralysed in the face of mounting work, it helps me to look objectively at my workload and get started on something, anything (even if it’s only tidying up existing work). Most of my job is writing, so I realise this might not work for everyone – but I think there is something about chipping away at anxiety-inducing tasks with bite sized efforts.

    In relation to Leandra’s point about New York, I agree that anxiety worsens by living in a big city. Hectic pace aside, you face an ever-growing abundance of options for every decision you make – too much choice can be overwhelming if I’m already stressed about something else. Don’t give me 32000 options for lunch when I’ve got a looming deadline, thanks. Plus I often feel a kind of “cultural” anxiety, that I’m not making the most of living in a great city (London) because I’m not out 6 nights a week at gigs/galleries/going to the opening of pop up dog groomers etc etc etc like everyone else seems to be doing. That’s when I know it’s time to put down my Instagram-machine (who uses them for calls anymore?) and pick up the yoga mat.

    Fantastic article guys!

  • Hannah Finnigan-Walsh

    I’m gonna go ahead and leave this comment right here so you don’t feel anxious. I’ll be back at 3pm.

  • Eva Kay

    Reminded me that I actually need to stop putting off meditation and finally start doing it regularly !

    It’s actually crazy how common anxiety is nowadays… parents claim to have never had it and don’t know anyone who had experienced it while growing up (I’m thinking maybe they did but it was’t as common or prevalent and they didn’t label it as anxiety but maybe ‘stress’? However, this was also eastern Europe in the 70’s). I think its definitely more common in western societies where we work longer hours, have more debt/money stresses (even though we probably tend to earn more money than people with less anxiety living in other parts of the world), experience a lot of work stresses, and live in a fast-paced culture where everyone is always in a rush. We need to take time out of our busy schedules to sit down, relax and focus on the root of our anxiety – or just clear your mind if you can’t figure out why you’re anxious. Also meditating or just doing some simple breathing techniques – very simple but effective!

    I came across this breathing technique thing on tumblr recently:

  • a series of to-do’s that are manageable
    EXACTLY 🙂 No need to write anything down, you can just train yourself to imagine everything as a more or less complex task, separate it into smaller tasks if necessary or possible, set the order of dealing with them and relax. You know: build up your inner life situations accountant, one of those pesky personality traits that will split hairs for you – that is, analyze everything as a task, until there is only a manageable pool of small, easy task components left. Departmentalize & Enjoy.

    And ladies, it’s OK to do something silly, like “lose the wallet”. It really is OK and no, we are not too stupid to live just because of that. Life has become much more complex even during my own lifetime – no need to try to catch up with it every second.

    To be sincere: I cannot really imagine how one can suffer from angst when you have families to support you and nice people to work with (aka social nets) and you could theoretically choose to work less any time – that doesn’t mean I think your reasons for worrying are less worthy, it only means I have just realized I cannot imagine your kind of worries because I am unable to.

  • Whitney V

    Being a blooger myself, I can really relate to this! You just never stop like “normal” people who go to work and come home from work and have weekends off. We gotta be on social media, creating content, attending events, you name it, I never stop and it’s exhausting! The meditation sounds fab but as you say who has time for it lol! I suppose I should make time… i like Leandra’s Fri-Sat phone detox might try that one! Guys we need a guideline on how to meditate -Man Repeller pls come to my rescue!


  • This was a really insightful read! I personally make a to-do list every morning when I get to work, and I don’t feel particularly bad if I don’t finish it. I just chuck the undone stuff in the next day’s list.

    It’s funny, because I used to be so stressed in college. Everything and anything made me freak out and have panic attacks (and cry in the shower). But now I just tell myself “it’s work, I’m not going to kill myself for someone else to get richer”. And since I started working out, I realize taking care of myself has also improved my productivity and mood.

  • Liz Tafaro

    this is great. comforting to know everyone goes through it — even more
    comforting to know relief exists and little things can help diffuse

    you guys rule.

  • Alyssa Lindaas

    I really appreciate that you guys have started this conversation. Anxiety sucks, it sucks to experience and it sucks the life out of you. I know the exact feeling you’re talking about, awake in the fetal position, unable to move or get out of bed, brain spinning into oblivion with the “what ifs” and “oh shits”…

    I have a lot of compassion for the ladies out there keeping it real and killing the fashion/blogging/professional whatever game in cities like New York and LA. After graduating school in 2011 I took a long look at myself and my aspirations, took a deep breath and shook my head. I was almost one of you, but my soul said no. I moved to Boulder, Colorado to pursue my dreams in the mountains and figure out why the flip I was so anxious all the time.. Let’s say it was a spiritual journey to get back where I started, and do the same things I always knew I was meant to do, but for a different, more fulfilling purpose. You see, I work in fashion too, but I had to figure out why I needed to be around beautiful clothing all the time. Why that mattered so much. WHY THAT WAS A REASON TO GET OUT OF BED (and not stay there curled in the fetal position sucking my thumb worrying crying panicking).

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you ladies are doing with MR. Its real, its quirky, its relatable and different. And its still FASHION. I respect this blog over many other perspectives, because I can truly feel that you’re being yourselves. and its BEAUTIFUL! You’re on the forefront of the revolution, pat yourselves on the back and give yourselves a break. Everyone is human, everyone has a to do list, and everyone deserves some self care and nurturing before they implode, or worse, fall ill with some stress borne illness (like cancer, which is super real and caused by stress and other yucky things).

    I have some coping mechanisms I discovered during my 3 year long spiritual retreat in the rockies, and I will share them below, because I love you and I want you to be happy!

    1. COFFEE. I love it. I drink it daily. Its the Yin to my Yang (literally, in energetic terms). But coffee is anxiety’s number one homegirl. The energetic spikes that coffee creates (you know, when your mind races and you feel like a superhero) also cause crashes where you feel like sludge, and such. I know you know this feeling. So, instead, when I’m feeling angsty, my most preferred coffee alternative is (dah day daaah) YERBA MATE. Its an amazing, super powered, hella strong, green tea from the amazon that I’m pretty sure indigenous people discovered and used to awaken the Amazon !!! It tastes like grass, so add honey – maybe even milk if you want a latte; and soar my pretty birds, soar into oblivion on the never ending, never wavering, stream of superhuman energy you will undoubtedly experience while sipping this stuff (and many hours after you finish that cup). Mate doesn’t have a fatal crash, its smooth like barbasol (oh yeah!) and it doesn’t let you down. I’ll also brew it with some other floral teas (like lavender or rose) for extra flavor and also the cheery glow flowers give me. Anxiety be gone, you’ll never be tired again. Cant get stuck in bed with anxiety if you never lie down. Shop:

    2. SALT. Epsom salt to be exact. Buy it at the drug store. Put it in the bath with hot water ( and some essential oils if you’ve got em) and put yourself in the bath. Go all the way in for a second so your head is underwater. Come up for air, sit, relax, clean under your toe nails, do nothing, shave your legs, do nothing. Epsom salts diffuse negative energy, when you put them in the bath and then put yourself in the bath they will diffuse the negative right out of you. Plus its nice when you’ve been fighting traffic, cold weather, rain, a deadline, or any other city life nonsense. You can even drink wine in the bath while you’re there with the epsom salts. OR use the extra salt to rim the glass of they margarita you’re drinking while you’re in the bath with Epsom. This works, I promise. And if you take an Epsom salt bath before bed, I bet you’re head will be so clear that you can sleep and wake up without feeling like a crippled toddler. Shop:

    3. SAGE. White sage is like epsom salt, except you don’t have to get wet to relish in its bad vibe repelling qualities. You just light it on fire and poof, all the negative, stressful, icky, self doubty feelings float away through the smoke. You can do a dance with it, you can get a pretty dish to set it in, you can burn it in the office. Its amazing, and has been used for centuries in sacred ceremonies all over the world to bring in the good feels and whoosh away anything not so good in the atmosphere, ya hear! Sage yourself, sage your dog, sage your assistant, it works like a charm every time. I know Amelia was wondering how to work in a meditation in the afternoon. Sage is the perfect ally for that, just take one small leaf of it, light it and let it burn. Do nothing but watch the smoke, and when its done, so is your meditation. Unless you want another piece, get it girl, you think those peaceful thoughts. Shop:

    4. MOVEMENT. I read you gals are all about working out as a form of self care. Kudos, you’ve got it. But you don’t have to go to the gym to bust a move. Why not put on a piece of music and have a mid day dance party once in a while. Or how about a group stretch at MR HQ ( or a solo stretch behind your desk for that matter). Taking moments of stressfulness, allowing your body to recognize that it is uncomfortable because of the way your mind is racing, and then allowing your body to release that stress that its storing for your mind is something you can do any time. Stand up, bend over and touch your toes, or the floor, or your shins (whatever, we’re not all yogis) and shake your head no at the things you’re letting go of. Then shake your head yes at the things you say yes to. Then stand up and reach toward the ceiling. Go get a cup of MATE and continue about your suddenly less overwhelming day. yay!

    5. BREATH. There are a lot of breathing techniques that can pull us out of stressful moments. My favorite is easily accessible and reasonably subtle to be preformed on the subway or in a meeting. Its called alternate nostril breathing and it helps connect the left and right sides of your brain to ensure everything is happening cohesively up there. It also does a bunch of other amazing things. Here’s a link to a how to:

    6. POT. Yea, I said it. Good old mary jane. People have been using it for anxiety for ages. I know, i know, Carrie got arrested for smoking a doob on the street corner, and its not legal in NYC yet, but I have seen HIGH MAINTENANCE on vimeo, not to mention Mara Hoffman’s Willie Nelson inspired show at NYFW, so I feel like this could potentially be relevant to you. Marijuana, in the proper strain and dosage, has amazing healing benefits. It can calm you down, it can make you laugh and it can make food taste like you’ve been fasting any day (even if you haven’t). Not advocating that you break the law, but if you find yourself on the verge of a anxious breakdown and in walks Mr. Jointy Joint, perhaps give it a try. Even better if its Sunday afternoon and you feel Monday creeping in with an assault rifle. Take a toke, and chill for a second. Marijuana is great for inducing meditation and allowing you to identify your emotions for what they really all, feelings and reactions to the world around you. Its also good for allowing you to let go of those emotions and recognize what is good in the world, which is most things. its not the same for everyone, but medicinal marijuana is a thing for a reason.

    7. HUGS. A twelve second hug cues your brain to release serotonin, your natural happy chemical. You can hug anyone, for 12 seconds, and it works the same, but bonus points if you actually like the person. Try it today!

    Anywhoo I hope this list is helpful. Let me know if you try any of these intentionally listed tips. Especially if they work. And hey, chill the fuck out for a minute, its just fashion. 😉

    Love you!

    Keep up the amazing and inspiring work. And remember to take care of yourselves. WE care about you.


  • Hava Skovron

    You two are the best, and doing a damn fine job of balancing it all! The only reason I don’t read Man Repeller at 3pm (or 24/7) is that I’m trying to find some balance too! Keep on keeping on sista’s!

  • Thank you for this xx

  • ferrisienne

    I am so glad that I took time from my busy/stressful day to read this post. It makes me feel better knowing that you guys are going through the same thought process as me, especially about feeling like an inadequate person even before getting started…it is so crippling.
    This has given me a new perspective. Great post.
    And for the record, I have been reading Man Repeller for years (like blogspot era) and this is the first time I have commented!
    Thank you!

  • kelleylynn

    Needed this today, y’all.

    I’m gonna go make a list.

  • Katie

    For some reason knowing that other people are going through/have gone through the same thing as you is reassuring. I’m not sure what it is about knowing that you’re not alone in emotions that almost always feel isolating and lonely that makes them seem easier to deal with. But that’s what this article did for me. I agree that it seems everyone has “anxiety” these days. But instead of being frustrated by that perhaps trying to understand what we all do that could be the possible root of this universal anxiety is the solution…in addition to doing everything on that never ending to-do list.

  • Donna

    Hi Guys, Donna here!

    As the great prophet (my therapist) once bluntly told me, “Anxiety is experiencing future pain in the present, and WHY would you want to do that?”

    It is definitely something that clicked with me and I try to remind myself when I spiral, that I am not totally powerless and can reframe things a bit.

    Miss U !

  • Catalina

    my current anxiety: trying to find an outfit for a wedding in Woodstock that will be held in a barn……. ::breathes a deep inhale & exhale::

  • thebalancingunicorn

    TIP! When you feel like you are not accomplishing much on your to-do list, or things are simply going slowly, make another one or add the simply the things that you have already done; like getting out of bed, brushed your teeth, ate breakfast… Crossing them off will make you feel better!

    @Leandra, I might be misinterpreting when you said, “I so miss the days when I had no responsibility but to just write what I was thinking,” but I just wanted to say that if you feel like you need to “cater to what the people want to read” rather than what you want to share with the world (this happened to me), YOU DO YOU BOO!

    Totally get that MR not only is a super cool site but it is also a super cool business, so if once a week rather than one of the planned posts you just want to sit and write literally anything hit us up with it, i’ll be happy to read it!

    • thebalancingunicorn

      I don’t know if i was misinterpreting things but regardless, YOU DO YOU BOO, because we love it, XX.

  • Kristi

    I could relate to SO much of this. I said “preach emoji” just about eleventy times as I read through this. What’s worse is instead of dealing with it, I just instantly want to “sleep it off”…there’s not enough coffee in the world that can get me through my massive anxiety phases and getting up and back into a routine of eating well and exercising just feels like the most exhausting idea in the world.

  • b.e.g.

    I bring on anxiety when I procrastinate. When I waste time doing something not on my to-do list (like online shopping, spending an entire day looking for the silver pumps that model was wearing when I don’t even know the brand name!!). When I respond to the needs of others (things on their to-do list). And so on. It’s like when we plan an excursion for a group, and we don’t build in time to pee. We always need to build in time to do unplanned things. So when you tackle your to-do list, it may seem like you haven’t got time for it all, but you will if you build in time. Usually I underestimate how much time something will actually take to do. And I take twice as long as anyone else to do even simple tasks, mostly because I am super anal and I check things over and over until my mind registers that it is okay to let it go, and still I check it once more. Plus I am the worst procrastinator I know. Sucks being me.

  • Nechama Leah Kay

    One thing that can help a lot is the system of Getting Things Done. See the book Getting Things Done by I forget his name or watch his TED lecture. Super hard to commit to at first but it can change your life because it’s getting rid of all the clutter running around in your mind (it’s running, and shouting to make sure you don’t forget it. Because it CANNOT be forgotten or you might get evicted from your appartment or lose you job) out and into a reliable system that isn’t your mind so you can let gox trust the system and mono-task. Because that’s what we’re all best at and happiesst doing anyhow.
    And also, Leandra, I think it’s awesome Shabbat is helping. I wouldn’t trade Shabbat for therapy or anything else. I love it 🙂

  • Adardame

    If I don’t comment on your post at 3pm on a Wednesday it’s because my son started pounding on the keyboard whilst I was trying to think of something impressive-sounding to type, and I gave up. But I was totally reading it.

  • Caroline Connelly

    TRUTH. How did we get to the point as a culture where we need to set up away messages when grabbing lunch?

  • Anne

    I have spent my whole life with an anxiety disorder. As a kid, my mom tried every method under the sun to try and help me. From self-help books, to herbal medicine, I’ve really tried everything. Nothing ever eliminated my anxiety though, and that’s something that I have learned to deal with. Even on medication, my anxiety will never be fully gone. I still feel anxious walking into class or having to raise my hand. But, I have spent my whole life learning to cope. Now I have come to learn what personally works for me when I feel anxious. Often this includes me taking “time-out.” Simple deep breaths do wonders too. I’ve come to find that feeling unprepared is my major trigger, so I work to avoid that feeling as much as possible. Honestly, not everything will work for everyone. There isn’t a a “cure-all” for feelings of anxiety. I know because I’ve been searching for one my whole life. The best thing to do, in my experience, is to find out what works for yourself. I recommend hot yoga! I know a lot of people hate being sweaty (including myself) but after you try it a couple times you learn to love it!

  • kevynryan
  • Laura Beth

    Giving up coffee has definitely helped me. Decaf (which isn´t actually completely caffeine free) is now very effective because my body is less sensitive to caffeine now, so I save that for those big days when I really need it. On a daily basis, I am drinking tea, and that simply just doesn´t give me the anxiety that coffee had been. It was a big revelation for me. And yes, I was a BIG coffee head.

  • Inés

    GREAT article! it came just at the right time. Thanks MR!!

  • Megan Y

    I just read this today. It just means you ladies are geniuses 😉

  • Phoebe Nyria

    One of the things really positive things psychology is looking more and more at is mindfulness and the recognition that you are not your thoughts. It is similar to meditation but there is no active effort to empty your mind, just sort of step back from it.
    One of my favourite things to do when I can find the time (or I am in the midst of a particularly bad panic/stomach knot/spiralling thought pattern) is to take 10 minutes to practice mindfulness. There are lots of great apps (Headspace, Smiling Mind) that will walk you through these steps but it largely starts with closing your eyes and concentrating on your breathing (like I said, it’s very meditative/yoga-esque). Then the idea is to try and see the thoughts in your mind as clouds floating above you. “What did she mean by not inviting me?” “Am I smothering my cat?” “Will the landlord accept an Irish dancing jig this month instead of ca$h?” “I really should practice my French more”. And you try to watch this thoughts float by you, without getting involved in them. Don’t explore them, don’t attach emotion to them, just watch them float by and recognise that they are there. Not hurting anyone and certainly not solving any problems by just existing.
    And also don’t apply a positive or negative value to them. Try to think of them as non-valuable – they are just thoughts and having them or not having them doesn’t make you a good or bad person.
    It takes time to get better at it and in the beginning it is really difficult to get your mind to not attach to the different thoughts. But that’s okay too. Don’t be hard on yourself for not being able to slow down – you’ve spent your life doing the opposite.
    It’s a little meta when you start to think about it – looking in on your own thoughts as somewhat of an objective observer – but when you can separate the emotional and physical parts of anxiety from the thoughts, you start to recognise what you are thinking and perhaps the external cues that spring the negative spiralling.
    These guys are great >>

  • PCE

    I have dealt with anxiety – specifically, panic attacks – for about five years now, and they began while I was studying for the bar exam. I noticed that they occurred most frequently when I was not only trying to balance the 75,000 things every other 20 to 30 something NYer is, but that I was also working at a job that I absolutely hated (like Sunday-night-stomach-pains-hate). Now that I’ve found a position in a firm where I’m actually able to BREATH for a minute without someone attempting to decapitate me (figuratively), my panic attacks have all but disappeared (still take Xanax when I fly, though). Before, while at said horror-job, no amount of meditation, yoga or therapy could pull me from my funk… I couldn’t even take the subway, for heaven’s sake! Now that my work life has improved, yoga and therapy have helped immensely because I am no longer tense and on edge 24/7, and I can allow the benefits of these things to really sink in without resisting them with the negative thinking and mindset I had before.

  • Man Repeller Fan

    You guys are amazing. I love this blog, and this post as an example is just fantastic. Huge fan. Keep up the awesome work! Love from England!