Today I struggled with an extremely bad headache. I went to bed and laid for four hours and woke up with the same headache. I decided to get up get myself some food and try to take some medication for the pain. That still did not work I laid down for an additional two hours and woke up feeling slightly better. As soon as I felt slightly better I immediately thought”let me get up and be productive and find something to do.”
I then had to stop myself and remember that I needed all the energy that I had for the rest of the day. I hugged the little girl inside of me and reminded myself that my productivity was not a reflection on my value or worth.
You see when you grow up being told that you need to be doing some thing and if you were not doing something/being productive that there was something wrong with you. You are being told that lack of productivity is associated with “bad” qualities, being talked down too and made to feel guiltily or even fear punishment, it creates the cycle of feelings of pressure, overwhelmed and out of control. All of these emotions can create anxiety in children that can continue on to high functioning anxiety in adulthood.
If this sounds like you, here are 4 things you can do:
1. Stop. Stop the thought, look around at your surroundings,
2. Look. Look around at your surroundings,
3. Listen. Listen to what your body is telling you and how it is feeling.
4. Feel.Take some deep breathes through your nose and out through your mouth. Try putting one hand on your heart and one on your stomach to feel your breathes. Wanna step it up a notch? Try the DBT ( dialectical behavior therapy) skill of holding something cold in your hand. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) to kick in, which functions to relax us and calm us down. You will notice immediate results.
After trying these skills I placed my hands around myself and pictured my younger self. I kissed her on the foreheadhead and told her rest. I followed up with some positive self talk and laid down. I then relayed this mantra “i know that my worth is not defined by my productivity.”