Yes You Feel Anxious, and Yes, You're Going to Be Okay

Happy Monday! *eye roll*

Okay . . . more like, “Great. It’s Monday.” I feel you.

Monday – the official cue for the weekend being over. And, for a lot of folks, it’s the cue for the beginning of another long work week and pile of “to-do’s.” No wonder Mondays are known for being the day of the week where anxiety is at its peak.

How many of you start your week off with a million thoughts racing through your mind? *raises hand* The laundry list of things to get done, dreading that work meeting, feeling like you’re not doing enough, re-playing last week’s embarrassing conversation in your mind, not knowing what to focus on or where to go from here. . .

Then comes the cascade of even more anxiety-provoking thoughts: “Whoa, am I anxious! Wait . . . why am I so anxious all the time?” and then, guess what? We feel more anxious about the fact that we’re feeling anxious.

Great. Hello Monday. Hello anxiety.

I’d like to send you a message to help you start your week on a less anxious, more calm note: yes you feel anxious, and yes, you’re going to be okay.

If your knee-jerk response was, “I am totally not okay Chelsey, you don’t know what you’re talking about!” — I get it. Anxiety is sneaky like that.  

The reason why the statement “you’re anxious, and you’re going to be okay” doesn’t make much sense for us is because anxiety tricks us into thinking we’re not okay. Our thoughts often trick us into thinking that things aren’t going to be okay, and that that things will never be okay. But anxiety is a liar (straight up), and it’s really good at tricking us into thinking things that just simply aren’t true.

“You’re going to be okay”. . . does this mean that everything in life is going to go your way? No. Does this mean that nothing bad is ever going to happen again? No. Does this mean that you’re not going to feel anxious this week? No. In fact, things aren’t always going to go your way; bad things will happen from time to time; and you will feel anxious at some points this week (even the Dalai Lama experiences anxiety — I think?).

Just give yourself permission to feel anxious without being too hard on yourself. Remind yourself that you’re going to be okay in spite of feeling anxious, and feel free to try out the calming exercises below to help bring yourself back into balance.

Here’s a quick 20-second exercise to help take things down a notch as you start out your week: 

  1. Take a deep breath in.

  2. Hold.

  3. Deep breath out (sloooooowly — as if you’re exhaling a long, deep sigh).

  4. Release your shoulders.

  5. Unclench your jaw.

  6. Close your eyes and just slowly breathe in and breathe out again.

Ahhhh. Nice, right? The awesome thing is, you can do this at any time, and it only takes a few seconds. And here’s a list of helpful self-reminders for the week:

  • “This is only temporary.”

  • “I am not my anxiety.”

  • “I’ve gotten through this before, and I will get through this again.”

  • “I’m exactly where I need to be right now.”

Feel free to choose one and have it be your mantra this week. You may even want to jot one down on a post-it note and stick it on your fridge, notebook, door, bathroom mirror, car dashboard — anywhere you can easily see it throughout the day.  Another idea is to look up the chosen quote in Google Images and saving it as your phone screen so you have a quick feel-good reminder anytime you go on your phone this week.

If you’d like to get some extra support in learning how to manage anxiety, read more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in St. Paul, MN, or feel free to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation with me so we can connect and see if therapy is right for you.

Chelsey Wirtz