Peace for Times of Panic

My goodness, this pandemic is still on-going, and we are all adjusting and adapting to our new normal. We are now 90+ days away from the next general election. The protests for equality and justice are still making headlines. The second economic relief stimulus is currently actively being negotiated and atop all of that Texas had it’s first active hurricane. The most recent debate is whether it is safe for our children to return to school. Agreeing to return our children to school while the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increases is a looming decision, and each family should do what is best for their household.  I received a notice from my children’s school saying that they would be returning in August. My husband and I are quite apprehensive about sending our children back because they are both asthmatic. My youngest son has expressed some concerns about returning to school. This past month Harris County moved to the highest threat level due to hospitals nearing capacity for ER beds, my husband was sent to the ER from the urgent care clinic, and I had a full-on panic attack.

There are no shortages in things going on, and with added stressors, things can become overwhelming quickly. I consider myself to be of a healthy mind, most of the time. Having a panic attack this weekend was my queue that I had been dealing with a great deal and that I needed to offload things that were not serving me.

(I would like to add this disclaimer; I am not a medical professional. This information is not being shared as medical guidance and should not be deemed as such. Please seek medical attention should you find yourself experiencing symptoms of a panic attack.)

I was a little anxious after learning that I would have to attend an in-person workshop but felt better knowing that the safety guidelines would be enforced. I arrived at my meeting, the organizer took my temperature, and I sat at the back of the room nearest the exit door. I was fine until the others attending the conference started moving around the room. But when they began removing their masks to speak, I became utterly distracted. I stepped into the hallway to calm my nerves but was concerned that I’d miss the information that I needed for testing, so I returned to the room quickly. Upon returning, I noticed that there was still too much movement in the room for my comfort. I stepped out again. For the life of me, I could not remember my strategies. I decided that I should probably sit in my car to be away from people. That’s when I remembered what I needed to do.

1.  Run for cover! I did not expect the other people in attendance to understand what I was experiencing. How could they? I had never shared my concerns with them.  Moving to a space that felt safe to me was the only way to calm my anxiety immediately.

2. Get my bearings! Whenever I find myself in situations like this, I don’t recognize any of my surroundings. It was almost like I didn’t drive myself to the event. To get my bearings, I rely on all my other senses because my eyes deceive me. I start by closing my eyes and counting to 10. I ask myself the following:

a. What can you smell?

b. What can you hear?

c. What can you feel?

These questions help me gather focus for the next step.

3. Affirm the moment! The German philosopher, Frederich Nietzsche, wrote:

“ If we affirm one moment, we thus affirm not only ourselves but all exisitence. For nothing is self-sufficient, neither in us ourselves nor in things; and if our soul has trembled with happiness and sounded like a harp string just once, all eternity was needed to produce this one event- and in this single moment of affirmation all eternity was called good, redeemed, justified and affirmed.”  

I interpreted the quote to mean to be present in your current state of mind and is the best step. Unlike a positive affirmation, which I also use frequently, affirming the moment is when one acknowledges that everything we can see and feel can be used to assist you in finding your way back to peace.  

Think about that! 

Now, get you some peace.

More Later!

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