So today I went down to the park with my cute as a (vintage) button 18 month old. I noticed that as he got out of the stroller he was so excited. It must have felt nice for him to go for a little exploration after his nap at home and a bit of quiet play time.
As I watched him climb up the stairs of the little cubby he’d go up to the slide look at it and then hide inside the cubby and start calling out to me ‘Hello? Hello?’
I offered the wee little boy a hand and he accepted it graciously and went down the slide.
He then wandered around the park while I sat on the swing. Then of course he wanted to come onto the swing next to me.
Pointing at the swing and grunting ‘there, there’ and knowing full well how much he hates swings, I still put him into it. Then the squealing began and the wriggling out of his seat.
He then proceeded to pick up sticks and throw chip bark around.
Anxiety can be a bit like a toddler.
Some days you feel cooped up so you think ‘heck. I need to get out for a stroll.’
Then you get there and you feel excited but then anxiety asks a lot of questions ‘Hello? Hello? Can you hear me? Can you see me hiding in this little cubby house nice and cosy. Oh I want to come out but I need help. I need you to hold my hand and help me get to the bottom of the slide.’
Then because you’ve tried it, you give up for now and then start throwing sticks and chip bark around because it feels good.
Anxiety requires you to get out of your comfort zone.
To unbuckle the seatbelt of your stroller and stop being pushed around by it.
To get excited by what you see around you, have a go, and then squeeze yourself out of the swing when it’s getting just a bit too much (cause you know, that is totally ok).
Other times it just feels good to get anxiety out of your system. To throw sticks and chip bark.
I mean it’s frustrating right? You feel like you just can’t shake that heart thumping feeling in your throat and the million questions that pepper your mind, trying to season your spirit but all the while it’s all too much, it’s now too spicy and you just got to sneeze.
Anxiety is like a toddler.
:: Sometimes you need to run off your anxious energy and other times you just need a nap.
:: Sometimes you need to call out for help and other times you need to accept a hand for help.
:: Sometimes you need to hop into the swing even though it scares you but recognise it’s ok to get out when you’ve had enough.
:: And sometimes it’s ok to get the frustration of anxiety out of your system by throwing some sticks and chip bark around (or exercise/art therapy/journal).
Keep exploring the park (your mind) where your anxiety lies. Who knows what new adventure it could take you on once you open up to the possibilities of going down the slide once you simply just receive someone’s hand to help you.
Everybody with anxiety has felt uncomfortable at some stage.
What if you could soothe your anxiety? Even close your eyes and feel it in its entirety, the swirls, the fast heart beat and the noise. Then imagine yourself soothing yourself even. Can you put your arms around her? Can you let the tears out and be ok with the fact that anxiety is a part of your life for now? Can you commit to feeling the fear of anxiety and making little steps each day, heck each minute even?
Acknowledge the toddler within you. Allow her to throw the chip bark and the sticks (to feel anxiety) but when you’re ready (just like Flynn, my 18th month old did), climb up into the stroller and admit you just need someone to give you a little push to help you get back home.
Are you ready dear one?
How can you soothe the toddler within? Commit below I’d love to hear from you.
If you need help getting up into the stroller after chucking a massive anxiety tanty (that’s slang for tantrum) then get on a call with me: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out how to work through what caused your anxiety tantrum and have ways to help you feel calm and collected. You are so worth it.
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