Do you have anxiety? Panic attacks? Feel like you need to put your head between your legs 15 minutes into your day? There is help. That help is the Panic Prevention Program. Do this as follows and your life will get better, you will walk around smiling at perfect strangers, and focusing on the day ahead of you won’t feel like an insurmountable task.
Snooze or don’t snooze your alarm an hour before your kids have to get up (depending on if you fell asleep on the couch during Brian Williams because you were too tired to stay up for Rachel or you binge watched three episodes of your new Netflix obsession and went to bed after 11).
Have an uninterrupted conversation with your significant other which entails asking how you slept, discussing various aches and pains, and expressing outrage over the state of the country.
Let your dogs out before they pee right at the door and feed them before their barking wakes up the kids.
Make your bed so at least one room in the house looks semi clean and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Pour Cheerios in a bowl even though you really want Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch. Put all the ingredients for your smoothie (frozen fruit, spinach, almond milk, almond milk yogurt, tumeric for inflammation, and chia seeds because you read it was good for you but can’t remember why) into your Ninja single serving container. Wait to blend until after you have given the wake up call to your precious angels and hit power when they won’t listen.
This first step of the program gives you time to handle all parents’ weekday favorites: Temper tantrums, sleepiness (see smoothie blending), excuses, and most of all-the FIGHTING.
If this proves successful for you and you are left with time to spare, throw a rager because who am I kidding there will be no time to spare
Mid Morning to Afternoon:
Get a jump start on that traffic if you have to drive to work. Play some music on the radio, Spotify, Pandora, Sirius, or Apple (what a time to be alive!). Try not to bang your head on the steering wheel more than three times to prevent a concussion because Bob, Amanda, Taylor, and Carol don’t know how to effing merge or use a turn signal. Take deep breaths when you start to think about how it takes 45 minutes to go 13 miles in rush hour traffic. Roll down the window for some air when you fast forward to the afternoon when you get to do this again.
Work from home? Go out for a walk before you get down to business. Soak up that weather, admire simple things like the old trees that line the neighborhood streets, and run past the house that looks like Rebecca Romijn’s character from Friends lives there and you want to pull a Monica and ask if you can clean it up “just a little bit”.
Have time for a workout? You better. Endorphins and being physically fit can keep those demon thoughts away. We aren’t getting any younger and taking care of ourselves only extends our life expectancy, even in a country where Trump is president (gotta be ready for that impeachment party, AM I RIGHT?).
Writing is a key part of the panic prevention program. Putting the weight of your thoughts onto paper releases their power and locks the door on the demons. You will be lighter, happier, and an overall nicer person.
Afternoon to dinner:
You tell yourself you can edit a post, do some research, or maybe just sneak in a Duolingo lesson while the kids are doing homework. 95% of the time those good intentions are drop kicked outside the field goal post. But if your work gets done in the morning, that’s okay. You can keep your kids on task (preferably in separate rooms because again, FIGHTING), prepare for dinner, possibly start laundry, and maybe that Spanish lesson will happen.
Evening to Bedtime:
Want some family time before the kids go to bed? Try yoga. It will calm your body and mind to help you sleep better. And even though the kids will giggle and complain at first, you are doing something together that will help each of you in its own way.
Once the kids are asleep (or at least in bed), you can now look forward to watching a show or movie with your partner. Five minutes later you will be passed out on the couch in a position that will be sure to make your neck hurt tomorrow. The anxiety will be there tomorrow but all that matters now is SLEEP.