116 Transcript: Accepting & Reframing Anxiety

Episode 116

Accepting & Reframing Anxiety

with Becky Higgins & Becky Proudfit of Cultivate a Good Life Podcast

Listen to the episode and see the show notes at: https://3in30podcast.com/captivate-podcast/116-accepting-reframing-anxiety-becky-higgins-becky-proudfit


Rachel Nielson: As mothers, most of us face some stress, worry, and overwhelm every day–that’s just sort of the nature of caring for other humans and managing all of the moving parts of family life. But when do the everyday stressors of motherhood cross over into the realm of anxiety? And do you have to have a formal diagnosis in order to own that you’re struggling with this? 


Sometimes anxiety manifests as racing thoughts or a racing heart–sometimes it’s obsessing over decisions that deep down your rational mind knows doesn’t matter that much–or sometimes it’s just an uneasy feeling that you’re forgetting something or something isn’t right, all day long every day.


For many of us, anxiety like this, whether it’s big and diagnosed or small and annoying, can feel so debilitating and unwanted, but is there a way to reframe it and see some unexpected gifts within these uncomfortable feelings? 


Today, I have the honor of interviewing two mothers whom I deeply admire, Becky Higgins and Becky Proudfit, the dynamic hosting duo behind the popular podcast, Cultivate A Good Life. Although I’ve known of these women for quite some time, I didn’t actually know them personally until they started their podcast just over a year ago. And that’s when our professional worlds sort of collided and they have become dear friends and colleagues to me.


You may recognize the name, Becky Higgins from the memory-keeping industry where she’s been a leader and innovator since 1996 through her scrapbooking system called Project Life, which has now become an amazing app. And Becky Proudfit joined the Becky Higgins’ Brand several years ago due to her brand training work with Walt Disney Company. And together they launched their incredible podcast where they encourage women to be brave, creative, vulnerable, and connected and to create their best lives possible. Their listeners affectionately call them “Becky Squared” or “The Beckys,” and it’s such an honor to have them here today to talk with us. So Becky Squared, welcome to 3 in 30 .


Becky Proudfit : Thank you!


Becky Higgins: Wow. We are almost tearing up a little bit by that intro. Rachel, thank you so much for sharing that the way that you did. 


Rachel Nielson: Oh, well I tell people all the time when they ask me about who I’ve met through podcasting, I’m like, “Some of my favorites are the Beckys. They are so genuine, so down-to-earth.” You’ve had this big success within your industry, and you’re still just so genuine and generous, and I’ve just loved getting to know you. It’s been such an honor, and now I’m so excited to talk to you on my podcast.


Becky Higgins: Well the feeling is very mutual, and you know that, and we have so enjoyed connecting–and not just professionally but on a personal level. We’ve shared this with you, but for your listeners to know: Becky and I have such a kinship and connection with you, Rachel, just from a human level of just who you are and how you exist and how you operate in life, forget about work. It just resonates with us deeply, and we just love you for being willing to share what you feel called to share.


Rachel Nielson: Well thank you so much. And when we talked about doing this episode, there were so many different directions we could have gone: we could’ve talked about the importance of memory keeping, which is obviously really important to both of you, or building a business while being a mom, because Becky Higgins has three kids and Becky Proudfit has four kids–so you two ladies certainly know a few things about juggling life and motherhood and work–and yet this topic of everyday anxiety is what you chose to focus on. And I wanted to start by asking, why this? Why is this topic so important that you wanted to talk to the 3 in 30 community about it?


Becky Proudfit : Well, I think that particularly this everyday anxiety has kind of been a sticky point for both of us, but we only kind of came to that realization…well, for Becky Higgins, it was just in the past year, and for me, I hadn’t really had myself diagnosed with postpartum anxiety until my fourth child. And it was something that I dealt with on an almost everyday level, particularly during the childbearing years and when my kids were younger. But it was something that I didn’t really deal with, and I didn’t even realize was a part of my life until much later. And so I think conversations like these are so important for helping people to identify what they’re feeling so that they’re able to get the help that they need.


Rachel Nielson: Yeah, it’s so important. And I feel like this is a great lead in to your first takeaway, hearing a little bit about how both of you had experience with anxiety long before you knew that you had experience with anxiety. So can you tell us your first takeaway?


Becky Proudfit: Sure, so our first takeaway is, “Yes, it really is anxiety.” This kind of came because, like I said, I experienced anxiety and particularly clinical postpartum anxiety, and I had no idea. The thoughts that went through my head were, “No one else feels this way. I wish I could just handle my life better. I need to be more organized and then I wouldn’t feel this way. Why am I always scrambling as a mother?” And it really kind of brought me to my knees because I was internalizing it that I was a bad mom and that I was a bad person or I wasn’t enough because I was feeling so anxious all the time. And sometimes naming the beast and knowing exactly what you’re dealing with helps you to separate it out. So no, you are not your anxiety. But yes, it really is anxiety, and it’s something separate from you. Once you can kind of separate from that a little bit you’re able to get the help that you need. For me, that meant, I sought help from my OBGYN first and from a secondary doctor a few months later, and I was able to get on some medication that got me over the hump of the really intense period of anxiety, and I was able to figure out some things that work to keep me mentally healthy and keep me off that anxious track.


Becky Higgins: I think it’s also worth mentioning that both of our experiences with it are very personal and individual, of course–but you know, for a minute there, after I had dealt with some things that surfaced for me, I was hesitant to share about it because I felt like I wasn’t worthy to even open my mouth because this wasn’t like a debilitating, lifelong struggle that was diagnosed. And so that is what I think we want to really emphasize here in saying, “Yes, it really is anxiety.” That does not mean it has to be a diagnosis. It doesn’t mean that it has to be this huge, massive thing that you’ve been dealing with for years. 


And Rachel, Becky and I both give you and your sister such major kudos for addressing it more at that level with the couple of episodes that you guys did about mental illness in motherhood because that needs to be talked about, and you did it so well. You did it really, really well. That is going to resonate with a lot of people who struggle in that way, at that level. But our point here is you can be without diagnosis, without this deep dark cloud looming over your head every single day,and still acknowledge for yourself, “Okay, I have some anxiety. That’s what this is.” And like Becky said, name the beast. Like give it a name and identify it so that you can then work forward.


Rachel Nielson: Absolutely. So how do you know that it is anxiety? Like what does it feel like? I think for some women who this is their everyday norm, they may not even know that they’re struggling with it. So can you describe what it has felt like for both of you?


Becky Proudfit: So the first time that I had a panic attack, I didn’t realize I was having a panic attack. It felt like a really scary, out-of-control, almost out-of-body experience, where I couldn’t tell you what exactly was wrong, but I couldn’t stop crying. Sometimes when I have panic attacks, I go extremely inward. I don’t want to talk to anybody. I want to be alone in a room, like I want sensory deprivation. It’s that feeling of having a pit in your stomach that you may have felt many times in your life, but it just won’t go away, and you can’t really identify what it’s about. Panic attacks, if you don’t know what you’re experiencing, can really range from just feeling like really out of control, really sad, to like literally mimicking the symptoms of a heart attack or something that feels a lot, lot scarier than it is. Beck, do you want to talk about what your first panic attack felt like?


Becky Higgins: Yeah. My experience with it…one thing that I’ll echo with what Becky shared, is that feeling of unsettleness and discomfort. So when we’re talking about everyday anxiety, I know, I can tell that for me it’s a little bit of a tightness in my chest, but it’s definitely an unsettleness where I feel edgy. That’s the word that I use for myself. I just feel edgy. I’m a little bit shorter with my loved ones. I’m a little bit quicker to be defensive. I’m a little bit anxious in my body language.  It’s harder for me just to sit down and just take a breath or just focus on a certain project because I’m like worrying about something or whatever.


Now that’s kind of the everyday anxiety, whereas having an anxiety attack for me looked like–and I can give you more of that backstory in a minute–but when it came down to the manifestation of what that experience was, it was a lot more extreme in my experience compared to anything else I had experienced because it was sob-bing. And I’m a pretty emotionally stable person, generally. I have some typical ups and downs, but I don’t have big swings. Never really have. And so for me to go from crying, to uncontrollable sobbing, to the point where then I couldn’t catch my breath because my crying was so intense–and thankfully my husband was with me when it happened–but I felt so completely out-of-control. So when Becky talked about the out-of-body experience, that would be the similar thing that I experienced where it was almost like I was looking at myself going, “What? What are you doing? Like, what is happening? How are you getting to this point where you can’t even stop crying, let alone breathe normally?”


Rachel Nielson: Mmm. And it is so terrifying. I had a listener reach out to me and say, “I don’t know who to reach out to, but I know you’ve talked a lot about mental health on your show. So I figured I could talk to you.” And she just said, “I had my first anxiety attack last night, and I think I’m losing my mind. I’m going to lose my mind.” And my response to her was, “It does feel that way. It feels like you’re going to lose your mind, but it’s actually your body protecting you. You’re not losing your mind. It’s your body letting you know that you have too much stress. You have too much input. Your body’s trying to communicate with you.” So even if you can reframe it to not think of it as this scary, horrible, “I’m fighting my body,” but more as like “my body’s communicating with me, and I need to listen,” it makes it less scary, once you’re out of the actual attack.


Becky Higgins: I totally agree with you, Rachel, and I don’t think that there was anything better that you could have said to her because everyone who deals with anxiety knows that there aren’t really words that are going to take it away or change it or diminish the feeling and the reality of what you’re going through. But framing is something that Becky and I both believe in so deeply, like framing your experience, framing your story. And so that’s why I love so much that you shared with her that if you frame it as “my body is just communicating with me,” then that is a completely different experience than “I’m going to die. This is hard. I don’t know what’s happening.”


Becky Proudfit: And I think this kind of leads us into kind of our second takeaway, which is know your triggers. What Becky’s talking about–I love how you said that, Beck–because it really is about looking at your body. It’s your body giving you a loving message of like, “Hey, we have a problem, and I love you. Let’s take care of this” rather than what it can feel like, because sometimes it can feel like your body is betraying you. Thinking of it like, “No, my body is loving me and helping me to solve some things I’m maybe overlooking” is such a better place to come from. 


As I have had this kind of be part of my life–and sometimes, like I said, I have taken medication for the postpartum anxiety–but now that I know my body and I’ve worked really hard to get to that loving place with my body where I can recognize signs, it doesn’t get to the point of an anxiety attack usually, if I’m paying close attention to those trigger signs that my body gives me. 


For instance, I know my triggers: if I am dehydrated or if I am not sleeping well, those are my two biggest triggers. So if I’m on a beach vacation with my kids sleeping in the same room as me, I know I need to be on guard for real because I will get dehydrated and have poor sleep. Other things are nutrition–if I’m not staying up on my nutrition and particularly making sure that I have enough nutrient density in my diet. General disregard of my body tends to bring on these anxious feelings more for me.


Becky Higgins: And just kind of thinking about some other triggers–because we really do want your listeners to connect with whatever that looks like for them, and everyone’s triggers are going to look different–another thing that’s a little bit more obvious but worth stating is certain life circumstances. So for example, if you know that a trigger happens with holidays, right? For some people, holidays trigger anxiety because of whatever, right? Like, whether it’s interaction with that person that you rarely see and now you’re going to see them and that’s going to trigger some feelings or whether it’s too many things on the to do list. So just kind of being aware of certain life circumstances. 


And another one that I really want to just speak to is boundaries, particularly loose boundaries. Now for some people that might look like boundaries with other people. So a trigger might be when you’ve let someone cross a boundary in your relationship with them, in terms of like hurt feelings or passive-aggressiveness or whatever. But the thing for me with boundaries that I have found is boundaries with my time. So case in point, today Becky and I are together: we’re working, we’re running an errand together, we’re really going to be having this amazing productive day, and we’re both excited about it. But because I know that tomorrow is a day of space for me where I am going to be home alone with no appointments or meetings or scheduled whatevers while my kids are in school, I feel so much less anxiety right now about my to-dos and what’s on the list and the inbox and you know, all the work that Becky I have to do together, which could feel like a lot, a lot, a lot. I know that I have blocked out tomorrow as a day of space. And so pay attention to your boundaries, whatever that looks like, whether it’s with relationships or with your time. And my counsel would be, because this is what I’ve worked through myself, to be highly protective of your boundaries. Be highly protective of the things that you need. You might need space from people; you might need space from work; you might need space from over-commitment; but create that space.


Rachel Nielson: Yes. And once you know your triggers, then you can create the buffers around them to prevent this anxiety from rearing its ugly head and becoming something bigger and more painful than it needs to be.


Becky Proudfit: Exactly. Knowing your triggers is all about knowing your body and listening to those signs when they’re little nudges so that it doesn’t get to the point where your body has to really jostle you to get you to pay attention. It’s about being in tune with your body.


Rachel Nielson: Oh yeah. And I feel like this really resonates with me because I am so much more in my head than I am in my body. I don’t notice a lot of physical sensation, like I don’t even notice hunger a lot of the time when I’m really into my work. I’m just not in my body. And so when you say “know your triggers,” and I think those can be environmental triggers, but I also feel like I’ve learned to recognize the physical triggers of my body, and I have to name them in order to feel them, if that makes sense. Like I have to say, “Okay, my heart is pounding really fast. I’m breathing really shallowly.” So a lot of times at night is when my mind is racing, I’m trying to go to sleep, I feel my heart pounding. And I think in the past I would have sort of spiraled and thought like, “Oh my gosh! I’m going to have an anxiety attack! This is happening! My body’s fighting against me!” But now I just breathe, and I’m like, “My heart is pounding really fast. I’m really anxious. My body’s trying to tell me something; it’s not my enemy.” And I just kind of breathe into it, and so I can almost stave off anxiety attacks now because I recognize the triggers and the signs, and I just address them and sort of almost lean into them, if that makes sense.


Becky Proudfit:  Yes, and one really helpful tool that I use is meditation and particularly we have a good friend, Amy Tenney, who is kind of a yoga and meditation guru. She just started a podcast called “Amy Tenney Yoga and Meditation,” and she has some guided meditations and very, very simple yoga practices that help you to kind of recognize this sensation in your body. And so that’s something too that I think is a really great free tool for those people who might be wanting to get in touch with the sensations in their body.


Rachel Nielson: Well, thank you for sharing that tool. I feel like meditation is something that I’ve heard about for years and thought, “Yeah, I should do that. That would really benefit me. I should do that.” I even bought a meditation course, and I have yet to ever do it. So you are inspiring me to actually try it.


Becky Proudfit: It’s hard! It feels so unnatural. And the first time you try it, you’re like, “That was the longest 10 minutes of my life, and it was so uncomfortable.” But because it’s so uncomfortable, I know I really need to do it.


Becky Higgins: Well what isn’t going to be uncomfortable when it’s the first time that you’re trying it? So it may be worth checking it out. Okay, so the third takeaway that we want to share is “let go of expectations.” Easier said than done. I’m laughing because I’m like, “Oh man. If it were just that easy.” But it’s been, I can speak to this from experience of this past year, especially that I have truly been able to work through this, and I can clearly be in a place of having let go. Now, it’s not to say that there’s not this little smidge that comes up here or there, whether it’s an expectation from myself or someone else. But in general, if we can get to the point where we can identify what those expectations are, whether they are from ourselves or from others or–and this is a big–just the perceived expectations from others. This is one of the biggest culprits for anxiety. 


Okay, I’ll break it down. I’ll just share a personal experience. When I had my anxiety attack last year, that was actually a result of a lot of buildup of my own internalizing and my own over-identifying with my work. Now I love my work. My work brings me joy and always has. I’ve been doing what I am doing for 24 years. It’s all good. But I got to the point where I was so caught up in what other people wanted, and what I thought they wanted out of me as a person and us as a brand. And that is what led to the anxiety because I was so caught up in that. And I think that what it took was for the anxiety attack to happen. As soon as that all happened and we got through it, the first thing I was able to do with my husband is realized that I needed to completely check out for just a block of time, which in this case was a week, and I needed to not look at an inbox. I needed to not be on social media. I needed to not listen to a single opinion, thought, comment, email, anything from a customer. I needed to not even have a team meeting. I needed to let go of any thoughts from anyone else and be in my own head and my own body. 


And in this case for me, I was able to go for a week and go to a fitness and wellness resort because I knew and felt deep within my soul that what I needed to do was focus on my physical health to get my mind and my heart back in the right place. And so letting go of the expectations, while it’s easier said than done, is doable. And you know, just to mention, we recorded a two-part episode on our podcast, and it’s episodes 37 and 38, and it’s called “The Anxiety Attack that Saved My Life.” We expand so much more on all of this. So if you want to go deeper into hearing more about me kind of walking you through that whole experience and then what I did about it, it’s more expanded there in those two episodes.


Rachel Nielson: And I just love that title: The Anxiety Attack that Saved My Life. I mean that’s exactly what we were talking about earlier with thinking of it as a gift that your body is giving you, that your body’s talking to you, it’s protecting you. So Becky, how have things changed for you since? I mean you took that week off, you took that time off, but that’s not enough. I’m sure you’ve had to shift the expectations you have of yourself and that you take in from other people.


Becky Higgins: Yes, I’m so glad you asked that because that’s a really big deal. Because what you said is true: This isn’t just like you get it fixed because you run away for a week. That’s just not how it works. You deal with it on an ongoing basis and you deal with it every day. And so for me, what that looked like is coming back after that week feeling completely refreshed, like I had hit the reset button and choosing–now I know this can’t be everybody’s scenario, but this is for me what worked–is I chose to stop working for a minute, and for a minute meant like, “Okay, for the rest of this month, I’m going to not work except for the podcast work.” Not because of expectations–let me be clear about this: It wasn’t because well, “Oh, do this every week. So everyone’s expecting that every week we’re going to put this out.” No, I was coming from a place of love. I love the work that Becky and I do with the podcast. It brings me a great deal of joy. And so for me to have let that go, would have actually caused more problems, you know what I’m saying? 


So as I came back into my work, I was so incredibly intentional about only doing the things that I want to do. I only did the things that truly brought me joy. My situation’s unique because I’m a business owner, right? So I have that flexibility in doing what I want and however much I want. But I identified with being so caught up with what people wanted me to do and blah blah blah, it just got to that point of being out of control. And that’s why I had to make that decision to let go of the expectations of myself. I am totally fine knowing that some people will be disappointed with my choice and how I run a business–but the real work comes in letting go of expecting myself to be as high achieving, or as productive, or as excelling, or as whatever. That real work for me that has come in large part through stillness and through hiking. And Becky can attest to that too. We both connect so deeply with ourselves when they are just in nature moving our bodies, rocks under our feet. That has been a specific thing that has been incredibly therapeutic.


Rachel Nielson: Yes. Yeah, that’s beautiful. And Becky Proudfit, I know you have a really unique experience where one of the hardest things that ever happened to you turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to you as far as realizing that you can let go of expectations. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience?


Becky Proudfit: Sure, and this is something that my husband says about me: I got cancer, and it ended up curing my anxiety. Like Becky was talking about with letting go of expectations, a lot of her expectations were work-related; and when I was diagnosed with cancer, I really had to stare in the face that a lot of the expectations that were causing me trouble in my life were because I was over-identifying in my motherhood and in the life I had created. 


When I was diagnosed with cancer–and I’ll step back and say that for me, getting cancer as a young mom was always one of those things that I was like, “That would be the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to me and my children is for me to get cancer and have to go through chemo and all that as a young mom.” So when it happened, I was obviously very, very shocked and a little bit terrified of what was to come for my family. I think I had always had these thoughts in my head, the kind of thoughts we all have: “Well, if I don’t do it, who will? If I’m not here to make my kids’ lunches, they’re going to starve and die. If I’m not there to help with homework, they’re all going to fail school.” You know, these thoughts we have where we think that we are that that key piece in everybody’s life that’s holding the world together. And I truly thought that.


When I was faced with cancer and then chemo and radiation and all the things that come with it, I literally had to just focus on surviving. It was all I could do to lay on the couch, and suddenly all these things that were so important to me before became almost not important at all. The most important things were just loving my children and letting them know that I loved them. And miracle of miracles, I realized that I am not the linchpin in everyone else’s life. I am not the one that is making the world go around, particularly where it comes to my children. And I watched my children rise to the occasion to become more independent, to learn to do things on their own. And when they did that, I realized how much I had been incapacitating them in their growth and how much that incapacitated me because I felt like I had a load that was too big to bear. And once I was able to put those things into perspective, into a much healthier balance, I stopped over-identifying in my motherhood and in the external validator of my children and their success, and that has been a serious turning point for me with my anxiety.


Rachel Nielson: Wow, that’s so powerful. I remember one time hearing you say that getting cancer cured your anxiety and I was like, “Come again?” Like, “What?!” And you’re like, “Well, when you face the thing that you feared the very most and you make it through it, you realize that you’re more powerful than you thought, and you realize that you can do hard things.” And like you just explained, you realize that your kids are so much more capable than you realized.


Becky Proudfit: It helped me to know how strong I was and how strong everyone around me was–and how capable we all were individually and how capable we were together.


Rachel Nielson: Mmm. I mean, so well said. That is just beautiful. 


Well, this has been such a great interview. I know it’s going to give women so much food for thought. And before we end, I want to introduce and announce something exciting that we’ve been working on behind the scenes for the last couple of months. We’re doing a bit of a collaboration between 3 in 30 and Cultivate a Good Life and the Becky Higgins’ Brand, and can you tell us about that?


Becky Higgins: Oh my goodness, yes. So around here, because documenting is so important for us, one of the products that we offer is a Simple Notebook. We have been offering Simple Notebooks for a few years, and it’s one of the most popular products that we offer from Becky Higgins because they’re just simple notebooks. Who doesn’t love a simple notebook, right?


But the fun thing is that the cover designs are just…we always make them inspiring or beautiful or encouraging for whatever you end up using that notebook for. And you guys can probably feel where we’re going with this. We have collaborated with Rachel on a Simple Notebook, and that is actually launching or has launched today at the time that this episode is coming out! So Rachel, why don’t you speak to what you chose to be on the cover? And before she does that, you guys understand that a collaboration means we bring something, and she brings something, right? And so what we bring is the love of notebooks and producing them and knowing how to get exactly right because we’re so particular about the details: it’s the perfect size and the perfect paper and all the things. And then Rachel, we invited her to come up with the vibe–the color, the message. So Rachel, why don’t you speak to that?


Rachel Nielson: Yeah, so I was so thrilled when Becky approached me and asked me if I wanted to do this, and she asked, “What would you want on the cover of a notebook that sort of embodies both of our brands?” and I chose the phrase “You’ve Got This” because that is just something that I feel so passionately about. I hope this is communicated every single week by my podcast: “You’ve got this, Moms! You are stronger than you know, you’re doing better than you think.” 


I also feel like this message really fits well with this topic of everyday anxiety…”you’ve got this!” I know it’s hard, believe me, I know that it’s so difficult; but with these tools and with the support of our community, we can get through anything. And I know that that is a message that within the work of Cultivate a Good Life podcast as well. And so the notebook, it’s the 3 in 30 purple that I love–it’s the dark purple–and then it says “You’ve got this” on the front, and we just hope that it’ll be so inspiring to you as reminder of your strength whenever you use it, or if you purchase one for a friend who you want to encourage that she’s got this, whatever she’s going through.


Becky Higgins: And speaking of purchasing for a friend, our notebooks sell out so fast. They are limited quantity, each design is. Because that just makes them that much more special, right? You know that it’s not like masses of everyone has it. So if you’re fast, you’re going to get the notebooks, and while you’re in there, you’re going to want to pick up a few because one of our favorite things to do for our friends is to keep extra notebooks on hand, so that when you do have that moment with a friend, a sister-in-law, a neighbor, a coworker that you’re like, “Okay, she just needs a lift. She needs a boost, she needs a pick-me-up moment,” you can be that friend that has a notebook with a really encouraging message to give that to her.


Rachel Nielson: Yeah! Write her a little note inside and give it to her. So we’re so excited about this. We started this collaboration a few months ago, and then I said, “I want the Beckys to come on my podcast when we announce the notebook.” So I’m so grateful to you both for your time and for who you are and for what you put out into the world. And just thank you so much for being on 3 in 30.


Becky Higgins: Thank you so much for having us! And we didn’t say, Rachel, where to find the notebook.


Rachel Nielson: Oh! Where to get the notebook, yes! Tell us! [all laughing]


Becky Higgins: ShopBeckyHiggins.com, that’s it. And then we will all be sharing about it on Instagram today, I’m sure with the links.


Rachel Nielson: Yes, and I’ll put it in the show notes, of course, the link there. And we just can’t wait to connect with all of you listening through this notebook. So Becky & Becky,  thank you for being here, and I hope you have a fabulous day!


Beckys: You too, Rachel! Thank you!

Rachel Nielson: Many thanks to Becky Squared for coming on the show today to give us some strategies for accepting and reframing anxiety:


1. Name it for what it is: Yes, it really is anxiety! Maybe it’s something that is negatively impacting your life enough that you want to seek support from a doctor or a counselor, but even if you don’t feel it’s that severe, it’s important to name it and acknowledge what you’re dealing with. It’s okay to say, even if it’s just to yourself, “I am struggling with some anxiety right now. It’s not me–it’s just that my body is giving me some information about where I need to seek more support.


Which leads right into the second takeaway


2. Know your triggers and work to address those, whether it’s sleep, hydration, nutrition, loose boundaries with friends or family or work, a packed schedule….know your triggers and the signs from your body that it’s not doing so well and respect those. 


3. And finally, let go of expectations–the real or perceived expectations of others but perhaps most importantly, the expectations of yourself. Recognize that you don’t have to have superhuman productivity within your work or even superhuman capacity within your home as you care for your children. When you let go a little and take a breath, you will see that the world keeps turning even when you aren’t perfect or perfectly on top of everything.


Friends, I really do believe what our little Becky Higgins/3 in 30 notebook says: YOU’VE GOT THIS. Whatever difficult challenge you are up against this week, lean in to your support group, listen to your body and respect the messages it is sending you, and please remember that I am rooting for you. 


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