June 19, 2014

Coping with Transition & Anxiety

I hadn't ever really struggled with anxiety until moving to LA. It's not my favorite thing and it makes me really angry sometimes. Jesus has been helping me to work through it and it has been harder then I would like. I spent one week fuming mad at him about it. I really wish he could just make it disappear, but that's not the case. I will continue to lift myself up to him as he walks me through this struggle.

In March I shared over on Rivers and Roads about how much of a struggle I had with my transition in LA and I would love to share it with you here.  Let me fill you in; my husband, Tyler, and I got married May 26, 2012. And then we moved, from Missouri to California. All within two weeks my entire life changed. And this month marks two years of living here. Arriving in California brought on a large amount of anxiety that I had never experienced before. A new city, a new job, and a new life. All these things combined had me feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest. Through that expereince I had to learn how to cope with the transition and anxiety and not beat myself up about it. While living in the city still makes me anxious these five things really helped me to move forward.

COPING WITH TRANSITION AND ANXIETY

1) Give yourself a break and give yourself permission to cry. You are doing awesome! In my experience I tried to do to much to fast. Give yourself plenty of time to adjust to your transition and when you’re having a hard time remember all the changes you just went through. My mom reminded me of this constantly. I basically thought I should be super women and unaffected by the change. That's not possible.

2) Evaluate what in your life is making your anxious and determine if you can make changes. My job was causing a large majority of my anxiety. I learned that it wasn't a good place for me to work and I had to make changes. This job was by nature a stressful job and once I decided to quit I learned that many others on my team were quitting too.

3) Determine what you are okay with handling and what is to much. I couldn't do things the same way I would have done things in Joplin and I was okay with that. I really struggled with driving in the city, it made me really anxious. I had to accept that driving wasn't going to be the same. Driving made me so anxious that when I had to drive to new places I would practice with Tyler first before going alone. AND I'm still learning how not to be anxious while driving, this has been by greatest struggle.

4) You are not the only one who feels this way. I felt like something was wrong with me because of how much I was struggling. However, after hearing the experiences of others I learned that others who experienced similar transition also experienced similar struggles.To add, I met people who moved out of LA and when they would return on visits experienced anxiety as well. I was not alone.

5) Take your time, slow down and take a deep breath. Remember, a majority of your anxiety may be do to all the transition you just experienced. Give yourself enough time to adjust. Slow down and remember to breath. During those first months on living here I spent so much time in prayer because I didn't know what else to do. Take a deep breath and focus on Jesus.
Have you struggled with transition or anxiety? I would love to hear your story. 

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12 comments:

  1. I wish someone had told me "it's ok" to feel sad about transitions when I was younger. It would have removed so much guilt, which perpetuated the whole thing. Thanks for reminding everyone it's ok!!

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    1. That was the hardest part for me in the beginning. I kept thinking I should just snap back and be able to handle everything just fine.

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  2. Good Morning My Sweet, I hope you will take a moment to reflect and give yourself credit for how you have leaned on Jesus and how far you have come. Many times we don't see the presence of the Lord until we get down the road aways. You have grown so much, gained so much valuable information and experience. Our adventure in Ga. was a good example of how far you have come. You were FABULOUS!:) Love You

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    1. Thanks Mom! I'm grateful for all the healing and work Jesus does in my heart!

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  3. such a great post! the most important thing you said, i think, was that it's okay to cry and take time to deal. it's so hard to forget that and feel the pressure of coping right away - but that's just not life. thanks for your encouragement :)

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    1. It's so hard to not thinking that you have to have everything together right away. At first I felt so weak because I had such a hard time, but that wasn't the case at all.

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  4. When I suffered hardcore from anxiety last year, there were two things that helped me (temporarily). One: go outside, go for a walk or a bike ride or a jog. Second: vacuum. For whatever reason vacuuming helps people with anxiety. Go figure. I had a clean house for a while :)

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    1. Going outside helps me too! I'll have to try that vacuuming thing! That sounds so amusing. :)

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  5. thank you soo much for these tips! I never experienced anxiety until I quit my job to pursue my business full time and although it was a very exciting moment knowing that it was now all up to me really began to weigh own on me a lot! Ive def learned that giving myself a brief pity party and then immediately reading something inspirational helps me a ton!

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    1. I think it's all about finding what works best doing those rougher times. I think any kind of major changes can bring on anxiety. It's helpful to find encouragement. :)

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  6. Oh Anxiety... my old friend.
    Anxiety usually manifested in me through depression, pushing people who love me away, and anger. My anxiety usually revolves more around relationship than situations.
    Earlier this year, God showed me how the idols in my life and how certain lies I was believing in were the root causes of my anxiety in relationships. He also showed me how I became anxious when I felt like I was losing control of "stability" in certain relationship, and showed me how He was in control and the only "stable" relationship that I can stand on.

    Thank you for sharing in such a vulnerable and real way Samantha, I really liked that you said it's okay to cry... I guess doing so helps you acknowledge that there's a problem instead of ignoring the fact that you're anxious and getting worse. Being able to cry is a way to be real with yourself and be real with others :)

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    1. It's so interesting how anxiety will affect others in so many different ways. I love how patient and loving Jesus is when he walks us through our struggles and brings us victory.

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