When a Routine Isn’t

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

I discovered how insidious anxiety is when I took myself to the ER last summer, complaining of acid reflux, vertigo, leg pain, and headaches.

“All of these?” the ER doctor asked.

An EKG showed I wasn’t having a heart attack, and after much blood work, a kind nurse patted my hand and said it sounded like anxiety.

I’m no stranger to this heart palpitating, nervous stomach disorder. I’ve had bouts for ten years now. So I wasn’t surprised when I realized I’d been tricked again. The brain had moved into its fight/flight/freeze syndrome and my body reacted with various aches and pains.

Last fall, I tackled it head on. I read everything I could. I started meditating. I bought a Pilates reformer so I can stretch.I’ve learned to breathe deeply when it hits. And I journal whatever is on my mind. In short, I created a morning routine to start the day.

I hadn’t realized how important the routine was until last week when we traveled, and I found each day different. By the end of the week, my old friend anxiety was back. Now that I’m home, I am in the “flow.” And I can feel a difference already. Who knew how important a routine would be to this old lady (who used to pride herself on NEVER having a schedule!)

I’m going to stick to this one.