Hey, lovelies! 💓 So, I’ve honestly been feeling pretty anxious this week. When my anxiety is high, it’s difficult for me to enjoy the day. It can also get in the way of my creativity, which brings me down. Writing becomes really challenging and it takes longer for me to create new content when I’m experiencing a bout of anxiety. Yesterday, Alejandro and I filmed a vlog that I couldn’t even post because it felt so unnatural. It was a bummer looking at all that footage and not being able to use any of it.
My experience last night reminded me of how crucial a support system is when you’re struggling with anxiety. Alejandro has been so patient and encourages me when I’m down. Over the years, he has really come to understand my anxiety even though he doesn’t suffer with it himself. It wasn’t an easy road but I’m thankful to have someone who loves and accepts me, even on the worst days.
I want to discuss some ways to support a partner with anxiety. Although I’ll be talking about helping a partner in particular, these tips can be used to support anyone in your life who might be battling anxiety.
1. Don’t diminish their experiences or what they’re going through.
When you’re battling anxiety, nothing is much worse than hearing, “it’s all in your head.” or “relax!” During a panic attack, you may experience very intense physical symptoms like dizziness, a rapid heart rate, and chest pains. As this is happening, it feels as though the walls are closing in and you don’t know how to help yourself.
The very first time I experienced a panic attack, I had to lie on the cool ceramic floor of my kitchen because it felt like my body was on fire. My heart was beating out of my chest and I didn’t know what was wrong. Anxiety can present itself in many ways (surges of panic, chronic nervousness/unease, etc.) and it is very real.
2. If they ask, give them space. Alternatively, hold them when they need it.
Your partner may just need some space to breathe or time to clear their head. It can be difficult to sit in silence, especially when you’re trying to find out what’s on their mind. But if they ask for space, just wait it out until they want to talk. They may not have found the words yet or are too scared to say them.
A couple of years back, my anxiety was particularly bad and I couldn’t utter my fears out loud. It took a while for me to express what I was feeling. I even had to write down my thoughts so that I could share them with Alejandro. I was thankful he gave me space to think.
On the other hand, sometimes a hug after a long day can be the best remedy. If you’re not sure what your partner needs, just ask! Let them know that you care and want to help. They’ll really appreciate it.
3. Never discourage seeking treatment. Make sure to show that you’ll be there for them.
Unfortunately, anxiety is still often times stigmatized despite our advancements in mental heath awareness. I remember the first time I went to counseling, I was terrified of what other people would think if they found out about my anxiety. After talking to my counselor, I breathed a sigh of relief and regretted suffering in silence for so long.
In college, my anxiety relapsed. A couple of people in my life discouraged me from taking medication and seeing a counselor again. Thankfully, I had Alejandro who went with me to some of my counseling visits. His support meant the world to me and I felt a lot safer knowing he was there.
If your partner is seeking help from a mental health professional, make sure to show that you’ll be there for them. Maybe even offer to accompany them to their appointments (if they are comfortable with that)! Seeking treatment becomes so much easier when you receive encouragement from people closest to you.
4. Let them know you love them.
A lot of times, anxiety can make you feel insecure and unlovable. When I’m not having a good day, Alejandro has a way of lifting my spirits. He’ll kiss my forehead, buy me ice cream, and cuddle up on the couch with me. He always shows me that he’s thinking of me, whether it’s holding my hand when I’m scared or stopping by the store if I need something.
If your partner’s anxiety is bad that day, show them some extra love. Even the smallest acts of love can make all the difference!
I hope that this post was helpful. 💓 Mental health is a topic that hits close to home for me and I’ve always wanted to use writing as a way to reach out to others.
Remember, while supporting your partner is important, please make sure that you’re also taking care of yourself. If you think you’re struggling with anxiety, please reach out to your doctor or a mental health professional. Self-care is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You can’t help anyone if you’re not taking care of yourself!
What do you think is important to keep in mind when supporting a partner or loved one who’s battling anxiety?