Set ‘Relief Dates’ to Quell your Anxiety: anxiety is a thief. It robs those who suffer with it of their time and attention. It steals their peace and joy and makes every day one to be feared rather than appreciated. Part of learning to overcome anxiety is learning to take your time back for yourself. It is making a conscious effort to set time aside for laughter, joy, happiness, learning, and all those things that provide positive nourishment for our psyche.
One way to think of these times is as ‘relief dates’. They are dates with the self intended to provide relief and release from the everyday and its stresses. Times like these are important for anyone, whether they have been clinically diagnosed with anxiety or not. But for the anxiety sufferer, time set apart is crucial.
Start by taking a moment to sit down and consider your schedule. How do you currently spend your time? What dates have you set for yourself? Any? Probably not. Most likely you’ll find that your time is allotted between a series of obligations and responsibilities, or perhaps avoiding obligations and responsibilities. The truth is that while we have to fulfill our obligations to work, family, etc., we must also fulfill our obligation to ourselves. That is to say, we must take time out to treat ourselves to something enjoyable, something positive, something constructive.
Now, find some space on your calendar. What dates or times are open just for you? Do you have a free Saturday afternoon? Maybe all you can find are a couple of Wednesday mornings? Whatever is available, reserve it for yourself. Circle it, ‘x’ it, or pencil in “me”. These are your dates with yourself. Try to find time at least once a week. If you can’t fit that much in, start with twice a month; the more regular these dates, the more relieving they will be.
Think about the things you like to do. What soothes you, excites you, or brings you joy? What have you been putting off or are too afraid to do? Maybe you wanted to learn to play a musical instrument, go to the library, or just sit in a coffee shop for a couple of hours and let go. Write in some of the possibilities for your time on these dates. You might put, “Go shopping”, “See a movie” or “Take a walk”. Anything that appeals to you and is practical during your free time is a good choice. This is time for you, so you can decide how to spend it. It is time for pampering, treating, and caring for yourself. Do what you enjoy.
Because the idea is to take care of you, it is best if you don’t share this time with others initially. Keep it for yourself. Down the line you may bring someone along on occasion, but right now you should consider just yourself. Involving another person means having to consider their opinions and make concessions for their needs and you are learning first how to consider your own. You may find that in time you want to share some of this time with someone you love, but it should be yours alone in the beginning. This ensures that you spend it doing something meaningful to you. For the time being, explain to family members and friends that you need this time to correct your anxiety and to nurture yourself. Let them know that in the future you may be able to devote some of it to them. If you don’t think they will understand, then it may better not to discuss it at all right away.
The final and most important instruction is to be reliable, keep your dates with yourself. Don’t let yourself down or stand yourself up. Really be there when you tell yourself you will. When one week or month rolls by, plan some more time for the following one. Continue to pursue your interests. Over time you will find that as your dates increase your anxiety will diminish. Your coping skills begin to improve as you spend more time nurturing your soul and less time feeding your anxiety. Whenever things get too stressful or tense, take this as a warning that you need some ‘me’ time. Schedule an ‘emergency date’ and go to the park or listen to a band, whatever relaxes you and can take your focus off the stresses of life. Keep in mind that every date you spend on yourself is one you took back from your anxiety. Make your time yours again.
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Why Should I Prioritize Myself? Prioritizing yourself is important for a number of reasons:
- Improves overall well-being: When you prioritize yourself, you are more likely to take care of your physical, mental and emotional needs. This can help to improve your overall well-being and increase your resilience to stress and other challenges.
- Increases self-awareness: Prioritizing yourself can help you to become more aware of your own needs, wants and boundaries, which can help you to make more informed decisions and to communicate more effectively with others.
- Improves relationships: When you prioritize yourself, you are more likely to have healthy relationships because you are less likely to neglect your own needs and to accept mistreatment from others.
- Enhances productivity: Prioritizing yourself can help you to be more productive and to achieve your goals, by ensuring that you have the energy, focus and motivation to pursue your aspirations.
- Increases self-esteem: Prioritizing yourself can help you to feel more confident and worthy, which can improve your self-esteem and self-worth.
- Improves mental and emotional health: Prioritizing yourself can help you to reduce stress and anxiety, to improve mood and to increase overall mental and emotional well-being.
- Improves physical health: Prioritizing yourself can help you to take care of your physical health, by making sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating well, and being active.
By prioritizing yourself, you can improve your overall well-being, increase self-awareness, improve relationships, enhance productivity, increase self-esteem, improve mental and emotional health and improve physical health. It's important to remember that it's not selfish to put yourself first, it's necessary for your well-being and the well-being of those around you.
YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO SELF SCHEDULE AN ONLINE OR AN INPERSON ANXIETY THERAPY SESSION. The Center for Growth has therapy offices in PA, NJ, VA, NM, and we work virtually in DE, GA and FL. If you prefer to speak to a live therapist who specializes in anxiety, call our intake department at 215 - 922 - 5683 x 100 or go to a therapist's biography page and call the anxiety therapist of your choice directly. Each anxiety therapist has their phone number listed on their bio page.
The Center for Growth Has Therapy Offices in PA, NJ, VA, GA, DE, NM, FL
- Ocean City Therapy Office
360 West Ave, Floor 1, Ocean City, NJ 08226
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9044 Mann Drive, Mechanicsville Virginia, 23116
- Alpharetta Office
11720 Amber Park Drive, Suite 160, Alpharetta GA 30006
- Society Hill Therapy Office
233 S. 6th Street, C-33, Philadelphia PA 19106
- Art Museum / Fairmount Therapy Office
2401 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 1a2, Philadelphia PA 19130
- Santa Fe Therapy Office, 2204 B Brothers Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87505
- Telemedicine: We have therapists who are licensed to work in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia New Mexico and Pennsylvania
Counseling & Therapy Services at TCFG in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Santa Fe, Mechanicsville
Counseling and therapy services are forms of professional help provided by trained counselors, therapists, and other mental health professionals. These services can help individuals to address a wide range of mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, trauma, and stress.
- Individual counseling: This type of therapy focuses on one-on-one sessions between a therapist and a patient. The therapist helps the patient to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and to work through any issues that may be causing them distress.
- Couples therapy: This type of therapy is designed to help couples improve their relationship by addressing any communication or emotional issues that may be causing conflict or dissatisfaction.
- Family therapy: This type of therapy involves working with families to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and address any other issues that may be impacting the well-being of family members.
- Therapeutic Support Groups: This type of therapy involves a therapist working with a group of people who share similar concerns or issues. Group therapy can be an effective way to provide support, insight, and encouragement to individuals who are working through similar challenges.
- Online therapy: This type of therapy is conducted via video conferencing or phone call and is becoming increasingly popular for those who have limited mobility or have trouble attending face-to-face therapy sessions.
- Specialized therapy: Some therapists may have specialized training in areas such as trauma, addiction, LGBTQ+ issues, eating disorders, and ADHD / ADD, Dyslexia, Autism, and Tourettes Anxiety, OCD, Panic Therapy Services, Anger Management Therapy, Baby loss Therapy / Pregnancy Loss, Depression / Mood Disorder Therapy Services, Eating Disorders Treatment, Grief & Loss Therapy Services, Personality Issues (Narcissism, Borderline...) Shame Therapy Services, Sexual Compulsion Therapy / Porn / Internet Compulsion Therapy, Sex Therapy: Sexual function & dysfunction treatment, Sexual, Physical and Emotional Trauma Therapy Services, and Relationship Problems