Physical symptoms of an anxiety attack can include:
Psychological symptoms of an anxiety attack can include:
While there are no specific causes for anxiety attacks, they are understood to be a combination of biological vulnerabilities, ways of thinking, and environmental factors like social stressors (Edwards). Anxiety attacks can be caused by a stressful situation, receival of tragic news, or sometimes nothing at all. Keeping a pulse on your physical and emotional state can help you stay in control.
1. “How to Tell If You Are Having an Anxiety Attack.” Calm Clinic - Information about Anxiety, Stress and Panic, 10 Oct. 2020, www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/attacks/how-to-tell.
2. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD. “Panic Attack: Symptoms, Treatment, Medication.” MedicineNet, MedicineNet, 28 Mar. 2023, www.medicinenet.com/panic_disorder/article.htm.
So, Post-Con Depression is a real thing. I mean, you’re not going to find Post Con Blues in the DSM, but we know that coming down from the pure excitement and hilarity of the convention can leave one feeling temporarily worse than usual. Being surrounded by tons of fun, like-minded people, costumes, exhibits, panels, parties, your family of friends… What’s not to like? It’s hard to go back to real life after a weekend of escapism. Coming back to reality can underline some real feelings of sadness and discontent.
Plan social events with your friends. If you’re anything like me, you miss your friends after the con. Chances are they’re having similar feelings. Don’t be afraid to talk openly about those feelings. A little shared empathy goes a long way to making things better. If your friends aren’t available, join a Meetup or find activities with like-minded people. New friends means more future fun. That last sentence sounds like it should be a bumper sticker or something. The point is, you can always redefine your circumstances to make the next day better.
#1: Deep Breathing
Make a habit of deep breathing when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed. Much of our worries come from a downward mental slope – what if I can’t get to the grocery store on time? Then I won’t be able to get milk…then how will I make the homemade cookies I promised for my boss? Then what if he gets angry and starts looking at me worse, maybe demotes me even?. While these stresses begin as normal, casual worries, they later become panicked, less probable-to-occur concerns (ie: thinking your boss will demote you because you couldn’t bring homemade cookies like he wanted).
When you notice that bubbling stress, attempt to nip it at the bud by closing your eyes and taking deep breaths. It can be harder to accomplish this later on, so building a habit of slowing down to breathe in for three seconds and breathe out for three seconds can be a major deterrent to an anxiety attack.
#2: Try exercising at least 30 minutes a day
If you deal with frequent/constant anxiety, try exercising at least 30 minutes a day. Harvard Health Publishing writes that exercise “releases mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins.”, which are proven to assist in relieving stress and frustration. As you exercise, you begin to focus more on the movement of your body and the world around you, rather than on the assignments you have due or the coworker that’s been bothering you. Gym memberships can be expensive and tedious to maintain, but luckily you don’t need fancy equipment to get these benefits. Your exercise can be any intensity, from taking a walk to playing a match of tennis, and still be equally effective in helping you decrease your general state of stress.
#3: Cut the cord for 15 minutes a day
Shutting off your phone and avoiding texts can be very daunting – trust us, we know – and with remote jobs becoming more and more of the norm, technology dependence is very real. However, finding a time to lay awake without your phone, TV, or laptop, even if it’s 15 minutes before going to bed, can actually help you destress. Having less notifications and apps to worry about can be great for personal health – gives you more time to focus on you rather than what revolves around you in your digital world.
> 5 Ways to de-stress and help your heart – https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/5-ways-to-de-stress-and-help-your-heart