I didn't intend to go a whole week without saying hello. Every time I sat down to write a post, I couldn't find the right words much less string together complete sentences. I've always enjoyed writing, but it's been so difficult to do lately.

I know we are all struggling in this current coronavirus pandemic. Every aspect of life has changed overnight, and there's no real endpoint yet. Uncertainty, stress, restlessness, isolation. As I sit here looking out the window of my little office, the sunlight streaming in, I can only imagine what others are going through. I've talked to some friends that are handling it pretty well and taking things day by day, others are not. I guess I'd fall under the category of "not." I'm not okay. There, I said it. My panic attacks are back like never before.

Let me just say though that I'm not telling you this to gain sympathy. I'm not on the front lines like health care professionals, delivery drivers, postal workers, grocery store clerks, pharmacists, and others who are still required to be out in the field. I'm eternally grateful to these everyday heroes. Parents are also included.  They are working harder than ever before to meet the demands of homeschooling, daycare, and working from home on top of everything else.

I've wasted the last couple years feeling lost, weighed down by petty thoughts, bouts of depression and feeling sorry for myself, doubting my choices, and really just existing instead of truly being present. I've been asleep at the wheel, and this crisis has jolted me awake. Yes there's been a lot of happy moments - 2019 was a fun year for us. Trips to different states, parties and celebrations with friends, tiny sparks of light during my down days. But in general, I have neglected so many things that have needed my attention.

*Spending most afternoons in my loft. It's coming along*

I'm not sure I've written about this before, but I suffered from debilitating panic attacks as a kid. No one is entirely sure what prompted them, but it was incredibly frightening to be so young and not know what was happening to me. The anxiety started in preschool. Screaming for my mother to not leave me at school is my earliest memory. My parents did what they could, but they had no idea what was wrong with their only child and neither did anyone else, even doctors. I began seeing a therapist in grade school, and that took me on a path of relief so that I could try my best to just be a normal kid. It was a roller coaster from there on, but the panic attacks subsided once I approached high school. I had other things on my mind then.

Panic attacks, health anxiety (hypochondria), vivid nightmares, and financial worries have all taken up space in my head. I should have seen it coming, I should have known that I was headed on a spiral. I was naive and thought I could control it. I would just laugh my way through this, reconnect with family, do Facetime calls with friends over a drink, spend quality time with Nate. Don't get me wrong, I have and still am doing all these things and I'm very grateful for modern technology, modern medicine, all of it. I'm thankful for the roof over my head, food in my fridge (although I've lost 6 pounds in a week because I can barely eat), a loving partner that is doing all he possibly can to console me. Some days it feels like I'm a child again, helpless in so many ways, and he's the only parent. It's so frustrating. I'm supposed to be stronger than this. I've worked with other children to help them cope with their fears and anxieties and now I've become the client that needs help.

Fortunately, I've been in recent contact with my therapist and she provided me with some tools I can utilize. They include:

1) Stick to a semi-normal schedule. Try to wake up at the same time each day and go to bed at the same time every night.

2) Get 30 minutes of exercise daily. If you can get outside for a few minutes that's ideal.

3) Connect with others as often as possible, but DO NOT let this virus be the main talking point of conversation. Talk about future plans, something you're looking forward to after this is over, share funny stories, laugh together.

4) Limit all news and social media. Twitter was what triggered me last week. I deleted it off my phone a few days ago. This was hard for me because I want to be informed, and of course we should be. But getting minute by minute updates and reading some of the petty bullshit that is Twitter-verse is unhelpful for people with mental health issues. It only aggravates them.

5) During a panic attack, use your 5 senses: 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste. Also: take a pen and paper and write out all the things you can think of under a particular category. For example, 90's television shows, go! List all you can think of. Pick any category that comes to mind immediately. Distraction is key when you're really in the irrationality of a panic attack. I picture myself with a sword, slaying mine.

I'm going to do a phone call with her once a week, so if I can relay anymore tips to you I will in upcoming posts.

I don't want to focus my entire blog on this pandemic, and I don't want to trigger any of your own anxieties by talking so much about mine. Although it helps to talk about them and read about what other people are going through, I also appreciate a break from it all. My next couple posts won't be so serious, I promise! But please don't hesitate to reach out to me or anyone else in your life to help alleviate some of these horrible thoughts and emotions. Your health and mental health matter more now than ever. Sending you my love. 


  1. Thank you so much for this! This is a very challenging time. I work at my kids' school, so we are all home right now. I am so thankful that we are home and safe, but virtual school is stressful! We are just taking it a day at a time and hopefully, we will fall into a routine soon. Your loft looks so cozy! This is the perfect time to work on projects around the house! :)

    1. Thank you! Home decor has never come naturally to me so I just look on Pinterest to find ideas. I really just wanted a nice relaxing space!

      I'm so sorry that virtual school is proving to be stressful. I don't think anyone could have predicted that many parents would become homeschool teachers this year with no other choice or options! I'm sure there will be good days and bad, but getting a routine established seems to be the one thing that really helps! And knowing that this is just a moment in time, and that it's temporary. Thank you for reading and take care :)

  2. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us Noelle. The current climate can only make everything worse. Know that I am thinking of you always. xoxo

    1. Thank you Rachelle :) I'm so grateful for our talks and we will do it in a few hours here :)

  3. Hi Noelle, sending you lots of love and support. I also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I have been successful keeping at bay actually with most tips you wrote (provided by my therapist).

    I still have the same workout routines. For me personally running REALLY helps curb the anxiety. So I've been running even more. Even if you don't feel like a workout, go for a walk. I also have routines for Sofia (they are not rigid) so she can still thrive during this crisis.

    I listen to our Prime Minister's daily address to the nation, but that is it. I don't follow any other news about all this. I am following meme websites though :P

    Stay strong, we will make it through this :)

    1. Hi Saadeh, thank you so much for your encouragement. Anxiety is something that has connected us over the years of blogging and I'm so grateful to know that I'm not alone...that WE are not alone! I'm happy that Sofia is sticking to some routines and that you have running to help you! I'm definitely doing more walking and stretches but it's not enough. I think running is next, although I will have to ease into it :)


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