Shaking off anxiety. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Shaking off anxiety. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Shaking off anxiety. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Yesterday – overall – was lovely.

I did much of what I set out to do and the kids and I enjoyed it so. We laughed, we learned, we enjoyed our life. Together.

I think the key to it all is turning off the computer. Not putting it to sleep, but shutting it down for the day. (A sticky note in the center of the screen that says "Your life is out there, not in here." or some such helps as well.)

When the computer is on or internet is otherwise available it draws me in. I don't have a fancy phone – on purpose – so there is no issue with easy access. I know that having the internet in my hand would suck me in so I just don't go there.

Without the computer I was more available to my kids – and yes, even myself.

That being said, yesterday was not a complete success. I didn't do everything I set out to do. (Who does, right?) The exception that really stands out however was my mission to "worry less".

Why is that so difficult for me?

I excel at worrying, if you must know.

Often that pit-of-my-stomach feeling comes by way of the computer. I worry that there is work I need to attend to or that someone might not like something that I made in my business or said on my blog. (I know. It's ridiculous. But as you've seen before, it's how I roll.)

And so turning off the computer for long stretches of my day – and doing my darnedest to pretend it doesn't exist – is a huge step in the right direction.

But still, there it was. All day long. That feeling.

Yesterday Lupine burned her back on a heater. With the burn my anxiety spiked and never really came back down. The burn was painful, but not unbearable. We cuddled, iced, and balmed (aloe and natural peppermint lip balm work wonders) and yet, that anxious feeling stuck with me.


All darn day.

I heard a program on NPR once that women have a harder time moving through negative emotion, even when we know that everything is okay. We get stuck. I really relate to this concept. Pete and I often marvel at how quick he is to move through an adrenaline-situation (with the kids, in the car, etc.) and how very long I am feeling toxic from that spike.

So today there is still more to work on. Shaking off that anxious feeling, wherever it comes from.

Because I want to live in what is, not what almost was or might someday be. I want to live in the happy of today and shake off the feeling that something terrible is about to happen.

Much of what you see here is rooted in that desire, I suppose. I paint a picture of a happy, blessed life. And it's a true story. But it is an incomplete story as well. Because my life – like yours – is not perfect. I share with you the pieces that I want to remember. That I want to focus on. That I want to invite to expand.

I do this in order to help me – and maybe you as well – shake off a little bit of that anxiety.

It is my medicine.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

And so today, we begin again.

Today I will…

Live in the now.

Be gentle with myself.

Marvel at the birds outside of my window.

And get around to taking that walk in the cold and making that pot of nettle chai.

And maybe, just maybe, worrying a little less.

Thanks for listening.



47 thoughts on “Anxiety.

  1. marissa says:

    Thank you for your honesty…and for taking a few computer moments to reach out to us, your readers. Having a family history of mental illness and a very real daily reminder of our volatile income situation…plus winter in new england-it can be a pretty anxious load to carry. I feel your “realness” of having a hard time working through that cortisol & staying on a peaceful track. I don’t have a smart phone, either, for pretty much the same reason. Hope today is burn free for your family, we’re going to get outside & enjoy the beautiful snow.

  2. Debi says:

    When I first started blogging and was reading others words and looking at their photos I marveled at how “perfect” other’s lives were. And then I gave myself a reality check… I post the “good” stuff most of the time… the recipes that turn out, not the ones that flop, the finished projects, not the ones that have been waiting a year for completion… and I realized that everyone else is probably doing the same. Sharing the best of their lives… and not to make me feel bad, but to inspire me! I agree that turning off the electronics now and then is a good idea… it’s a de-stresser for me when I do that. I enjoy your blogging and your honesty… I hope today is a better day!

  3. Aron says:

    I was just thinking the other day of asking how you pull it off, turning the computer off that is. I’m a photographer and designer. I work from home with my daughter. I find myself turning to the tv to draw her attention away while I work. I hate it. It makes me feel awful for working. We don’t have the funds for day care and grandma helps when she can, but it’s not enough.

    Have a anxiety free day! I’ll try and do the same.

  4. Cassandra says:

    Oh Rachel, I totally get it. I’ve been a worrier for years. Many years ago it got so out of control that I couldn’t sleep, eat, leave the house, etc. It was crippling. Then one night I was up feeding my first newborn child and I saw this commercial that blew my mind. It was for an anxiety program that was a series of tapes (it was the early 90’s lol) and it completely changed my life. I ordered them right away and began doing the program in earnest. Slowly the worry stared to fade. I was learning coping mechanisms to combat the “self-talk” and the “what if” thinking that is the secret root of all anxiety.

    Even now, almost 20 years later…I still have moments where worry and anxiety creep in to my thoughts. But the tools I learned come in handy and I can squash them right away before they take root. Best thing I ever did. The freedom is something I would have never imagined.

    Your worry may be different than mine. But if you are writing about it here, I am just going to assume it’s something you’re wresting with that’s quite important to you. That’s why I shared my experience. This is where I got my program from:

  5. erin says:

    i understand this very deeply. something that I’ve been finding works for me is frankincense essential oil on the bottoms of my feet. Some might say it’s placebo, but I’ve noticed a big change since I’ve been doing it. Many hugs and much love.

  6. mindy sue bell says:

    I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life. In my case it was a response to abuse and I think once I was able to figure out why and how it all started and it gave me back a lot of my power and ability to see clearly… It sucks though! I really sympathize and feel you… I’ve found that meditation and journaling helps. Also wish garden making a herbal tincture for anxiety (called “emotional ally”) that i like to have on hand for intense moments. good luck working towards a worry free life!!

  7. Sharilyn says:

    Oh my goodness! It is so good to hear others talking about their anxiety- it’s really interesting what you say about feeling toxic long after the event has occurred- being unable to shake it – I often feel just like that but haven’t been able to pin point what was actually happening. Thank you for sharing! Again great job!

  8. emma says:

    Interesting thoughts Rachel. Primarily because, you write so well. I always feel like I’m right THERE in your blog, I’m knitting alongside you, or sharing a cup of cocoa.

    Maybe some of the anxiety is caused from you putting your heart on the line? If you were doing something you weren’t passionate about, you wouldn’t care what people think. I think your anxiety is a good sign – a true and proper sign of caring.

  9. debra says:

    that is so interesting to hear (the part about women being slow to move through negative emotions) – it is absolutely true in our home, and i would love not to pass that on to my girls… i’ve been wondering if my early morning anxiety and difficulty letting go of worry is coming with age and hormones as i move further into my forties…all something to look into, i guess! i definitely hold onto the “toxic” much longer than my husband – he is often bewildered when he finds that i’m still working through something that happened weeks ago.
    thank you for sharing this!

  10. Angie says:

    Amen Sista! You know my mantra “Worry is misuse of the imagination” I look at it every day (sometimes 10+ times a day) and it is still hard, every time, every day. I also marvel at how my husband can just let it go…how is that even possible.
    Thank you for the reminder again. I’ll need it again tomorrow and the day after…

  11. Natasha says:

    Rachel, thank you for this post. I have been a long time lurker, but never posted a comment-on this blog or any for that matter 🙂 Your blog is very inspiring, but this post spoke to me on many levels. I think that worry and the overuse of computers/Internet are connected. They both take from “today” time that we can’t get back. Thanks again. Keep writing. Have a great day!

  12. bridget says:

    I have been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks for the last 3 weeks. It has been miserable, I basically spend time worrying that I am going to be worried. Ugh, exhausting cycle that can be tough to get a grip on. I will report that through meds, diet changes, accupuncture and yoga it is slowly improving. Thanks for this post today.

  13. Beth says:

    Thank you for this open, raw, well put post. It is your honesty that keeps me coming back. A friend suggested and it came in at the library just before the holidays. It is a “life changer” to someone in my life who isn’t into overstating (and knows what anxiety feels like). I also think understanding that we have so many choices can be overwhelming and worry producing at times. If we did not know how to question everything, our minds wouldn’t have quite as many directions to wonder in. I’m aiming to feel present, connected, clear, abundant and strong this year. Minute by minute. Another friend mentioned once “where did the influence come from?” when she heard my child’s new interest in “junk” (to my way of thinking). I’m watching what “influences” I expose myself to more and more. I guess I’m more sensitive than I used to think! Blessings to you. Be gentle with yourself. You wouldn’t be you without thinking a lot. The worrying can fade.

  14. Karla says:

    I’m the exact same way. My husband says that little things can ruin my day because then I can’t shake the feelings that have come up. I can’t help it! It must be there for a purpose, right?

  15. Casey U says:

    My dear hubby and I had a nice sit down talk last night late after the kids were asleep about the things we wanted to work on as parents.

    I want to yell less. He wants to be less physically intimidating. (Full disclosure our oldest has autism and is very VERY sensory seeking so we have to be more physical with him — he needs lots of deep pressure to calm himself and keep himself in control, but our youngest is very sensitive and my hubby wanted to do a better job drawing limits on when the physical was needed and with whom).

    We decided that I need to sing more. Silly, but if I can start singing it’s calming for me and creates a positive instead of a negative.

    We decided that my hubby could try using tickles/horseplay as the physical intervention needed with our sons. They love it, it’s laughter and involves less control being given/taken away. Again, positive for negative.

    We all have things we want to improve upon — if we didn’t that’s when we REALLY would need to start worrying about how good of parents we are. <3

  16. Emily says:

    I hear you on this Rachel. I too worry about things that have not happened but almost happened or could happen. It is hard to move past it and sometimes it occupies my mind when I am trying to sleep. I guess I get through it when I notice I am doing it and tell myself over and over that this is not happening, we are all safe, we are all okay, we are all secure. If I say it enough then I believe it and can let the negative feelings go.

  17. Rachel Wolf says:

    It comes down to leveraging my time. I have an out-of-office reply for each email telling people when to expect a reply. I know that nothing is urgent and needs me NOW. It can all wait, at least this day. Then I schedule time to work while the kids are sleeping (early morning or after bedtime) or when Pete is home. It’s a tenacious balance, but so worth while.

  18. Patraq says:

    This — “I think the key to it all is turning off the computer. Not putting it to sleep, but shutting it down for the day. (A sticky note in the center of the screen that says “Your life is out there, not in here.” or some such helps as well.)” — is fabulous. I so strongly agree, and yet . . . well, I have a really hard time doing it. But, I know, my every cell knows it, that you’re right about how key it is to my happiness each day. And if I’m happy, my kids are happy.

  19. Jess says:

    I remember reading before about you worrying about what people think about your blog posts and whatnot and here you also mention your business. The funny part is that no one really has anything bad to say about either! I read raves about LuSa all the time (and as a customer myself, I must say I do love your products!! They are awesome! In fact, there is some Sleepy Baby eo on a tissue in my pillow behind me right now!). Maybe you get the fickle client here or there or grumpy commenter but overall you have a supportive community of readers and customers. Isn’t it funny how we let the negative things weigh us down? We can have 10 wonderful compliments paid to us but just 1 criticism can crush us and destroy the buoyancy all the positive things created in our spirit! Don’t lose that buoyancy! You inspire so many people. I know I come here daily looking for your wisdom.

    I struggle with worry too but I like to remind myself that worrying won’t solve anything but will just rob me of my energy. I hope you were able to start anew today and leave some of the worry behind. And you know what, you sharing this bit of yourself makes you all the more endearing and inspiring! Rock on, sweet Mama!
    Much peace,

  20. says:

    When reading this post, energy came to mind. I do energy work, massage therapy, and teach yoga. Our mind, body, and energy field feed from one another. When a situation happens or a “story” of a possible situation our energy field and emotional body responds to what’s happening within our mind by signaling sensations and feelings. So, often times when the situation has ended our bodies still hold the residual energy thus continuing to effect the mind by attaching more stories to the sensations and feelings. What I’m getting at is that I found in my work and self work that by moving the body physically and getting out into the fresh air you can move and release the residual energy. Rejuvenate and transform it through breathing, present awareness, and sometimes sitting with the energy and not attaching or labeling it. Often times this is a practice used in yoga. Holding a pose and being aware of the sensations and feelings that come up but not labeling or attaching stories to it but breathing and surrendering into it. Easier said than done but that’s why they call it a practice. :)) thank you for sharing Rachel.

  21. Ginny says:

    Dear Rachel, I’ll be joining you for that walk in the cold tomorrow from afar (We’re even supposed to get a bit of snow!) and the ever present battle against anxiety. Love, Ginny

  22. Rachel Wolf says:

     Hi Brittany,
    I thought about your comment last night and this morning. Movement is something lacking as often I carve time for myself when my kids go outside to plan (meaning I dont join them). Im taking your words to heart and rolled out my yoga mat this morning for a little stretching to greet the day. Thanks for your words.

  23. Rachel Wolf says:

     I know. Its rather ridiculous. I still remember the first bad mark I received in school (a messy on a kindergarten letter book. For some of us these things hang on far too long. Thanks for your kind words.

  24. Laura says:

    Oh I so hear you on this! After every conversation I have I feel anxiety over whether I have been misinterpreted. I worry what people think if my blog and comments.
    I would love this to be the year I leave it behind!
    Wishing you beautiful, peaceful days x

  25. sp says:

    It’s generous and brave of you to share so openly, with the desire to share this way of life that is more peaceful, magical, simpler and beautiful. I first found your blog when searching for “baby essential list” a year ago while expecting my daughter. I learned about EC and Waldorf education, unschooling, and all these wonderful things you have shared with intelligence and practical real-world trials and errors of raising two children, that are now essential parts of our lives. Thank you for your honesty and good work, for this beautiful family life you share with the world. Your products contain the care, love, and integrity that you also put into this blog, and these qualities are those that draw people to you. I’m sorry if ever you are hurt, experiencing negativity by way of this putting yourself out there; be assured that it is the insecurities of others that speak or act badly towards others! But mamas are wide and deep-reaching; we can absorb and keep…to turn out wisdom and compassion…

  26. Camilla says:

    I know where you’re coming from!
    I haven’t commented a lot here, but read often. Just wanted to share my little steps; I have a note on my board that says ‘WORRY IS THE MISUSE OF IMAGINATION’ and also leave bottles of Bachs 5 flower remedy around the house 😉
    I with you all the best x

  27. amber jackson says:

    Worry has been a fairly constant in my life especially with my daughters. About a year ago we started seeing a homeopath for one of my daughters asthma. The homeopath told me that most things in the physical body like illness etc happen for a reason to help us become the people we are “meant” to be. I have contemplated this basically since she told me and it has slowly but surely permeated my being where now my worry at least about the girls health and wellbeing seems to be getting less. This same person also mentioned that if the angels are the protectors and it would behoove me to allow them to do their job. I found this very fascinating because I have felt a huge load of responsibility for keeping my children safe and worrying about even the mundane so when she said that it was almost a relief to me that I am not alone in raising and protecting my children and that they also even at a young age have choices to be made from their own old souls. My daughters were both born early and spent time in the NICU as babies so this is pretty heady for me to let go and let God as my mom would say. I so enjoy your posts especially about your parenting, you have inspired some much needed and long awaited changes in my parenting style and for that I am so very thankful 🙂

  28. Zawacki Eaves says:

    This is such a nice column. This is very helpful specially for mothers like me. It is very true that computers really take our kids’ time, same with the parents’ time with kids. As parents, we should have that ‘control’ and time budget so that we would not sacrifice our family bonding, study time and more.

    This is a very good reminder to all of us parents!

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