Well, I figured after my last post, where I got real about my current life situation (and losing my job), now is the right time to continue the journey of being transparent, honest and share my struggle of anxiety with you. So many people resonated with my Life Transitions post, and I received so many sweet/amazing messages from people, I hope this post will do the same and inspire someone out there.

(Plus, we’re going to talk for a quick second about this jumpsuit and why I’m obsessed…because, fashion.)

Let me start by saying that I didn’t recognize (and acknowledge) that I was struggling with anxiety until very recently. And to even talk about it via blog feels really weird and makes me cringe. How many other people think like I do? Am I crazy for these feelings? What will my friends and family think?

I think the realization actually came about at the same time I lost my job and shit essentially “hit the fan”, so to speak. Once I was done working, I took a few weeks to do nothing, completely decompress and in turn I slowly realized I was a ball of anxiety. I became hyper aware of my “idosyncrasies” throughout the day.

When working 40+ hours a week, the only feelings I really felt were stress, anger, and exhaustion. And now that my schedule is more fluid and flexible, I have more time to feel other things… like anxiety. “WHOA- where is this coming from and why” were my first thoughts.

What anxiety means to me:

I feel like anxiety is a word thrown around quite a bit, and everyone’s definition is different. For me, anxiety means that I start to feel claustrophobic (in my mind and body), my heart starts to race, I get really hot (clammy hands, rosy cheeks…), and it gets harder for me to breathe.

And one other thing- the MAIN thing….I get SUPER fidgety. Playing with my nails, touching my hair, anything. My hands are always moving, I can’t sit still, and it’s really interruptive. I’ll be middle of a conversation with someone and realize that for the last 10 minutes I was awkwardly playing with my hair, or picking at my nails. (Gahhh).

What causes my anxiety? Still trying to pinpoint that part (and I think it’s a lot of things), but I have some sort of an idea.

First- social settings. Large crowds really freak me out, and even small intimate parties can cause anxiety flare ups for me. It’s hard to navigate when and where these moments will hit, and I often times have to just exit situations in order to calm myself down. I’ve had to leave clubs early, cancel plans with friends last minute, etc.

Second- negative self-talk. Like, constantly. So much so that I never even realized it was a thing I did, until Rob helped me to understand it. Dealing with self-love has always been difficult for me, and I think it’s even harder in today’s age of social media and constant comparison and judgement.

Third- This is probably obvious, but my stressful career was a trigger point. Fashion and jewelry are my passions, and mean so much to me, but being in a negative corporate environment was not helping to fuel me. It did the opposite. Now that I have escaped that time in my life, I’m feeling excited about fashion again, and about Worship Worthy as a brand. That feeling of anxiety about the fashion industry and where I belong in all of it, has lead me to want Worship Worthy to inspire others (and myself) to be the best version of themselves, to feel amazing in their skin, and to know their worth. I’m doing so through quotes, positive images (& more quotes…), and through fashion and jewelry that make people feel awesome.

“Ugh, I don’t look like her”

“She has such amazing photos, mine suck”

“Her following is huge, I’ll never get to that point”

“She’s killing it with her business, how will I get to that level”

“I don’t want to reach out to them, what if they reject me”

“Oh god, I shouldn’t have said that. That was stupid.”

You get it. And I’m sure everyone does the same thing from time to time. For me, this is a daily struggle.

My 5 tips on coping with my anxiety:

  1. Take a breath. Sounds silly, but honestly, I have to consciously tell myself to stop, and physically take a few DEEP breaths. While doing this, I’m able to also slow my heart rate down a bit. It’s like a mini mediation session and it truly does help.
  2. Limit drinking and caffeine. For me, drinking and caffeine really affect my mood and my daily struggles with anxiety. And drinking, if I’m being honest, is an easy way to mask any uncomfortable feelings, am I right? Plain and simple, I feel better without them. Cutting them out 100% likely won’t happen for me (because I love wine and coffee), but I am more aware of it now and only consume both in moderation.
  3. Lean on a friend or partner. Rob is a huge part of my life, obviously, and my anxiety (and my not dealing with it or recognizing it) really impacted our relationship, and still does. I know that he will be patient with me when I’m struggling with my anxiety, but I want to get us to the point where he doesn’t need to. My goal is to fight off my feelings before they impact him, our day, our interactions, etc. (That is a whole other post that I’ll be diving deep into at a later date… so much to cover there). However, having someone to help you when you’re stuck in a moment of severe anxiety is crucial. Rob will always give me a huge hug, and his squeeze instantly brings me back to reality. He also calls me out when I’m being fidgety- he’ll hold my hand if I’m picking at my nails, or he’ll tell me to stop playing with my hair, etc. Accountability and a partner to help guide you through the ups and downs is vital. Be it a partner, or a friend- find someone to lean on.
  4. Exercise. Everyone always says this helps, and until now, I didn’t believe them. However, I will say that you should exercise doing something you LIKE to do. Running, going to the gym, yoga, are all things I have tried, but hated. They didn’t make me feel good afterwords, like I thought I was “supposed” to. Now that Platefit has entered into my life, it’s the only thing I look forward to going to do, and I also FEEL incredible afterwards. Literally didn’t think it was possible…
  5. Change your focus. Often times it’s helpful to just change what you’re focusing on all together. If I’m on my computer working and start to feel overwhelmed or anxious, I’ll get up and move. I’ll go to the kitchen to wash dishes, take a break to make some food, or paint my nails. Anything to get your mind off of your mind (essentially) and onto something else.
  6. Trust your gut (bonus tip). I’ve learned that if I’m feeling really anxious about an event, it’s OK for me to opt out sometimes. I do tend to push myself to get out of the house when I don’t want to, because I usually feel better once I’m actually IN the situation. But, I do feel that it’s OK to trust your gut and know when you’re just not up for it. Also, I know that I need time alone. After busy weekends, days and days filled with plans, interaction with a lot of people, I need a day off. It helps me to be completely by myself, watch Netflix, and paint. Those things relax me, and ultimately help me to cope day to day.

And let me just reiterate, daily practice of all of these tips is 100% necessary for me. I know that if I am not actively doing all of the above, I am absolutely going to have an anxiety attack and I’m going to feel awful. It’s not easy to do, but if I can leave you with anything, it’s practice, practice, practice.

If you’re still here reading this, maybe you are also struggling with your own anxiety, or know someone else who is. I hope sharing my story can help to make it easier for others to share theirs and to help spread the message that we’re ALL dealing with something. Instagram is for the pretty pictures, we don’t share the negative or difficult times. And remember, anxiety isn’t an ugly word!

Here are some links, articles and books that I have found really helpful:

Okay, now that we’ve gotten through all of that, lets just touch on this JUMPSUIT for a second, OK?

I scored this baby from bebe before I left, and I’m in love. I don’t have a ton of places to wear it, if I’m keeping it real, but it’s so good! The fit is perfect (after a little tailoring on the legs) and the vertical stripes make you appear soooooo tall and lanky. Which means… super flattering!

They don’t have this same color available on the site anymore, but they do have this new colorway that I’m obsessed with! Perfect for summer, but also would be a great transition piece into fall with a denim or leather jacket.

And just in case you want some more jumpsuit options, scroll through the looks below to shop directly!

XO, Ali

And here are some amazing finds from Amazon!

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