A Lesson for the Anxious from Schitt’s Creek: What People Might Think

by: Danielle Ternyila

“Trust me, people aren’t thinking about you the way that you’re thinking about you,” Alexis Rose said in the award-winning Netflix series Schitt’s Creek.

As someone suffering anxiety constantly, this motivating quote hit home in a real way. Her adult brother David is a nervous wreck over taking his driving test, and she explains it this simply: no one is thinking about you the way you’re thinking about you.

Anxiety has this terrible way of convincing us of the worst and overthinking everything. I often spend more time stressing over every detail of my life; I can get so caught up in “they’re going to think this about me” and “this is not what they want me to do,” but the truth is no one cares more about myself than me. I am my biggest critic, just like you your own and David his.

David’s driving test was causing him so much stress and anxiety because he was worried about passing, failing, letting the driving instructor down, or just doing it all wrong. Alexis reminds him he is the toughest on himself, which feels matter-of-fact to her, someone who does not often second-guess herself or question her worth. David fires back that she doesn’t know what it’s like to be him, and he rattles off reasons things are “easier” for Alexis. These are all excuses in David’s mind, though, that he uses as a coping mechanism when things feel hard for him.

It’s easy to be on the outside looking in, and we see this when David tells Alexis her life is so easy. Our anxious minds aren’t going to tell you everyone struggles and it’s hard for us all; we don’t know what battles others are going through, so it’s just easier and more common to assume they just don’t have any.

David puts this new knowledge to the test when he gets in the car with the driving instructor, and he asks how much the guy really cares about David’s driving. Turns out, he was hardly paying attention, he was really longing to make his DJ side gig his career, and no, he didn’t care how well or bad David did and how David presented himself.

We are so afraid to be judged, yet here David realizes that that he was so nervous to impress someone who didn’t even look at him during his test, let alone judge him. From my anxiety-ridden perspective, it’s important to see this dialogue we often hear internally and see how it really plays out.

Moral of the story: don’t be so afraid you start holding yourself back. Your anxiety is only mirroring your biggest fears, not reality, and if you still can’t gain control over your mindset in the most stressful moments, then at least binge Schitt’s Creek for a chuckle (advice from a fan.)

Achieve Your Health Goals Like a Pro

by: Danielle Ternyila

I wish I was the kind of person that meal prepped. I wish I liked salads and healthy foods. I wish I could afford organic ingredients. I wish I had time to cook better meals. I wish there was enough time to go to the gym.

No, you’re not the only one thinking these things and struggling to take back your health for reasons like these. These wishes sound so hopeless, but telling your self any of this is NOT going to make things happen for you. Your health should be your number one priority, above anything else you do, and there is no reason you can’t.

No one is born to meal prep or cook specialty meals. Those people who do, though, actively choose to live that life. They don’t wish for things to happen, they make them happen. And if you have been struggling to get past the wishing and daydreaming, start acting.

We’ve all heard it in so many ways: actions speak louder than words. This is true even in achieving your goals. Telling yourself you can’t do it with these petty wishes and “Debbie Downer” thoughts will never will it to life. You set yourself up for failure every time you talk down about yourself, whether it is in the privacy of your mind, your car, or in a rant to a friend.

The only thing standing in the way of achieving your goals is the excuses you allow yourself to believe. At the end of the day, it is all just that. You don’t like salad is an excuse to eat bad instead. You don’t have time is an excuse to get out of 30 minutes at the gym. You can’t meal prep “right” so you stick to your old unhealthy habits.

Make the decision to follow your dreams. Do what you need to do make them a reality. Go the extra mile, put in the time even when you think you can’t, and tell your mind to “shut up” every time it tells you another excuse.

You can’t just wish for it. You have to work for it. And it never gets easier, you just get stronger!

9 Ways I Gain Control of My Anxiety

by: Terry Ternyila

One thing that most people don’t know about me is that I suffer from anxiety. For as far back as I can
remember, I struggled with it daily, and it is still something I must actively fight to control, even as an adult today and parent of adult children.

I struggle with anxiety with new situations, driving to places, going to the doctors or appointments,
meetings at work, and social anxiety for parties and events. When I was younger this would keep me
from attending certain events or parties. I would be riddled with stress for days before going for a
procedure or appointment for something. And I would just dread if I had something to do at work that needed to be presented in a group. Over the years I have learned practices that I have put in place to ease my stress and anxiety in situations.

One of the biggest things that helps me is being organized and planning. Below are some tips that I have developed for myself over the years.

1. Make a list.

I always start out each day with a list of things I have to do for the day or even for the week, reminders for any appointments, calls I need to make, or places I need to go. This helps me prepare for the week, looking at what I have coming so I have what I need to do. The more prepared I feel, the less stressed I am.

2. Tackle the things that stress me out the most first.

If I keep putting it off, the stress grows with each passing hour or day that I don’t do it. It becomes a dark cloud over my head, so I get it off my list first and feel so relieved. Usually its phone calls and scheduling appointments that I stress about most.

3. Save important info to your phone.

Keeping important information available on my phone has become such a life saver; I make lists of medication history, healthy history, or symptoms so they are easy to access at an appointment, and I can also remember what I need to discuss, even track symptoms to see when something started.

Another pro tip: Keep shopping lists on the Alexa app so you don’t have to worry about forgetting it when you stop at the store. Just let her know what needs to go on the list in the moment, then look back while you’re doing your grocery shopping.

4. Be Prepared.

This goes for most everything I do; I think of the situation, whether it’s a work meeting or vacation, then I prepare and organize myself so I can feel confident from the start that I have everything I need – items, information, research…whatever I could possibly need.

5. Arrive early.

This is huge for me. I always give myself plenty of time and leave earlier than I need to. I have found that if I am rushed or nervous about being late, it will fuel that anxiety and it will snowball into something worse. I have plenty of time to find where I have to go and allow for a few wrong turns, and I have time to walk around looking for the office or room, even the bathroom if that’s a concern! Sometimes it gives me a few minutes to collect myself before walking in.

6. Talk it through.

I tend to give things more stress than they deserve, so I have found that I like to think it thru and ask myself “what is the worst thing that can happen?” This usually puts it in perspective in my head. Once you realize that the worst case is really not a big deal and can be easily addressed, you tend to calm down a bit.

7. Admitting your issues to others.

Growing up there was a lot less talking about feeling than today. Now there are so many more discussions and Facebook groups with people going through the same thing. I think we have all realized that what we are feeling is a lot more common than you think. So saying to someone, “Sorry I just have so much anxiety at these things” or “I am just very nervous doing this” helps bond with others that may be feeling the same way or understand what you are feeling at that moment.

8. Don’t borrow stress.

This one sounds a little weird, but I have learned that I would be so worried about getting something right in a situation where it is not my place to make sure it’s right. If I am going somewhere or doing something, and it’s not my job or my place to take care of events, don’t stress about it. If it’s not my job to take care of it, then I don’t need to stress about it for someone else, such as when my husband is planning something and I take on the stress for him.

9. Communicate your needs to your partner.

This may seem like a no brainer, but you don’t realize that we do things and never explain why we do them, so the more my husband or children know about my stress, the more they can assist in making sure I can do what I need to enjoy ourselves.

My husband is not built like me and doesn’t need these things in place, but he respects that I do. He knows both of us will have a much better time if I just have a few things in place to keep me feeling calm. Instead of just telling him I hate to be late, I explain that when I am running late it give me more anxiety, and I can’t calm down or shake the feeling for the rest of the night. Instead of him blowing it off, he understands and makes every effort to make sure I am comfortable.

Everyone is different and these may not help everyone. You need to learn what techniques you can
bring to your every-day that would help you minimize the anxiety in your life. You will enjoy
more and sleep better for sure.