You know what’s healthy? Calming the fuck down!

Today I want to talk about managing anxiety because this is by far my number one health struggle. Not diet, exercise (or lack thereof), or getting enough sleep. Just simply not letting my heart jump out of my chest and run the fuck away screaming “the sky is falling” because, come to think of it, those clouds are a little closer than they were 5 minutes and 37 seconds ago.

Now this is because I have a major issue with anxiety. And not that adorable “I wonder if I left the stove on, tee-hee” kind of anxiety, I’m talking next-level, completely irrational, rendered me hospitalized on more than one occasion kind of anxiety.

You know what’s not cute? A 34 year old woman with sleeping with waterwings on and tethered to the bed because you just never know when a tsunami might come, or the Rapture might happen, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna kick it with a bunch ofΒ  angels when I’m supposed to have that Board Report handed in by Thursday.

Your Heartbeat is the Slow Gallup of Death

My degree is in psychology, and I remember in a Biological Basis of Behavior course hearing some theory that you only get a certain number of heartbeats in your life and that once you use those up you die.

Holy shit, hearing that put me in a tailspin that without a doubt shaved a year or two off my life.


As I age and my kids’ nonsense gets me riled up, wasting more of my precious heartbeats, I realize that this is something I really want to work on. Being slightly neurotic might be kind of endearing on TV but at this point my gravestone might as well say “Here lies Mandi, she died as she lived, worrying too fucking much”.

Here are my top 2 secrets for managing anxiety and finding my way off the Anxiety Strugglebus.

manage anxiety pin

Meditate… LOL J/K, Reflection

I’d love to recommend meditation but I’ve not had 3 consecutive quiet minutes to myself in about 4 years so I am currently on the “LOL Meditation is some bullshit” train. So instead what I am going to recommend is “Reflection”.

I think the most often used phrase in my life is “And yet you lived to tell the tale”. As a person who is typically ruled by icky emotions such as guilt and shame, I must love thinking of completely uncomfortable/catastrophic things. I use this to my advantage by reflecting on things in the past that sucked hard but yet I “lived to tell the tale”.

Now you try it- that time you farted in 9th grade gym class, giving birth and being sure you were going to die, every horrific break up. Think about those things and how almost any horrible, uncomfortable experience does indeed end at some point.

Or at the very least transforms into something else equally garbage but different.


Another great thing about reflection is it can help you gain perspective.

Awhile ago my 3 year old fell ill with a very rare but transient illness which was stumping the doctors. I remember getting his test results and spending a lot of time at the hospital. At the time, the word leukemia was tossed around, but we discovered that what he had was strange and transient, but largely harmless.

I try and think of this experience often to remind myself to put things into perspective. It really does help me manage anxiety in the moment.

Is That YOUR Dumpster on Fire?

I have the curse of painful self awareness and after a ton of reflection I have realized that I eagerly take on the stress of shit that I have ZERO control over.

These are NOT my problems, they are NOT my responsibility to fix.

I think for me this comes from the place of being a people pleaser and wanting everyone to be happy. However this tendency is not serving my life or anyone else’s. You cannot put “Clusterfuck Martyr” on your resume so why work yourself into the ground behaving as one.

Figure out what things you have control over and which things you don’t. Delegate your energy and resources accordingly. It really is that simple! But it takes mad practice.


So think of it. If something is not under your control then don’t stress about it.

If it’s something truly horrendous that is out of your control that effects your ability to live happily (such as the case of laws, policy and political type things) then your time is better spent worrying less and doing more with whatever voice, platform or power you have as a citizen.

Activism might get you further than crying into your ice cream while avoiding the newspaper.

how to manage anxiety- table full of things
Picture via Unsplash

How do You Manage Anxiety and Stress?

Surely I can’t be the only one with these problems? How do you all cope?


manage anxiety pin


If you like this please share it! Let’s all Calm the Fuck Down Together!

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  1. The Cupcake Witch February 28, 2018 at 7:21 pm


    Seriously, though, I’m the same way. I get so stressed and anxious over OTHER PEOPLE’S embarrassing bullshit and I hate it.

    1. MandiEm February 28, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      It’s a hard habit to break

  2. thepsychogrok February 28, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Good one. Rumination is the worst.. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. MandiEm February 28, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks so much!

  3. After The Party March 1, 2018 at 5:30 am

    I actually DO meditate, which is part of the reason I get up at like 4:30 every morning-it’s literally the only time I ever get to myself. Exercise is a big one, and watching how I eat is a big one. I know you wouldn’t think these things are linked to how much anxiety you might feel, but for me they have proven to be, over and over.
    This week is a perfect example of how I have done everything wrong! I’ve been anxious, eating terribly, not really working out, and missed at least three days of meditation. By yesterday I was past anxiety into full on depression. Now I’m going to have to work extra hard to pull myself out. I swear to God, exercise must release all that extra, toxic energy that anxiety brings. I kind of hate it, but it also seems to be the only thing that works…besides high grade pharmaceuticals, and no one likes me on those. πŸ™‚

    1. MandiEm March 1, 2018 at 6:10 am

      Agreed diet and exercise (mostly walking but some jogging) were a game changer for my overall mental health. I have tried to get up early to meditate but my kids wake up anywhere between 4:30 and 5:30 and I simply refuse to get up earlier than that! I use to try right before bed but I kept falling asleep. It doesn’t help that I live in a basement suite so I can’t do anything without the subtle background hum of other people yelling and screaming, doing the nasty or dropping 500 quarters suddenly shocking me out of my skin lol

      1. After The Party March 1, 2018 at 6:11 am

        Yeah, my diet was ATROCIOUS in February. I am starting fresh today…going meatless this month! I am nervous and excited. Maybe it will be great!

        1. MandiEm March 1, 2018 at 6:19 am

          It will be! I am 90% meat free and it’s pretty amazing. And so easy and tasty. My diet has been not so good since Christmas and I need to get it together as well
          I’m getting cranky and lethargic

  4. floweringink March 1, 2018 at 6:07 am

    Mandi, I love this post and I love you!!!!! This is you even more unleashed and your voice is immense! You are on a new path ( I think) and this post reflects that. Anxiety is an asshole, but you are clearly learning and teaching others how to not let the fucker take everything over. I am so on board with reflection; it can give perspective, which can quell the noise of anxiety. Thank you for being the hilarious, no bullshit, strong and wonderful woman that you are!!!!!!

    1. MandiEm March 1, 2018 at 6:18 am

      Aww thank you so so much that means the world to me!

  5. rudymariee March 1, 2018 at 7:22 am

    The title totally brought me in!! I am so the person that has to turn away from the tv when there’s an awkward scene. Sometimes I’ll even close a book to regulate myself when something awkward is happening. Great post!!

  6. Tom Being Tom March 1, 2018 at 10:40 am

    You appeared on my Reader! Actually, that’s a thing. For some reason, when you updated, you disappeared, like, completely. I’ve found you on purpose (or through Twitter, though that place gives me anxiety sometimes πŸ˜‚), but not on the Reader! So, anyways, welcome back. πŸ™‚

    I laughed my ass off at “Meditation j/k” πŸ˜‚

    This is such a powerful message, and told with your usual grace and wit. Nothing shortens a life like stress and nothing matters less than stressing over that which we cannot control. I trained my brain for years to be able to get to the point where I can just say “fuck it” when I have to and move on. I mean, beer helps, too. πŸ˜‰

    Good job, my friend, and I promise … I’ll figure Twitter out eventually!

    1. MandiEm March 1, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      Oh no is that what happened?? I heard a similar thing about disappearing and I was like i did?? Haha
      Anyways yes it’s so hard to learn how to let go of all that stress. My husband is doing the beer method too but mine is more of the canned Margarita method. We both still need improvement and more practice hahaha

      1. Tom Being Tom March 2, 2018 at 5:39 am

        Haha! Either medication I strongly recommend to help in this case. Man, I love me a good margarita. πŸ™‚ 🍹

  7. Lilandreasgiantjourney April 5, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    THIS. THIS is why I want to work in holistic health. This is why I feel people are stuck riding the struggle bus over and over and over again. We spend our limited energy focusing on the things that cause us to freak the fuck out rather than use our precious, limited energy to love ourselves.
    Love yo self!

    1. MandiEm April 6, 2018 at 3:01 pm

      Omfg so great to see you here! You are so right 100 million percent

  8. DGGYST January 21, 2020 at 11:59 am



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