I saw this thread and just wanted to offer some tips on panic/anxiety attacks that my counselor gave me. It may not work for everyone but it’s worth a try. I used to have panic attacks at my desk as well as asthma attacks and although I “loved” my job, it took me several years to realize that even when the job wasn’t in crunch mode, there were some unhealthy mindsets in that work place that contributed to the build up - so by the time crunch mode did happen, the attacks came. I’d advise to take a careful look at your workplace and ask yourself if it’s really just crunch time or could there be other factors that build up your stress little by little so when crunch time approaches, it’s what “makes the pot boil over” basically.
Anyway, ever since I took a remote job, and with a company with some more understanding people, I’ve had less attacks. When I do have them, I find I’m able to pull myself through them better than before. This is what my counselor has worked on with me.
She told me that when we have an attack, it’s like our “fight and flight” instincts reacting, and all “logic” flies out the window. Our bodies are reacting to this threat whether it’s real or not, and if you let your body win, your “logical” side loses. So to help calm down attacks, you have to force your logic to kick in. The logic side of your brain is the side of you that does math, reads, makes sense of things versus just instincts. So when you’re in the middle of an attack, you can try techniques that force you to think away from the attack.
- Name objects around the room one by one
- Count your breathes and slow them down - this doesn’t work for
everyone, I have a friend that says this makes her worse so it
- Read, do a math problem, anything that forces you to think
I had an attack a week ago and found reading the keys on my keyboard helpful while I focused on breathing. She also advised me that when these feelings or thoughts kick in, address the anxiety, not the feelings/thoughts. She recommended activity for anxiety. Sometimes I’d have attacks and just getting up for a walk helped. Activity doesn’t mean you have to exercise and go crazy, just need to move. If you’re not eating or sleeping right, tend to these too. Take care of your body and mind so instead of thinking of it like “how can I fix this anxious thought?” think of it as “my body is anxious right now, what can I do to help fix my body reacting this way?” Sometimes you just need to walk, or to grab some tea, or to have “me time” or call a friend.
She also recommended meditation. I’ve never meditated before but I’m definitely going to look into it. She said to try guided meditations so I can learn first so if that’s something you want to try, go for it.
As for your job, know your limits. I know it’s hard bc for years I put the job first. Before my health both mental/physical and before my family/life. This was a mistake. After my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I started wanting to actually live my life. So ever since, I’ve been trying to make sure I put me first. If a job compromises me taking care of myself or those I love, then it’s not the job I want to stay at.
Hope that helps a bit! Good luck!