I live in crisis mode.

Years of unaddressed anxiety have created a normal for me that is crisis. Everything is a crisis all the time, and if it isn’t I will make it one.

My therapist offered me some really good advice yesterday, which was to not hold on to past attitudes and habits as though they are the norm, but rather acknowledge them and use positive and redirective language for the future. I can’t becomes I can and I have choice and countless encouragements to myself that I am not without the ability to change for the positive and get where I want to be.

When I want to make lifestyle changes (healthier diet, more exercise, more time spent pursuing things I enjoy), I tend to go all or nothing. I treat my body like a crisis that has to be fixed, and as a result become exhausted, pissed off, unmotivated and want to do anything but what I am trying to force myself through.

No one has ever accused me of being patient.

I’m taking small, non-crisis steps this time and giving myself a lot of Grace. I didn’t bounce out of bed this morning and run five miles, I pried my eyelids open, tried to ignore the Fitbit buzzing on my arm and was confused about which hour of the day it was for a full 15 minutes before I decided I could manage a 30 minute walk. I ate a grilled cheese sandwich late last night during Golden Girls and I am not beating myself up for it, and today I am lining up easy snack choices that include fruit, quinoa, nuts and yogurt. I’m taking mindful, conscious and intentional small steps to adjust my life toward what I want it to look like, rather than slamming through another crisis (I have enough of those already, I don’t need to turn my lifestyle into one too).

Understanding how anxiety has made me respond to life and understanding that I have a choice about how I respond has been powerful for me. For years I thought I didn’t, that I was just that way. Now I know differently, and now I’m changing out a crisis lifestyle for a healthier one, one walk and piece of fruit at a time.