Hey again!

This month, I wanted to talk about panic attacks.

Man having panic attack

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like the only part of panic attacks/Panic Disorder (PD) people talk about is the attack part. They talk about mindfulness, and breathing, and calming down, etc.. But, those of us with PD/have had their fair share of panic attacks, know that the struggle is not just the attack. It is also everything that happens afterwards.

For me, the days that follow are just as terrible, (if not worse), than the parts where I am actually panicking. Those days are dampened by extreme exhaustion; for lack of a better description, it legitimately feels like I have been hit by a truck. 

woman alone struggling

This extreme exhaustion does not exactly help in deterring further panic attacks. In fact, it leaves me 10x more vulnerable to them. This has always made me feel so weak and breakable, and I wouldn’t wish those feelings on anyone.

When I was much younger, I was far less capable of seeing these patterns, and was caught up in the whirlwind of constant anxiety and PD itself. Now, after years of hard work and practice, I can not only see the patterns associated with the days following a panic attack, but can help myself “beat” the self-perpetuating cycle created.

My magic solution to “beat” the cycle is not ground-breaking. (It might even sound cheesy). 

The solution is self-care.

Yes, self-care. This phrase has been plastered on the front of every magazine, webpage, and video in increasing percentages over the past few years.

When I refer to self-care here, I am not referring to those popularized notions (i.e., the ones portraying the idea of waking up at 6am, making a homemade acai bowl, meditating, doing yoga, working hard/’grinding’ on a creative project for hours, and enjoying a glass of red wine in the evening to decompress as ‘self-care’).

The self-care I have bought into, and am referring to in this post is way more simple. It basically means asking yourself: “what do I need right now?”

That is literally it. 

I am serious. 

For something seemingly so simple, this kind of self-care is way more work than carbon-copying the self-care talked about in pop-culture. It requires actually understanding/knowing yourself. (But… it really works, while the pop-culture one does not). 

Personally, the process of actually getting to know/understand myself took me so much trial-and-error. And, (I don’t want to sugarcoat it), this process of trial-and-error had some serious consequences at times. Trying the wrong method of self-care, when I was exhausted, and was extremely susceptible to subsequent panic attacks meant that it was much easier to accidentally induce those panic attacks and/or make myself feel way worse on multiple occasions when I test-drove the wrong method of self-care.

I’m sure it is obvious, but that is not fun; it is horrible actually. (All of us who have panic attacks know this fact all too well). 

But, this trial-and-error process led me to the answers I was needing. Now, after trying out several post-panic attack self-care rituals, I found exactly what works for me. I can bounce back 10x quicker.

My chosen methods of self-care are as simple as they get. And, there are only 2 of them:


(i.e., do nothing expect watch movies/read/chill in my bed all day).

man resting on couch


(i.e., spend as much time as I can alone; [while still reaching out to people for support if I need it]).

woman spending some time alone

It is crazy to think that 2 things (that seem so random and simple) could help me so much. That is why I wanted to write about this. I wanted to express to readers that the answers to help you through tough times (e.g., post-panic attack recovery) aren’t always 5am hot yoga classes, mountain hikes, retreats, and/or self-help books. By getting to know yourself, you will be able to find the answer that is perfect for you and your own, personal self-care needs. 

Something COMPLETELY different works for everyone, and there is no shame in struggling to find the right strategy for you. For years, I thought talking to people in my life was the answer… (update: it definitely was not).

woman hiking/doing yoga on top of mountain
two friends in conversation

But, it actually is for some people! Tons of people benefits from things like that, things that make me feel 10x worse. Other examples of those are: doing chores, getting ready and going out, spending time with friends, cleaning, going to the gym, sleeping it off, etc..

We are all different, and just need to discover what works best for us.

I encourage you to venture out on a journey to discover your own personal self-care methods to fit your needs perfectly. This is a scary journey, and panic attacks might happen along the way, but this terrifying path is one we can all walk together. 

Panic Disorder/having panic attacks does not make us weak; I know that all of you who ‘fit into those categories’ are some of the strongest people around. And that is why I know you can do this:) 

Again: I know it is incredibly scary, but it is worth it. We all deserve to know how to take care of ourselves when we are feeling at our lowest.

Screw the stigma<3

The views expressed in this blog are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the University of Victoria. I monitor posts and comments to ensure all content complies with the University of Victoria Guidelines on Blogging.