Sometimes, The Only Strategy is DIB…
As Anxiety Sisters, we are big believers in not allowing anxiety to take over our lives. In fact, we spend most of our time trying to teach others strategies to allow them to function well despite anxiety. But we are nothing if not realists. Sometimes, no strategy, no amount of effort, no medicine, and no mantras will work. There are days we could breathe deeply while taking an ice bath and repeating “this too shall pass” after taking a Xanax blessed by the Dali Lama and we would still have crushing anxiety.
Occasionally, it is okay to give into the anxiety, and ride it out from the safety of your bed. This is especially true in the beginning of your anxiety experiences, before you have learned what strategies work for you. However, even we anxiety veterans still need to Dive Into Bed (DIB) on occasion. In fact, as long as you follow some DIB guidelines, a few hours or even a full day in bed can be incredibly therapeutic.
Why do we have DIB guidelines? Because if not used with caution, DIB can be a segue to persistent avoidance behaviors which can result in Shrinking World Syndrome (SWS). Yes, we like to use initials — LOL.
- Do not DIB 2 days in a row. Or even 2 days in a week. It’s too easy to make it a habit. (We know this from experience.) If you cannot stop DIBing, you need to seek help ASAP (there’s those initials again).
- Reserve DIB as your emergency option—when you know all other options have been exhausted (or will be useless).
- Try not to DIB during important life events (a friend’s wedding–or your own), a funeral, the day of a trip departure, etc. These are the times we most feel like DIBing, however, if you DIB on those days, it becomes much harder to “get back to normal.” If at all possible (and we know this is no small task), drag yourself out of bed and show up, even if you feel and look like a wreck. Being there counts. And it shows you that anxiety does not get to run your life. Of course, if you do need to DIB…try to do it for only an hour and then get going—no matter what you look like. (Mags once wore sweat pants to an important and dressy event with my family—it wasn’t pretty, but she was there.) Tell yourself to get to the event and that you can DIB as soon as it’s over.
- Don’t feel guilty about diving into bed. It is part of the anxiety condition and happens to all of us from time to time. However, if you are DIBing frequently, take it as a sign that you need more help in managing your anxiety.
My anxiety is a part of my life. I try very hard to show up everyday. I am s care taker for my mom with little support from family. I dou best one day at a time. I look forward to helpful hints. Thanks
Thank you for your comment! The fact that you are trying to show up every day tells me that you already know the secret to managing your anxiety–you aren’t letting it manage you. I’m sorry you don’t have much support from family. Care-giving is really tough. I’ve been through it myself and I know how hard it can be. Just know you are not alone. You now have the Anxiety Sisters in your corner! Read through some of our blogs and soothers for suggestions and helpful hints. We publish new material every week. And we also have a free podcast you can listen to!
I have also been a caretaker over extended periods of time. Remember that this is a marathon and not fast race. Even just a small amount of time put aside for self care is really important. This doesn’t have to be another thing on your “to do” list, but something as small as saying that you are going to sit and do breath exercises for 2 minutes or you are going to buy some epson salts and take a bath with a candle lit in the bathroom. Also, be very specific in asking your family for help so that you can do some self-care. Ask them, even if it seems obvious that you need the help. Be specific and concrete.
Sometimes nothing else helps me but a warm blanket and my sofa..
I absolutely love this and didn’t know it had an official abbreviation 😉 I recently experienced a Depressive epsiode and felt most comfortable DIB-ing with my phone, in the dark, under a weighted blanket, door closed or almost closed, cats asleep if joining (NOT running, fighting and giving me more anxiety) It still is where I found myself today after running a few errands before needing to go out for dinner plans. I think it’s definitely okay to let ourselves have a DIB but knowing I needed to be there was when I knew I needed a change in meds & to see my therapist more.
I love This! I’m not sure how I ended up here, but I couldn’t be more thankful that I did! I’ve read so Many powerful things in just a few Minutes. Ive been struggling with anxiety since I was young. The last couple of years have been the toughest. I lost my 22 year old son, my Everything… He was the best human I’ve ever known. I couldn’t be more proud to be his Mom…♥️
Thank you for everything you do here 🌼