Overworked? Underpaid? So stressed that the cat has moved in with a neighbor? International Panic Day is just what’s needed to try to return to some semblance of normality.
Not to be confused with International Picnic Day – which albeit confusingly is celebrated on the same day – this is the one day of the year when it is (almost) considered okay to go postal on whatever it is that causes the most stress in life.
History of International Panic Day
Begun as sort of a ‘mock’ holiday, this idea was put together with the intention of offering a day to shake off the natural state of panic in the lives of many people today. It is a day to sit back, relax and try to let some of that stress and panic melt away.
Although it might be a ‘fun’ little way to address it, panic is a serious topic. In fact, panic disorder is a mental health issue that may affect up to 2% of the population in certain countries. Women are more likely to succumb to panic than men, and the condition is very treatable, particularly when the person affected is armed with self-care tactics while sticking to a healthful diet.
International Panic Day has been taken on by many countries throughout the world to raise awareness of struggles with mental illness. It is meant to encourage people to slow down, relax and get the help they might need if they are, indeed, struggling with panic. The best measures, however, are preventative!
Celebrate International Panic Day by taking time to intentionally focus on reducing stress and taking some time off!
How to Celebrate International Panic Day
International Panic Day can be celebrated by enjoying some time alone (if that’s life-giving), calling a friend, or engaging in some of these activities that can help to reduce the panic and stress in life:
Practice Breathing and Mindfulness Techniques
Whether simply incorporating a few slow breathing exercises for a few minutes or engaging in an entire hour of full-blown mediation, these types of activities can have a huge impact on mental as well as physical health.
Taking time to be centered in the moment can help slow down racing thoughts that cause panic. Breathing deeply can help get the heart rate more regular and minimize the body’s response to stress. If it seems helpful, try taking a class at a community center or yoga studio that will provide techniques and tools for relaxation and stress reduction.
Take Some Time to Relax and Enjoy Life
Perhaps a good idea would be to celebrate the day by taking a step back from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Start by taking a deep breath and trying to relax the mind and body.
Taking the day off work is a great idea! Make up some waffles and refuse to share, retreat to a favorite coffee shop and spend the day with a long past due library book, lounge in a bath overflowing with bubbles, or spend quality time with a close friend.
How about heading out to a local nature spot and enjoying a picnic? Now that’s really confusing, but it does allow the celebration of both picnics and Panic Day all at once!
Get Help from a Professional
Those who are truly struggling with panic as a stress response would be wise to seek help before it gets worse. If calling a counselor seems like too big of a first step, check in with a trusted friend or family member first to see if they’ll help call a counselor or doctor.
It is important to remember that there is no shame attached to mental health issues, and getting help from a professional is the bravest thing a person can do on the road toward recovery!