The Benefits of an Anxiety Attack Checklist

We can combat our panic by gaining control where possible.

Vanessa Torre


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The first time I had an anxiety attack, I had no idea what was happening to me. I knew I was overwhelmed but I didn’t realize how bad it was. I also didn’t realize that the anxiety hangover is very real and a shame-filled hellscape.

If you’ve suffered from anxiety attacks, you know the hangover. It’s that point after the fog has lifted where you still feel like crap and you never want to go through that again. And you’re left feeling too tired to deal with life.

But, no matter how horrible the thought is and how much we can’t bear it, we have to. The more dealing with life we do, the easier it gets.

The soul-crushing part of having an anxiety attack is that when we’re in the middle of one, we feel like there is no way out. Doom is impending. We just need a little room after the attack. The only person that can make that room is us but there’s plenty of support if we make space for that too.

I’ve learned that the bigger the safety net I can create for myself, the easier it is for me to feel safe. Safety keeps the anxiety at bay.

The safety net is looking at everything I panicked about during an attack and figuring out if I can decrease the level of concern. Decreasing concern widens the net.

It means naming every paper tiger I’m chasing and putting it back in its cage. It requires breaking down something that keeps us up at night and creating an actionable plan that results in us being able to look at what we’ve done about it and reassure ourselves.

Baby steps.

I’ve had a particularly panic-filled year for no explicable reason. I have not felt like I was adulting very well. I’m 46, for God’s sake. I should have this down by now.

I started asking myself questions after my anxiety hangover would pass. Out of that came plans I now refer to as my Anxiety Checklist.



Vanessa Torre

Top 10 feminist writer. Writing, coaching, and relentlessly hyping women in midilfe. Email: