If you're someone who lives with anxiety, then you know everyday tasks can seem to be impossible.
But what if you're someone who doesn’t suffer from anxiety, yet the person you’re in a relationship with does… that can seem to be impossible, right? WRONG.
It may be tough, especially on certain days, but you can MAKE IT WORK, you’ll just have to understand what your partner is going through.
6 Ways to Help Support Your Partner with Anxiety
1. Talk it Over
The way you can achieve this is by sitting down with them and asking them how their anxiety affects their daily life.
You can’t truly understand how to support them through a troubling time if you can’t put yourself in their shoes. So, talk to your partner!
2. Professional Help
Sometimes you can talk it through with your partner and even with a solid understanding, there’s nothing you can do to help ease their anxiety.
If things continue to get worse, you should tell your partner to seek professional help.
A therapist can help your partner understand themselves and their anxiety.
But professionals say you shouldn’t make the call to a therapist. You should talk to your partner about a therapist and support them enough that they decide to make the call.
When dating a partner with anxiety, sometimes certain things they say or do can be frustrating. But even when you do get annoyed, don’t patronize your partner over whatever fear they may have.
Instead, you should encourage your partner to face their fears, to tackle their anxiety head-on.
4. Don’t Forget About Yourself
Yes, living with someone who suffers from anxiety can take a lot of your time, but you shouldn’t forget about your own life.
Take time for yourself to do the things you like to do. It’s best to set up a routine, like exercising every day at a certain time or set up a day when you go hang with some friends.
This is vital for your own mental health.
5. Engage in Helpful Activities
We’ve spoken about keeping some time to yourself, like working out on a set schedule.
That is something you should do, but engaging in a helpful activity with your partner could ease their anxiety and strengthen your bond as a couple.
Create a workout plan you both can do at certain times during the week. This is something fun and engaging for you and your loved one.
You can do physical workouts, but mental workouts maybe even better. You and your partner could hold hands, listen to some calming music while you both practice meditated breathing.
This is a great way to combat their anxiety.
6. Manage their Anxiety
According to Cory Newman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, the goal isn’t to defeat anxiety, it’s managing it.
Newman says, “A lot of people with anxiety disorders understandably view anxiety as the enemy. Actually, it’s not. The real enemy is avoidance. Anxiety causes people to avoid things — like applying to schools, flying to a cousin’s wedding — [that can lead to] an enriched life. And that causes depression.”
Newman went on to add, “You can have an anxious life, but if you do things — you’re doing that job interview, you’re saying yes to social invitations, you’re getting in that car and driving to the ocean even though… you don’t want to drive 10 miles — you’re doing those things still. OK, you might need medication or therapy, but you’re still living life.”
So to recap, don’t let anxiety run your life, live it still. And for the partners of people with anxiety, support them, help encourage them to live their life.
Show them they can manage their anxiety, and together you can have an amazing relationship that lasts.