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Conquering Irritability and Anxiety

May 16, 2024 Kirsi Cannaday

One of the most difficult side effects of my anxiety is irritability. I can easily snap over small things. It's exhausting to feel irritable most of the time, and my poor family gets the brunt of it. In my journey to healing, I have found that I am most irritable at certain times of the day. Gaining this knowledge has helped me find ways to conquer irritability, and because of this, I know that you can, too. 

My Common Anxious and Irritable Times

Early on in my anxiety diagnosis, my therapist helped me realize that lunchtime was a peak anxiety point in the day for me. My toddler would get whiny and clingy as she started to get hungry, the baby would need to be nursed, and I would feel shaky because my body yearned for lunch, too. Everything seemed to come crashing down together, and I would get irritated and overwhelmed. 

Discussing my days further, we also discovered that bedtime was another peak anxiety and irritability point for me. I just needed my kids to go to sleep, and they (especially my oldest) would fight it so hard. After feeling anxious all day, irritable, and exhausted my coping skills would be to a minimum. I needed relief or I would snap, be grumpy, and maybe even yell or cry. 

Conquering Anxiety and Irritability at Lunchtime and Bedtime

Realizing my peak anxiety points in a day became a turning point in conquering them. I implemented the plan for lunchtime to set an alarm for one hour before the usual time we ate lunch. Setting this alarm helped me prepare our food earlier so that when our bodies were ready to eat, the food was ready, too. 

This simple step made all the difference. I made the food without a crying, clingy toddler on my leg and a crying baby ready to be nursed. Our lunchtimes went smoother and I felt less irritable and more peaceful. Making a menu plan the night before was another simple step that took the pressure off for meal time the next day. 

Bedtime has remained a peak anxiety point for me throughout the last few years. The biggest conquering tool for me is making sure to ask for help. I shouldn't ever feel guilty for asking my husband to help or even take over if it is becoming too much for me to handle and I can feel the anxiety and irritability rising. 

Other steps that help are having a good bedtime routine, turning on peaceful music to calm myself and my kids, taking deep breaths, reminding myself that they will fall asleep at some point (I am not trapped in bedtime forever), and putting my anxiety in a box in my mind and locking it away.

Hope from Feeling Anxious and Irritable 

In my experience, I found that pinpointing peak anxiety times in my day is a great way to start conquering your anxiety and irritability. When do you feel most anxious and irritable? Take time to acknowledge throughout the week if there are any consistent points where you feel this way. Once you have those, make an action plan. 

My action plan includes setting an alarm, making a list, practicing coping skills (such as deep breathing or meditation), and asking for help. As you acknowledge your peak anxiety points and implement a plan to combat them, I believe you will feel more peaceful. Share your plan with someone who can help you keep on track, and you'll be well on your way to conquering your anxiety and irritability. 

APA Reference
Cannaday, K. (2024, May 16). Conquering Irritability and Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2024/5/conquering-irritability-and-anxiety



Author: Kirsi Cannaday

Kirsi Cannaday is an Idaho-born Georgia girl and mom of two, finding herself after getting lost in anxiety for a while. Find Kirsi on Facebook and Instagram.

Karla M
May, 18 2024 at 10:08 pm

Going through this right now. Thank you for your valuable insight Kirsi. You give me hope things will get better.

May, 20 2024 at 9:56 pm

Thank you for your comment. I hope you'll find trying out the tips I shared helpful. It really will get better! Some days are hard, but as I use my coping skills and conquering tools I find I can overcome my anxiety and irritability and I know you can, too.

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