Hello Ms. Mow,



*not to be confused with pancakes, or pancakes so delicious they have you “shook”.


This week I decided I wanted us to make up words. The only guideline being that it has to be something that we experience, or see daily that doesn’t have a succinct word. This week I suffered from “PanQuakes”. What is a panquake? Let me tell you.


Panquake (pronounced pan-kweIk) is the sensation of when the anxiety of having a problem continues after the issue has been resolved.


The word panquake was formed due to the strong comparison that can be made between an earthquake and anxiety (panic). Anxiety makes you feel like your world is shaking; an earthquake is only different because the world is actually shaking.


Earthquakes after commonly have what is called an aftershock. Because you are Arizonian through and through, I will enlighten you. An aftershock is a smaller tremble that happens a little while after the initial quake. However, it is not always smaller. Sometimes, it is actual worse and more devastating.


In my experience, this is the same with anxiety. More often than not, my anxiety and stress over a problem continues well after the initial ground-shaking incident.


For example, the other day I was panicking that I had missed an important assignment for a class. I emailed my professor, and waited. The waiting of course was a very anxious time for me, where I had no control over my little universe. A few hours later, my professor got back to me. I had missed the assignment, but as long as I sent it by Friday he would accept the assignment. Mind you this is Monday. I was going to send it the second I got home. I knew everything was fine, but I panicked all the way home. My anxiety swelled inside me, and I had full blown heart palpitations. This wasn’t even a big assignment, and I had fixed it. The anxiety even continued after I sent it. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it. I kept thinking, maybe something else would come up or change. Nothing did. My professor responded with one word, “Thanks”.


Ultimately, I knew it was my anxiety. I could feel how unrealistic my panic was but I couldn’t stop, I had no control. I just had to let the feeling roll over me, and hope nothing fell apart. (Is my earthquake metaphor heavy handed enough?)


You can’t always predict an earthquake, nor a panquake.

Make sure you keep 3 gallons of water, and some peppermint tea. To keep you calm.


Please make up your own word, Ms. Mow. I look forward to it.


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