Take Things 10 Seconds at a Time – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

One of the greatest quotes that have helped me through my anxiety is a quote in the Netflix Series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

If you aren’t familiar with that sitcom, it’s about Kimmy Schmidt, a woman who was kidnapped by a cult, was convinced that the world ended, and spent years in an underground bunker to “survive”. The show begins as she’s rescued from the bunker and follows her new life readjusting to real world experiences.

This show is not realistic in overcoming traumatic events, but Kimmy has some profound perspectives on life including this quote that resonated with me the most:

“Do you think you can handle this for 10 more seconds? I learned a long time ago that a person can stand just about anything for 10 seconds, then you just start on a new 10 seconds. All you have to do is take it 10 seconds at a time.”

When I’m in the midst of an anxiety attack, when my emotions seem all over the place, when I feel like I’m mentally falling apart, I just think about that quote. I remember that even though things feel unbearable and I feel like I can’t go on, it IS possible for me to handle anything for 10 seconds.

I don’t think about surviving the rest of the hour, or the rest of the day, I just think about getting through the next 10 seconds. When those 10 seconds have passed, I start on a new 10 seconds.

There are a lot of things in life that I don’t have much control over. Shit happens. When bad, unexpected situations arise, it’s easy for me to instantly react with fear, panic, and anxiety. But breaking things down, taking a breath, and letting those anxious moments pass slowly has helped calm me many times.

Apply this quote to events in your own life. Remember that you’re so much stronger than you think. Even in the worst situations, remind yourself that you CAN get through anything…10 seconds at a time.


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7 Comments

  • Alexandria

    This is so true! Good to remember! I haven’t seen the series, I’ll have to check that out, too!

  • Sarah Tamsin

    This technique really helped me too when I had panic attacks. My anxiety is now less acute, but more generalised, I’ll have a click around hope to find some tips on that as well 🙂

  • Mandy Allen

    That’s a great philosophy for life. I do believe it to be true!

    Enjoy the journey!

  • Thanks, great article.

  • Michelle

    I haven’t caught up with Kimmy Schmidt yet, but I absolutely love this idea! This is a great exercise for stress and anxiety, thank you.

  • Katina Davenport

    Oh gosh. My heart goes out to anyone that suffers from panic attacks and anxiety disorders.

  • One, I love this show! Two, that’s such a great process to live by. Take it a little at a time.

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