I can’t believe I’m writing this post, because it is so personal to me. But, I think that it’s important for me to talk about for others, and for myself, especially with everything going on in the world right now.
For those of you who know me, you know that I struggle with anxiety on a daily basis. This is something that I’ve been dealing with for almost 10 years. At first it was crippling, but over time I learned to live with the anxiety, but it’s still there. Now it’s become almost a part of me, like a little friend always sitting on my shoulder, constantly making my mind race with crazy thoughts of everything that is wrong and everything that could go wrong. And honestly with everything going on in the world right now as well as in my personal life (wedding, new home, new job that I’m struggling with, loss of a loved one, and caring for two labradors), it’s been exhausting.
I know more and more people have been struggling with this, especially with COVID, racial injustice, climate change, and political issues flashing across our screens and filling our minds. I’ve been looking for ways to cope and don’t have definitive answers yet, but these are some things that I’m trying.
1. Make a daily ritual
One of the biggest things for me that I think will make a huge difference in my life is having a daily ritual. I’m on high speed from the second I wake up in the morning so that I can get all the things done that I need to do for the day. I always feel like I’m out of time. I’m working on slowing down and creating a daily ritual for myself where I do the same thing every morning, like have a cup of coffee while watching the Today show, and every night before I go to bed, like read a few pages from a book and have a cup of tea. I’ve learned that having a daily routine provides a lot of consistency that sets your day up for success. I used to do this when I was younger but stopped when I moved out of my parents house. I just recently realized that I feel much more comforted at my parents house, and I think its because I kind of follow their routine like this, whereas I haven’t at my home.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff
This is me. I sweat all the small stuff all the time. Like the other night, I brought the wrong face mask to dinner, the one that doesn’t fit as well, and to be honest I was a little upset about it. It’s just a face mask! I’m working on letting go of perfection and letting myself live.
3. Stay off of social media
A huge part of my day is spent flipping through my instagram feed. This takes a lot of time away from being present with my loved ones and being creative. Constantly seeing what other people are doing and comparing myself to others isn’t healthy in the slightest. Constantly being on social media in a way that isn’t productive is a huge waste of time. I’m working on not even clicking on that magnifying button on IG, and only going on social media to briefly post for the day and see stories and posts from my closest friends and favorite bloggers.
4. Engage in storytelling
This is so, so important. Engage in storytelling! Whether it be from reading a novel, watching great movies, or listening to stories of times passed from loved ones, this is such a great thing to do to get your mind off of all of the anxiety-inducing factors in the world right now. I want to add in that even though social justice issues are critically important to be aware of, speak out about, and to try and be better humans for, we are still allowed to appreciate art, stories, and songs that take us away for awhile. It’s what makes us human. Yes, it’s okay to read lighthearted novels! I just read a romance novel called Beach Read by Emily Henry and it was so refreshing to be transported to another world where COVID doesn’t exist and to just be a part of a simple love story, nothing more. I’m working on reading more novels and watching shows that bring me joy.
5. Get invested in a hobby
For me, right now it’s blogging. Honestly, if COVID didn’t happen, I don’t think I would be so invested in my blog right now! This little blog is bringing me so much joy, so I’m focusing on putting my energy here and rolling with it. Other things I’m considering picking up are sewing, quilting, dress making, candle making, making a cookbook, and making photo albums from years passed.
6. Spend time with loved ones
And finally, I’m working on spending more time with loved ones. When I’m around my husband and my parents, I’m not so “in my head” and I just focus on enjoying being with them. Only good can come from that.