I am a sufferer of the FOMO loving, YOLO hating, nail biting, hermit inviting, social media hating and loving anxiety and I have been for several years now. I am not alone in my struggle. I possess many wonderful close friends who panic as much as I do when they don’t receive a reply to a non-urgent email within an hour. We bond over our continuous worry about an endless amount of areas in our lives. Our careers. Our relationships (romantic and platonic). Our finances. Our phones’ well-being. Our need for a stable umbrella. Our pillows not being what they used to be. Our paralyzing fear of failure. Our bras disappointing us. Our bikes being stolen. Our bike lights being stolen. Our moms learning how to text. The list goes on and on.
Anxiety is a tumultuous, never ending monster of insecurity and agitation and despair and doubt and oversleeping/undersleeping. This past year after losing my full-time job I experienced some extreme highs and extreme lows and extreme lower lows. I have managed to stabilize myself for the time being and I’m doing pretty well day-to-day but the shakes will likely return at some point in the future. Like most anxious folk already know, it’s rare to permanently cure yourself of this garbage affliction. Success for most of us is decreasing it to a point that it’s relatively manageable and we can live our lives and leave our houses and answer a phone call like the normos do without thinking about it 16 times.
Ah, what a dream that would be! I want said normo dream to come true thus I am dedicating my New Year’s Resolutions to accomplishing this goal. I’ve wanted to consistently do all of the below before but I avoided the list ˜cause I had too much anxiety about it. But, this is the year. This is the year that the condition of my bras don’t make me so nervous that I have to take a two hour nap. Hopefully, others can benefit from this list as well. Also, please note, that I’m being super realistic with this collection of tasks and starting with the bare minimum. If you’re feeling ambitious go ahead and double the quantity for yourself. Adjust as you may. Follow your heart. Breathe into it. Hump that pillow. And join me in this optimistically calming journey.
Meditate for five minutes a day
Now, this may seem like a teeny tiny amount of time to meditate but I’ve dabbled in closing my eyes, breathing, and listening to the sounds of the ocean while cross legged and I guarantee that any multiple of minutes is effective. As with anything else, the longer you do it the more powerful it will be but once again, I’m going to be real with this mission, therefore I will start with five minutes and build it up from there. I even downloaded an app to guide me! Woo!
Start going to therapy again
I attended therapy pretty regularly for about a year and then a few months ago decided I didn’t really need it anymore/couldn’t afford it/was too busy having anxiety attacks to attend therapy sessions. But, I have decided that I need to fit it into my budget because it does contribute positively to my mental health and I do need it and my anxiety attacks sure as hell aren’t going away on their own.
Do yoga once a week
I know yoga isn’t for everybody but goddamn I love me some downward dogs and child poses and the last one where I sleep on the ground. It brings a great deal of peace and comfort and tension-release to my stress-existence. I’ve made impossible workout schedules for myself previously, which included doing yoga every morning at 6 am and twice on Saturdays but achievable goals is the vibe I’m aiming for in 2016. As soon as I get the once a week thing down I will sun salutation it out way more often, like two times a week. My god. Can you imagine?
Do a little cardio too
Other than biking to and from work I have never been a cardio kinda gal. I’ve always admired friends who casually inform me that they’ll meet me for dinner after their run which to me translates to I’m being chased by a large animal and our meal will be that dead animal on a platter ˜cause why else would they be running? I don’t exactly comprehend why anyone chooses to jog in a non-survival capacity, but I must be missing out ˜cause a lot of folks adore it. More likely I’ll swim one single lap biweekly, but hey, baby steps, you know what I mean?
Maintain a regular sleeping schedule
I currently live a freelancer’s sporadic, unpredictable, unhealthy life which includes sometimes going to sleep at 11 pm and rising at 7 am, sometimes taking a nap at 6 pm and waking up in a panic at 1 am, and sometimes meeting a deadline at 4 am, finally passing out at 5 am and rousing from my slumber at 12:30 pm only to remain in bed and on my phone until 3 pm. So, yeah, I need to work on that. I’d prefer to not follow the daily routine of a laid-back vampire.
Step away from my computer/phone for a bit every day
I need my computer and my phone and my social media accounts to pay my bills so I definitely can’t escape the torture of the glowing screen for full days/weeks/months, BUT I can take a hot one hour break from the lure of opening Facebook and then opening Facebook again immediately after closing it and unconsciously opening Facebook one last time before promising myself to not check it for the rest of the afternoon and then opening it again five minutes later. As much as I genuinely like the internet it’s good for the soul to remind myself that I continue to own books and have friends and exist in close proximity to tree(s).
Take more long walks
Speaking of tree(s), I want to spend more time with ˜em by using my leg muscles to propel me forward in a casual motion preferably within parks near my house and subsequent body. Whenever I’m broke, I opt to stroll everywhere instead of purchasing public transit tokens and although it requires more travel time I find I’m typically in a better mood upon arrival. Likely ˜cause I’ve gotten exercise and inhaled authentic outdoor air and listened to Adele’s entire album three times over. Bless that woman for being alive.
Be realistic about my workload
REALISM is the word of the year, people! And that includes NOT making to do lists which are three pages long and include assignments like Finish and start that novel. Open a hat store. Eliminate misogyny worldwide. Make a TV show and build a table and build another table. I’m going to attempt to keep my simple to-dos to a total of five per 24 hours and they will include such enterprises as Do laundry. Finish that piece about anxiety resolutions. Reply to your emails. Polish that script. Buy fruit. Think about opening a hate store. Tell a misogynist to go fuck themselves. Dream about television dreams
Drink less of the alcohol
I’ve already begun this cleanse and I can happily report that it has diminished my post-drunk early-morning debilitating depressive thoughts. I still do consume alcohol here and there but not as frequently as I have in previous months/years/lives. I’m hoping to keep this up and limit the liquor I ingest, specifically the beer I chug, which is the most depressive of all the boozes.
Float in any and all bodies of water
I was at my sister’s house recently for the holidays and I took a soak in her new Jacuzzi tub and I gotta say I kind of now believe in an afterlife and I have a theory that it’s within my sister’s tub. I was in utter heaven! I’ve enjoyed immersing myself in warm H20 since I was a baby and that habit has not retired. In fact, it’s tripled in desire. I often fantasize about hot baths which are highly beneficial for so many reasons including loosening up tight muscles, aiding in good old blood circulation, encouraging masturbation (is that just me?), and putting the human mind at ease. Try it, dear friend. You and your skin and your general bod will love you for it.
IN A HOT BATH WHILE MAKING A SIMPLE TO-DO LIST AND DRINKING A NON-ALCOHOLIC COCKTAIL. I don’t really need anyone to encourage me to masturbate ˜cause that’s my clit’s job (and the job of attractive humans I make eye contact with in coffeeshops) BUT it is great to remember that it makes me smile when I’m in the middle of a breakdown. Orgasms are miracle workers. Trust me. I’m orgasming¦ right now¦and I feel awesome.