So I’m pretty much trapped at home today thanks to the joy of anxiety. Not that I had a lot of stuff to do outside the house today, but right now, I don’t feel like I can leave the house. I’m not necessarily scared to leave, but I feel off-balance, off-center, and just plain old off.
I’d blame it on my cold, saying that my congestion is what’s messing with my head, but I don’t think that’s it because when I don’t think about it, I feel better.
It’s like my brain is messing with me again. It’s telling me to worry. It’s telling me that I’ve over-extended myself. It’s telling me that I’m going to mess up the convention I’m going to this weekend. It’s telling me I have no friend. I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no abilities.
I know it’s lying.
- I printed a bunch of stuff on my 3d printer this morning to sell at the conference this weekend.
- I posted up a FAQ for a special needs kids Easter egg hunt.
- I got the car’s oil changed.
- I did 3 loads of laundry.
- I made myself lunch.
- I packaged up a return and a birthday present.
- I wrote three letters for LetterMo.
- I wrote this blog.
Getting stuff done, then, isn’t the problem. It’s accepting that I’m getting stuff done and keeping on getting stuff done until I feel like I’ve achieved a goal.
I’m fighting off the feelings by using two tricks – one is not really a trick, but it’s helpful: meditation. I put on some calm music and sat down with my hands in my lap and tried to just breathe. I ignored thoughts that raced by, and I tried to stop thinking about anything except my breath going in and out. That was semi-successful. The second one is challenging thoughts.
When I first heard of challenging thoughts, I thought it meant having challenging thoughts – like challenging yourself to do things. Seemed logical.
But then I learned what it was really was: challenging the thoughts you have.
Instead of agreeing with your brain when it tells you that you’re not getting anything done, you stop and consider what you know that might challenge that thought.
My thought that I didn’t do anything today and that I can’t do anything I can challenge by making a list of what I actually did get done. When I think that it isn’t a very impressive list, I have to tell myself that it doesn’t have to be impressive. I didn’t say I had to do an impressive number of things today – I had to do things is all.
Both of those tricks might sound simple, but they aren’t that easy to do when your anxiety is creeping up and growing. I’d guess my level of anxiety is at a solid 5 today, which is much higher than I would prefer it be. But instead of giving in to it and sitting around in bed, I’m up, I’m moving, and I’m doing things. And I feel better for it.