Back to the basics minus the anxiety

Everything is exactly in its place. My room has been intensely swept, vacuumed, wiped down, and reorganized. The plants are watered, the bathroom cabinet is decluttered, the trash is out and there's a sense that anything can happen just lingering in the air. The sheets have gone from a summery light ivory to a dark red, the peppermint candle to a warm clove spice candle, August has inevitably turned to September and relaxation is slowly switching gears into work mode. Personally, wholeheartedly preparing for a new season/change really helps create a smooth transition and avoid that sense of riding against the waves. Maybe there's a few things you need to do, write or say before entering this new period (ideas can be found in last week's post), but for today I was hoping to share something that we might all struggle with and how we can go about it...

Anxiety. It's probably something that I have come to a decent place in my life to not only talk about but post about online. Well here goes literally everything. (During the editing process I realized the overwhelming amount of times that I used the word "Anxiety" in this post and thought I should tone it down a bit, so for the remainder of this article I will be referring to it as "it"). It was something that I struggled with most of the beginning of 12th grade and horribly by the end of it before reaching the light at the end of the very very long tunnel. For those you know me, know that I am currently entering my 4th year of uni which I'm over-the-moon excited for!!! Everything is as peachy keen as it can be in university, but before this things were a complete disaster in every way possible. From time to time while doing chem homework or studying in a library and even in a classroom one time, nervous hands would turn to a bottomless pit of nausea which would then morph into disorientation of anything familiar and uncontrollable breathing while trying to grasp onto anything and anyone that can keep me from falling on my face. I think it had to be after I had a panic attack in third period biology, right before my presentation, that I realized I had to do something about this...

My friend kindly asked to be excused from class so she could drive me home (shoutout to her if she's reading this). I got home, didn't change out of my uniform and laid on my bed for God knows how long that day. And that was the beginning of the next two weeks I was going to spend off of school to do what felt like the biggest waste of time everrr. Teachers and principles were accommodating (all but one) and I came back feeling refreshed and out of place (duhh its been a whole two weeks) but feeling mostly refreshed. In this period of time I guess I realized that school and all that it encompasses meant still meant everything but nothing if I truly couldn't enjoy it in good health.

Back then, it was something that broke into my mind and tarnished every good thing I planned, studied, strived for. Fast forward a couple years and it isn't banned but takes a little room in the back of my mind with absolutely no right under any circumstances to touch, alter or suggest anything.

The following is a list of approaches that I personally found helpful when it attempts to make a scene...

  1. Sleep intuitively- even if that means sleeping 9 hours instead of 7 or taking naps

  2. Talk to someone NOT everyone- you don't have to explain your absence/circumstance to anyone that is curious

  3. Be honest with yourself- I had to ask myself if this is the way I wanted to experience life and university and the answer was no so I had no choice but to (continously) choose me over it

  4. When choosing you, do so with no shame

  5. Be caring not curious- this is not for the person dealing with it but for those around them. Be someone to talk to or someone to just sit in silence with

  6. Heal the way you were designed to heal- my way out of it might not look anything like the path your taking (or the one your doctor suggests) and that's totally okay

  7. Know your dreams can still be reality- even if you need extra time on exams or it takes you an extra year to graduate, you'll still get there!

  8. Know you're still you- losing a sense of self is very common especially if it doesn't let you take the drivers seat but know you're still you, your goals are still your goals and your people are still here for you

  9. There's more to life then this- find a hobby, club, intramural team, prayer circle to get fully invested in

  10. Clean your space (room, car, gym bag etc.) and visualize a newness in a specific area of your life

  11. Put things in perspective through talking, walking, journaling, meditating etc.

  12. Get coffee with a friend or by yourself, your pick

  13. Make a list of your go-to wellness treatments, practices, passages and places to utilize when needed

  14. Listen to your doctor/advisors (take your meds/vitamins, go to therapy, accept academic assistance)

  15. Pray and confide- give your problems away to something bigger than yourself

  16. Take it easy- don't put too much pressure on yourself or on the timing of events. Remember to be positive even though everything is telling you else wise and just let things be

  17. Listen to your body- drink lots of water, lay down, eat greens, stretch anytime and anywhere

  18. Listen to chill lofi music- pretty self explanatory

  19. Watch organizational youtube channels. May I suggest Rowena Tsai, Kalyn Nicholson, Lavendaire, Rachelleea, Jusuf and her sister's page petitaventure (you can thank me later)

  20. The early bird takes the gold- make sure to wake up early and arrive to class/appointments/meetings way way ahead of time to avoid the stress of walking in late, trying to find a seat in the back and trying not to cry all at the same time.

I love love love the back to school season over every other season, except for Christmas of course. The sense that anything can happen is exciting and never intimidating. Everything that was once bad can turn to good and everything that was already good can be even greater. Cause why not? As driven as I may seem I want to leave you with this, this is my story and these are my coping mechanisms; I just want to encourage you to do the soul searching that you need. If a pot handle burns you, you wouldn't decide to send your hand into the pot would you? I don't suggest doing the same thing when dealing with it. Sometimes "going harder", "sucking it up" or "taking one for the team" is like putting your hand in a pot knowing very well that this is a danger zone. I believe that anxiety is necessary for life and truly shows that we care about ourselves and others (even if it's sometimes in an unbalanced manner). Knowing how to understand your mind and talking it out with it to see what it's worried about (in order to swaddle all its insecurities away) can be more beneficial then seeing it as something to "beat", "tackle" or "block out". So find ways to relax and feel sane within your own mind and body on and off campus. And if no one has told you yet, you're amazing and you can totally do this! Me and my mom believe in you!

Happy first day loves