This week has been hard. Actually, these past few weeks have been hard, I just having been paying attention. The cause is the amount of change happening all at once. Change is good, and I’m really excited for what’s coming up soon. I’m moving to Denver, there’s a lot of exciting things happening at work, and I’m figuring out how to be a blogger. These are all good things. I’ve been optimistic about the next few months but I’ve kind of created a bad place for myself by getting so caught up in the stress it takes to get there.
The stress is something I’m putting on myself. It’s there, it’s real, it effects my body, but I’m also the one causing it. I am really good at making mountains out of molehills because I’m hard on myself and set unrealistic expectations for myself. I tend to push myself to the breaking point before I realized how hard I’m pushing. I’m starting to learn how unhealthy this is. Part of this is just who I am, but most of it is caused by anxiety. All the change and the extra things that need to get done (moving…ugh), put me in an anxious state and my mind turns into a constant cycle of what I need to get done. I add too much to my list and set too short of deadline then get overwhelmed which makes getting anything done difficult, then I feel guilty about not getting as much as I wanted to done. Anxiety is EXHAUSTING, let me tell ya.
As I’m learning more about myself, I’m discovering I let my emotions build up way too much. I push everything besides stress away, and let that fuel me. I’ve been stressed out about moving since the beginning of summer. It took me until the end of July to realize that most of my negative thoughts and emotions were being caused by this stress I’m putting myself under. I didn’t take the time to think about how sad I am to be leaving Boulder and that I’m scared about adjusting in Denver. Bringing these feelings into my conscious mind has made a huge change on my outlook and helped me calm down so I can actually get shit done.
My first reaction to this new “ah-ha” moment was anger at myself. A few days ago I was not the biggest fan of myself. I couldn’t believe how long I let things go downhill before I got back to normal. It took a while for it to “click” that I am recovering from generalized anxiety and that isn’t just a straight road forward. I read this article on BuzzFeed and they did a great job of depicting it (above). There will be a lot more setbacks and if I don’t forgive myself for them, I won’t be able to move forward. Life is all about learning and I learned a lot about myself and anxiety so I’m glad I let myself get to the breaking point and I hope that next time I can catch it a little earlier and forgive myself.
Some of the things I learned:
- Mindfulness is key. Happiness exists only in the present moment. You might as well experience every moment you’re in. (Also: I’m learning that mindfulness is really, really hard to make a habit.)
- I am a sensitive and emotional person. That’s not something that’s going to change. I am happier when I honor the extremes of my emotions and let them flow through me.
- Learning how to keep my mind healthy will be a lifelong process. I will have setbacks the rest of my life, no matter what goal I’m working toward. But as long as I’m learning, I’m moving forward.
Here are some of my goals for the next few weeks:
- Put myself first. My real “self”, not the anxious, stressed out “self”.
- Focus on doing one thing at a time with mindfulness.