Read This If You Feel Like You’re Losing The Battle With Your Anxiety

Note to self.

Source: Read This If You Feel Like You’re Losing The Battle With Your Anxiety

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New Year Resolutions

Well, 2016 is officially here and I am not upset to say goodbye to 2015. It was an interesting year, if nothing else, and I learned a lot, both about myself and others. I hope 2016 brings health and happiness for myself, all of my friends and family and anyone who might be reading this. With that said, it is the time of year to make resolutions. Plans for self-improvement in the new year. If you’re anything like me, you make resolutions that are way too broad and unattainable and you stick to them for approximately 11 days (if that) before reverting to your old ways and saying you’ll try again next year. So this time around, I’m doing things a little bit differently. I have decided to make monthly resolutions for myself. This way, if it’s awful, I only have to stick to it for 30 days! And if it works well, I can try to continue it again the following month! What’s not to like? So here it is, my list of goals for January 2016:

  • attend 1 yoga class each week
  • do 4 barre classes each week (either at a studio or online – minimum 30 minutes, maximum 60 minutes/class)
  • buy less than 5 meals (including going out for dinner, ordering delivery and buying snacks/lunches from fast food places because I was too lazy to make lunch)
  • no alcohol
  • turn my phone off between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am

This may be an ambitious list to accomplish all in one month, but realistically, I was on the way to doing most of these things before the holiday season so I don’t think it should be overly difficult to accomplish. I hope that working towards meeting these goals will help me improve my physical, nutritional, financial, emotional and mental health.

Wishing everyone a wonderful new year and I hope the holiday season treated you all kindly!

My new friend, apathy.

Apathy has been creeping into my life over the past few weeks and it seems like it has moved into my soul. While there are many symptoms that seem more concerning, apathy is my least favourite part about anxiety. It takes away my energy and motivation to do the things that I need to do and it takes the enjoyment out of the things that I want to do. I am nearing the end of the semester and the stress has been accumulating, a never ending to-do list floating around my head and weighing me down. Unfortunately, instead of being productive and working to check things off that list, my brain has a different way of coping with the stress. It’s like it tries to protect me from feeling too much stress and anxiety by removing the sense of urgency, but it has the unfortunate side effect of making me not care about anything.

I’m still eating and sleeping and exercising and showering, but I haven’t been to class all week. I justified it yesterday by saying that I needed a mental health day, which wasn’t a lie. I told myself I would go today because I shouldn’t miss two days in a row, especially when I only have three days of class each week. Instead, I let myself sleep in and justified staying in bed with the rain that’s pouring down outside. I have to go to class tomorrow to hand in my final assignments, but that means that I first have to finish those assignments. I make myself a tea, and open the document, and stare at the blank page before getting frustrated with myself and my lack of concentration, my lack of ability to finish what should be a relatively simple task. I need to get this done today. I need to focus. I need to care. But I can’t.

He’s Moved On (Heartbreak: Stage 5)

I thought I was doing great. I really, truly thought that I was over it, that I was over him. I thought my heart had started to heal. And then I logged on to Facebook to see that dreaded status update: he is in a relationship with someone else. All of a sudden, my heart was in my throat, my hands were shaking and tears were welling up in my eyes.

My first thought was “who is she?” Okay, I’ll be honest, it wasn’t quite so polite. I’m not proud to say that my first thought was actually more along the lines of, “Who the f*ck is this b*tch?” But what I really meant was, “Why her?” What makes her better than me?

We dated for 6 months before he decided that he wasn’t ready for a relationship. It’s been three months and now I guess he’s ready. So why her? What is it about her that made you want to be in a relationship when you didn’t with me? Was I just somebody that you knew you could hook up with for a while without getting attached? Was I just a way to kill time until you found someone you actually wanted to be with?

I’m sure I’ll never know the answers to these questions, and I probably don’t really want to anyway, but it hurts to know that I wasn’t enough for him. And I know that I’ll be fine again and that I’ll get over him for real eventually, but that doesn’t change the fact that it feels like my heart is breaking all over again.

Stress, health, and other concerns

I’ve spent more time at the doctor’s office in the past month than I have in the past two years. Nothing terribly serious, but it’s not been a particularly fun month. I went in a few weeks ago to get my birth control prescription renewed. I’ve never had any problems with it in the past and figured it would be a 15 minute maximum visit, as per normal. It was my first time seeing this doctor so I had to go through the whole new patient process which involved filling out a lot of forms and answering a thousand questions for the hundredth time. Annoying, but expected. Anyway, as is normal procedure with birth control pills, the doctor took my blood pressure and was concerned that it was a little high. Not high enough to stop the medication, just high enough to make me come back every week to get it checked again.

She, as well as her medical student and the four nurses who I’ve now spent time with, have all mentioned that it’s quite common for people’s blood pressure to spike a) in the doctor’s office in general, and b) when repeated tests/visits are ordered. It’s been proven twice now that if my blood pressure is taken 3 times with 5 minutes in between each, it goes down steadily and reaches a perfectly normal reading by the end of the process. Now this sounds like good news, right? Right. My blood pressure at the mid-point of my visit today, on my 5th reading, was 113/76 which is fan-freaking-tastic. I have anxiety. Doctors stress me out. Anxiety and stress cause spikes in blood pressure. So then, it seems perfectly logical that it would be higher when I first get there and first get examined by a doctor who I find to be the opposite of calming and lower when I’ve been sitting alone in a room relaxing for a few minutes.

However, apparently this eventually normal reading was not satisfactory enough for my doctor. No, no, no, I’ve been ordered to do a 24 hour blood pressure monitoring at some point over the next two months. I was told to call and make an appointment “whenever was convenient for me”, but when is it really convenient to wear a blood pressure cuff for 24 hours straight? Never, that’s when. So I figured I might as well just do it and get it over with so I’ve booked their earliest appointment which is in a couple weeks and I guess I’ll just plan on being a hermit that weekend so that my arm can be squeezed incessantly in peace. I’ll be in the middle of my teaching placement so I’ll likely be spending the weekend planning lessons, so hopefully it won’t be too disruptive. Oh well, I guess we’ll see. I don’t really see the point in this whole process seeing as it’s more or less been established that I just get nervous around this doctor and my body reacts accordingly. Better safe than sorry, I suppose, but it seems like a waste of time and money to me.

On a semi-related note, I’ve been getting into a nice little exercise routine of walking home from school (approximately an hour walk) twice a week, doing yoga once a week, and at least one other workout each week as well as my meditation practice. I’ve also been doing very well with making (healthy) food at home and bringing breakfast/lunch/snacks with me to school/work rather than wasting precious money and calories on junk. Overall, it has made me feel better both mentally and physically, and I’m hoping that if I’m consistent, it will help keep me slim and my wallet fat!