Over the last year I’ve really struggled with anxiety. Not the ‘I’m a bit worried that I might miss the bus,’ type but the ‘What if I miss the bus, then I’m late for work, my boss will realise I’m not good enough to do my job, and oh my god, now there’s a crushing pain in my chest and I can’t breathe,’ type of anxiety.
NOT a fun rollercoaster to ride.
As a result I’ve been taking baby steps to find the little things that make my head a bit of a more bearable space to inhabit. Here are my favourite 9, so far:
1: Pinterest admin
I have a secret board on Pinterest called ‘Misc.’ On it I pin everything I want to read/look back on at a later date. Five minutes mindless pinning here and there adds up and before you know it I have 100 random pins ranging from Chard recipes (I’m growing it and didn’t know how to cook it!) to how to clean a sewing machine. I know Pinterest admin sounds ridiculous but I honestly find that whiling away an afternoon working through posts, reading websites and deciding what to keep generally helps distract my mind from whatever other rubbish it’s trying to make me think about.
Mainly the quick/easy tasks with instant results like deadheading flowers and impatiently inspecting the veg. growing wishing it would ripen faster! Added bonus being that the deadheading means our flowers are looking amazing for even longer. Who knew.
Weirdly, given how little I’ve been keeping this spot up to date, the planning and writing of a blog post is something I really enjoy. My anxious brain pipes up constantly with the “What if no-one’s listening? What if nobody cares?” rubbish, but I know that deep down that doesn’t really matter. If it’s helping me then I should just crack on and do it!
There’s something seriously cathartic about a morning spent cutting out new pattern pieces ready to be sewn into a new garment. I love the slow living element of sewing as you gradually get to see a new project come to life.
5: Small life admin
You know, those niggly little tasks that you know you need to do but keep putting off. This week’s example being called the dentist to check my upcoming appointment times after I’d helpfully lost the card they were written on. I find it really satisfying to complete little things like this, once I finally force myself to.
6. A cup of coffee
A cup of coffee and a quiet half hour works wonders to refocus my head. Bonus points if it happens outside or with an open window so I can hear the birds singing.
7: A good book in the bath
This one’s fairly self-explanatory. Yes, I enjoy a Lush bath bomb but, for me, more important is a good book. I’m a fairly clumsy person so I have a designated ‘bath book’ to avoid any potential heartbreak caused by dropping-in-the-water related accidents. At the moment I’m currently working my way through Pride & Prejudice for the umpteenth time. I prefer a book I know really well then I can properly zone out in the bath.
What sort of librarian would I be if this didn’t make the list? Books, magazines, blogs, any reading I can get my hands on. Note to self – must get better at commenting on all the lovely blogs I read!
9: Taking photos
Taking photos is something I enjoy as it forces me to focus on something more productive than what’s going on inside my head. I enjoy it a lot and want to improve the quality of what I’m creating when I’m playing with my camera.
My definition of what I class as self care might differ from yours, but it’s what works for me. What do you do to help find a positive head space? I’m always willing to embrace new ideas on the continual quest for a calmer self.
It’s baby steps, but I’m definitely getting there.