It happens from time to time â€“ I start to get anxious about the upcoming week starting around Sunday afternoon. The time change today probably didn’t help. It felt like the day wouldn’t end but then it did abruptly, and I started to get a stomachache about the stuff I need to do this coming week.
I don’t have a particularly busy or hard week, so I don’t know why my chest is tight and my stomach cramping. I’m excited about election night, I’m getting my hair done, I get to do some event planning at work and I’ve picked up my paint-by-number hobby again. I have a ton of bird paint by numbers that I totally love doing; it’s great for my anxiety.
So like I said, nothing too hard or brutal about my week yet I’m having heart palpitations and my stomach’s haywire.
I know what to do â€” I’m a seasoned mental health advocate, and I’ve been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder for years, yet when I feel like this, I always seem to forget what to do. I know I can deep breathe. I can get under my weighted blankets, breathe and pray. I can write down my worries. I can meditate. If it’s really bad, I can take my anxiety medication. And as mentioned earlier, I can paint. Or knit.
My problem is that I feel I need to know why I’m anxious. What the exact reason and thought is making me so. So I delve into my brain following the little white rabbit and sometimes it helps, but usually makes it worse. There are times when you simply have to say my brain is a liar, and it’s making me anxious, and there’s not a reason why – not one I can understand, anyway.
So now I’m going to list all the things I’m looking forward to this week. I’m going to go to bed early, so I wake up refreshed. I plan on making my favorite breakfast, and I’ll pick out my outfit for the day as well. I’ll read my column in the paper and hope that it does some good in this world. That’s all I can hope for.
When my brain is lying to me, that’s what I struggle to remember: that I’m (hopefully) making a difference in people’s lives. It’s all worth it if I do.
Thanks for listening.