Okay everyone – I’m back. At least for the time being. Over the past month or so there has been so many things I have wanted to write. I just haven’t had time. I just started working full time at a job I love, but it’s also mentally draining. A week or two ago I moved into a new place. I just haven’t had the energy to write. But this is my first weekend off in quite a bit, so I find myself delving into what has been happening in my life. Questioning why I’m exhausted all the time. Questioning how I can cope with this. Questioning how others cope with this every day. And questioning what I want in my future. Am I going to be okay?
I know the obvious answer to that question is yes. And that’s what I would tell anyone else who was in my same position. I would tell them -feeling exhausted at the beginning is normal. You have a lot going on. You will get into the swing of things, and it will be better. You will learn how to cope with your job. You will learn what you want to do. If you keep pushing yourself, you will find something.
But it’s SO different when you are on the other side. I was talking with my friend this week – who recently went through a breakup. I was giving them advice. Telling them things that I honestly believed. Telling them that it just gets easier in time. Telling them that you deserve someone who sticks around. But I also know – that those words don’t necessarily help because when you are the person who is in the thick of it – those words don’t matter. They don’t become real until it happens.
My anxiety has been high. This past month or so has been me very slowly figuring out how to take care of myself when I have less time to do so. Learning how to deal with the constant questioning and reassurance from others when I’m feeling so off balanced. So I’m still figuring it out, and my anxiety gets the better of me at times.
Below are some ways I’m learning how to deal:
1 – Listening to what makes me happy on my commute
I have a long commute in my car. Driving can give me anxiety or make me frustrated, so I’m doing my best to have that time to be relaxing. It’s a challenge at times. But I try to understand what I’m in the mood for that day. Sometimes it’s a podcast about sad things like “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” which somehow makes me feel better. Or it’s a podcast about adventures or the outdoors like “Out There” or “MtnMeister.” Sometimes it’s just the NPR station. Sometimes it’s going to be music from the 90’s or country or modern hits. Sometimes I don’t know. I choose one, and I’m listening to it, and I find myself becoming more anxious. So I then make the conscious decision to change it until it feels right. Maybe for you, it’s an audiobook or nothing at all. But do you. Find what calms your soul when you need it. Perhaps you have a shorter commute, and this doesn’t apply to you – in that case – let’s move on.
2 – Essential Oils
I’m finding this to be one of my “quick” fixes at work. Sometimes I can start to feel my heart pumping fast. My mind is fuzzy. Something may have triggered me. Or everything is just feeling like too much. Or maybe it has nothing to do with work, and it’s a personal issue. But in any case, I have an essential oiler roller of one of my favorite smells. I put this on my wrists and breathe it in. It helps calm me before things get to be too much.
3 – Walks
This is what I need to do if the essential oiler roller isn’t working or if I don’t use it in time. I either walk to my car to grab something. I walk to check the mail. I walk to tell another coworker something. Or I tell my supervisor I’m going for a walk because I need to. I’m privileged enough to work at a place where people are very open about feelings. So they get it if I tell them I need to get some air. I was first hesitant to use this because it felt weird. But now I use it all the time, and it helps me have space to bring my head back.
4 – Exercise
I wish this weren’t one, but it is. I find myself so exhausted and wound up after the work that the last thing I want to do is go for a run or workout. But I found that when I do, I feel so much better. It’s a release for after the day. It gives me time to breathe, and it almost feels cathartic. It’s like exercising is letting me release all my stress from the day and start off fresh afterward.
5 – Adventures
This weekend I’m relaxing, which is excellent. I did go on a hike yesterday to someplace new, and I loved it. This is what keeps me going: adventures. Small or big. Far or close. Just going somewhere new or having a fresh environment can feel good. My summer is going to be full of them. It gives me something to look forward to. It gives me separation. It gives me freedom. It allows my soul to breathe. Next week I’m running a 10K. Following week I’m going to West Virginia for climbing.
These are just five things that I have found currently. As I said, it’s not perfect. Sometimes it feels like nothing works. That everything is falling apart (thanks anxiety). But I keep trying. I keep doing things anyway. I don’t talk to people when I don’t want to talk to people. I don’t pretend that I’m okay all the time. Sometimes I am moody, and it is what it is. Sometimes my anxiety is higher than others. Sometimes these five things work and sometimes they don’t. It’s a process. It’s a rollercoaster.
If you get frustrated because your coping mechanisms don’t always work the way they are supposed to – know you aren’t alone. If people’s word of wisdom makes you annoyed and feel worse – know you aren’t alone. If sometimes you want to ignore the world around you for a moment of peace – know you aren’t alone. If you think that these five things won’t work for you – know you aren’t alone.
This is just what I do to help me. But find what helps you. And adapt and change and listen to your soul and your feelings.