This is just a little post about some things I do to help with the anxiety. Most of these I started during the breakdown last year but I still use them because they keep me calm. I can’t say which I started first because I can barely recall anything but the terror from that time.

Driving on side streets. I was driving home from work one night. The street I take is a 50mph street. I decided to take the street one block over which is 25mph. I’ve been driving that way ever since. I try to avoid the freeway unless it’s truly the fastest and shortest way. There are times I still take the faster roads, but in the middle of the breakdown, I did not. I took the slowest way there, I just left a little earlier. It was far less stressful.

Dedicated classroom journal. I generally use Drive for my journaling because I can access it anywhere, except in class or at work. This was a huge problem for me during the breakdown because I use my journal to write the frantic thoughts that distract me. I bought a small journal that I can keep open on my desk. This began at work, because that was one of my worst places, mostly because I am a Math tutor and I couldn’t even remember basic math at the time. I take it to all my classes, but I still use it mostly at work. I sit in the back and it looks, I hope, like I’m taking notes studiously. 🙂

Ignoring time tested school advice. I no longer sit in the front of the class room. Never. At all. Unless I’m forced to because the teacher moves us into groups. I sit as close to the door as possible. It makes me feel safer for whatever reason my brain has decided. I deviated slightly on where I sit this summer because I knew the professor very well and trusted her. I also do not always answer questions or ask them. I know, that’s supposed to be so helpful, but I’d rather ask later, or look it up myself, because if I speak in class, I will later have horrible anxiety about it. Lit class is the worst. It’s kinda important to participate but I completely lose it later when I do. I start to examine how everything I said could be interpreted poorly and how negatively everyone now views me, etc. So, in general, I try to remain quiet.

Structure and order. This has always been a difficult one for me. I love it, but my mother and ex did their own things to make it impossible. I’ve slowly begun to get things in better order. I do try to not freak out too much when the kids don’t because that will just add to the stress. It is a balance since I am not the only person involved in how things are in the house.

Music. I have always used music to help me, but during the breakdown, I had to listen to the type of music I never would normally. Fortunately, Spotify makes it possible to change music styles without spending tons of money on new music. I started listening to things like their “Calm Vibes” playlist and working my way out from there. A few weeks ago I learned something new about myself and music. When the anxiety is severe, I have to listen to the “calming” music. But when the depression is severe, that makes it worse and I have to listen to my normal music like Pink and Imagine Dragons and Springsteen. Those are my faves.

Those are just a few of the things I have done to help me recover and fight the anxiety and depression. You will note that I did not include everyone’s apparent fave: Meditation. That is because meditation actually increases my anxiety to a horrible and uncontrollable level. I am not the only person with this problem so if you have severe anxiety and suicidal ideation, be very cautious when using meditation. It’s the current cure-all, but it has not been studied enough to see that there can be extremely negative side effects.

2 thoughts on “De-Stressors

  1. Thank you for that post, I am with you on the use of a journal and the meditation thing, my alternative for meditation is time spent walking in the country, sometimes combined with music, it allows for the whole mindfullness thing without letting me focus on anything to dark.

    Liked by 1 person

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