We all have things we worry about. I certainly do. My anxiety is particularly worse when I’m alone. The scope of anxiety extends far wider than it should when you are alone because your mind is idle. If you’re not occupied doing something, your mind takes the opportunity and runs wild- sometimes with positive thoughts but more often than not with negative, poisonous thoughts.
I think my anxiety is far worse when I’m away from home. I spend most of my time alone and if my mind is not occupied, I start to think about home. I’ll remember that I haven’t heard from my Dad in a couple of days. So I’ll text him and wait on a reply. If there’s no reply after an hour I check to see if he’s seen my message. After another hour, I’ll text my Mom, my sisters, my cousin(s). And sometimes there’s no reply from them also. At that point, I get obsessive and stop everything I’ve remotely been doing and focus on waiting for a response from anyone. Why is no-one replying?! From there, it all goes downhill.
If you’ve been in a similar situation you understand how paralysing it can be. The worst thing about anxiety is that you don’t stop until you solve what you’re worried about- and sometimes that’s not possible.
Most times, you’ve created a situation in your head that actually does not exist. Or rather, as they say, “You’re mind becomes the devil’s workshop”. I’ve realised that sometimes you just need to focus on keeping productive.
My sister Tebby sent this list to me a while back with things to do to keep busy (I’m quoting her exact words from here):
- Buy a pot and seeds and grow a plant.
- Go ring window shopping (get fitted and all lol)
- Cook something special and have a special dinner for one
- Hire a bike and ride ride away
- Go to the park and run
- Make some flavoured water
- Draw something
- Do push-ups. Loads, the right way
Create your own and refer to it whenever you feel anxious.
As I conclude I’d like to highlight something very important- sometimes anxiety can be kept at bay with simple activities like going to the gym or cooking. But be aware that there may be a more complex underlying mental health matter that you need to speak to a medical professional about. Don’t let your mind paralyse your existence.
© Tessy Maritim