journal, Life, Uncategorized

Acknowledging Anxiety

Anxiety is something that I have been paying attention to within myself a lot recently, and am also realizing how extremely common it is to be living on some plane of anxiety. I know I’ve had it for years, but its always felt like something I was able to manage, and nip in the bud. Maybe back then I was able to, but now it seems less so. 

I’m happy. I love my life and all the things in it! And I’m having to come to terms with the fact that its perfectly ok to be happy and love my life, and still feel this anxiety hovering just underneath. Life is stressful with the pandemic and the growing up and the work/life balance and the maintaining of relationships and managing screen time and, well, you get it. 

I’ve been paying attention, and I know exactly where I hold my anxiety. I hold it in my upper abs and my lungs. I catch myself constantly flexing my core, and holding my abs in so tight its like they could burst, and at the same time I’m holding my breath. In meetings, while writing emails, while writing this post, and even while driving. I feel like this is a great first step – understanding that this is happening. Anxiety is one of those things that can just BE. There doesn’t have to be a specific reason behind it. 

This week has been great. I worked from home (except for today), hung out with Miles the pup during that time, got a lot of work done, went on lots of walks, and spent a lot of time just trying to decompress. Even with all of these great things I was noticing my anxiety taking physical form. So I did a couple things. I put some vacation time on the calendar, and I began an outline/calendar for this space. 

I have no clue what I’m going to do with my vacation yet. Its likely I’ll be solo, which could be exactly what I need. I haven’t taken a solo trip in years! Since I/we have savings goals I’m not going to go all out with this trip, but some simple camping and hiking sounds just about perfect. Gosh – I’m almost tearing up just thinking about it. A few days alone in the middle of nowhere to wander and get back to myself. I could do day trips, and still come home at night to regroup, pack meals, and sleep in a bed, or I could look into borrowing/renting some camping gear and going all out. OR I could pull out my car camping setup, fix it up a bit, and hit the road with that again! Oooooo I like this idea! 

Putting things on the calendar, whether it be an adventure or a blog post topic, feels good. It feels productive. 

Have you heard of the app Calm? I downloaded it a few weeks ago, and went crazy and bought a year-long subscription. What is this salary worth if I dump it all in savings and don’t invest in my mental and physical health as well? I can already say that it has been SO WORTH IT. I’m still learning my cues and how to manage them, but I take a few minutes each day to check in with myself, reflect on my sleep, note what I’m grateful for, and even use the sleep stories and music to help get some rest. I think even Denny gets better sleep with it!

May is going to be a full month. We looked at our calendar over the weekend, and our summer weekends are filling fast! It will be important for me to reserve time for myself and for hiking. I need to do that, and to make sure I do that on my own sometimes. I’m alone a lot, and I don’t mind it, but I would like some dedicated time to myself out on the trails again. I miss it out there. 

Geez, even as I’m writing this I’m realizing that I need to exhale and RELAX my body! This weekend is already full, but there has to be some time in there for Maggie decompression time. 

May is pretty much laid out here. Weekly recipes, posts, and journal entries. For a while I was worried about my screen time, and taking time to maintain this space while staring at screens all day for work, but I can do it. I have my blue light glasses, and I WANT this. 

P.S. This Sunday is the celebration of life for Greg. If you haven’t read my posts in the last month or so, Greg passed away the first week of April after two years of battling colon cancer that had spread to his liver and his lungs. His diagnosis came the first week of lockdown – the start of the pandemic. I worked with Greg at the print shop for almost 4 years. The print shop is a part of a larger company that is owned and operated by his family, and in seeing them every day I got to be so close with all of them. I know this has been a part of all that I’m going through, and I’m hoping this Sunday I will get some closure. The end of the exhale I’ve been feeling since his passing. Rest in power, Greg.

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