We all get sad, frustrated, anxious, and stressed sometimes, but some people feel it more acutely than others. The difference between the two groups is that for the latter, the feelings become so intense that they disrupt their ability to live their lives. For some it hits at certain points in their lives and for others, it is a day-to-day fight.
I have lived with anxiety and depression my entire life but was not diagnosed until I was 18. Turned out that the horror and panic I felt around new people and situations wasn’t normal or “being shy.” Since that point I have had my ups and downs in my mood, but in the past few years I have been pretty stable. The past month has been a series of rough patches, however, and I don’t really know why. I think some of it stems from the fact that I was incredibly busy for months in the spring/early summer and then things slowed down. Some of it is also the fact that since the gallery space closed, I do not see my artist friends as often and spend more time alone. I enjoy my alone time, but I have also lost that creative outlet. I can’t account for the rest, and ultimately, I’m not sure that it matters. What does matter is that I have had difficulty focusing on work, I’m not hungry, and I’m exhausted all of the time. It isn’t constant anxiety or sadness so for a while I wasn’t overly concerned, but I have been having more and more “bad” days and am losing some weight. So what do I do?
In the past, I would probably have seen my psychologist and talked about adjusting my meds (especially since I think the meds have something to do with it,) but she is in Philadelphia and is expensive. I also don’t want to mess with my medical cocktail right now because I won’t be able to handle the adjustment in a good way. Talk therapy would probably be a good idea, but I don’t have anyone up here. My therapist in Philly might be willing to do a phone consult, but it’s been a few years since I talked to her. That leaves the option of trying to fix things myself. I’m already doing some new things that should help, but obviously, they aren’t doing enough so I am laying out a game plan. I said when I first started this blog that I was hoping that it would help to hold me accountable to myself, and when I feel like this, what motivates me most is what I “have” to do. Therefore, here is a list of things I “have” to do:
1) Yoga – I work at the studio so I am committing to taking AT LEAST 3 classes a week starting tomorrow
2) If I can get my ass in gear to do yoga, the next step is to go to start running again – cardio is one of the best things for anxiety
3) Prepare meals and snacks so that I can eat consistently (and healthy) throughout the day
4) Less TV and more focus – I have a to-do list a mile long and feel better when I am productive
5) Look for more work and actually apply – I am stressed about money and with the holidays coming up, it will just get worse
6) Go to more art lectures, exhibits, and openings – again with the productivity
7) Regulate my sleep schedule – I can not stay in bed all day or sleep too much/too little
8) Spend time with friends, even when I think I will be bad company
9) Find a doctor and use my shitty health insurance to finally get checked out
So there’s my list. One of my roommates has been lecturing me recently on the power of positive thinking so I’m going to try that.
This will get better. It has too.