Mundane Tasks and Being Left With Your Own Thoughts

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Beverley from Slay Girl Society’s wonderful blogpost entitled Why I am Sometimes Too Anxious to Shower really connected with me.  Oftentimes, as someone with anxiety, you feel quite alone because there might not be many people around that can truly understand how you feel.  That is why blogging has been helpful and therapeutic to many of us.  It makes us feel less alone when we read that others have similar experiences.

I remember reading this post, and literally running out to tell my husband “Omigosh, I am not the only one.”  I have also heard author John Green, who has OCD, talk about this topic as well on his wonderful podcast.  He discusses the struggles of doing mundane activities where he is left with his own thoughts for an extended period of time.  For me, showering is definitely one of them.  Other mundane tasks like brushing my teeth, housework, and changing my clothes, also have that effect on me.

I feel it is because these tasks are so familiar and repetitive that I don’t even have to focus on accomplishing them.  Therefore, my mind is left to wander, which is often not a good thing for someone with anxiety.

In my case, I will prolong taking a shower as long as I can.  Literally, I will say to myself that I should go take a shower and I am still on my laptop watching endless Youtube videos an hour later.  It just doesn’t sound very appealing to me to be left with my own thoughts in a confined space.  There are no distractions in the shower.  I can’t just go on my cellphone or do anything else except for showering.  It has nothing to do with not wanting to be clean because I don’t feel like I have bad hygiene or anything.  It is just the anxiety of being left with my own thoughts.

My sister has gifted me a portable speaker for the bathroom, which has been a great help. However, sometimes, I feel like I use it incessantly.  Then, I start to worry that it has become a crutch.  That I need to slowly condition myself off it sometimes.  Balance is the key I figure, but boy is it a struggle sometimes.

I would love to hear your experiences about dealing with mundane tasks and being left with your anxious thoughts.

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Tides Are Turning Slowly But Surely

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The last few days has seen on outpouring of attention around mental health after Prince Harry did a podcast and interview about this topic.  When I heard that he had decided to speak publicly about his mental health struggles, I felt like crying.  I started thinking about why I had such a visceral feeling to this piece of news.  I guess, I felt so hopeful because slowly, but surely, the tides are turning, even royalty were talking about their mental health!  It made me feel so hopeful and excited that I was living in a time when the stigma around mental illness can be possibly lifted.  It is exciting times!

Whether you support the Royal family or not, it was a breakthrough for them to talk so candidly about mental health.  They have also created a charity called Heads Together which aims to tackle the stigma, provide support, and raise awareness about mental health issues.  In this podcast for Mad World, Prince Harry shared that by bottling all his feelings about his mother’s death, it lead to rage and anxiety for two years in his late twenties.  He also talked about how important it was for him to speak to someone professionally about his mental health.  A message that is truly important to those that are suffering right now.

I hope Prince Harry’s candidness will prompt those who are suffering from mental illness to seek treatment.  I can tell you for sure, I wouldn’t be able to write this in a much better place if it wasn’t for the doctors that have treated me.  Hopefully, being open and honest about your mental illness, will one day, not be considered a courageous act, but a normal act of self-care.

How Can You Be Stressed?

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We’re often told these truths.

The older you get, the wiser you become.  What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.

Once in a while though, I just can’t decide if they are ultimate truths, or like, everything in life, will always have exceptions.  It seems like every time you have things figured out, there is always something that will make you reconsider, make you work harder to find the answer even though there probably isn’t one.

My last post about judging less and observing makes me seem like I can accept anything and anyone.  Of course, that is not completely true.  For me, there has been one big exception.  I can’t help judging those that I consider lazy.  I find it hard to not judge those that simply don’t work hard or not living to their potential in my opinion.  If they have a “normal” brain (whatever that really means), why would they be stressed?  Why can’t they do anything they want?  I certainly can’t see why, considering I could barely do anything when my anxiety is at its worst.

Of course, the logical side of my brain totally understands that everyone is the result of complex interactions that have made them the person they are today.  Who am I to judge?  But there are days, when I am surprised that people are stressed and I can’t totally sympathize.  Where I have to remind myself that just because someone doesn’t have mental illness, it doesn’t mean that their life is picture-perfect.  Everyone has their set of stressors, and I have no right to judge the enormity of its stress on them.

Anyone else face this issue?  How do you try to understand someone’s else level of stress?

Judging Less, and Observing More

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Just thinking that as I’ve gotten older, I tend to care less about what others think about me to a certain extent.  Sometimes though, I also find that as I have become more certain of myself and my beliefs, I tend to be more judgemental of others.  Gradually, I have learnt though, it really should be the other way around.  I think being able to step into someone else’s shoes is really important.  It often allows you to soften your judgement on them.

Don’t judge first, observe first, and see what happens.

I find that often when you dig a little bit deeper, there is something there you can connect to on a human level.  Of course, you can’t be good friends with everybody and we all have to set our boundaries with those that will not make our lives better.

Being able to respect and judge less makes life easier for yourself and others.  I have found that this has been a little tidbit that has made my life easier this year at work.

My Anxiety has Become my Daily Homework

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I finally understand why I don’t blog more often because I do want to let others understand more about anxiety and depression. I have found that my blog has become the “edited” version of my ideas “out of my thoughts.” In some way it has become a version of my anxious self. Like, I can’t push the “publish” button, until it is perfect. I still want to write a blog, but more freely and more often, which is how I truly think about my mental illness.

For me, my anxiety is like my daily homework. How do I get through this day? Sometimes, it takes more work, and sometimes barely any. So less work, in fact, that sometimes, I can pretend I don’t have it. In fact, sometimes the hardest times I endure are those when I realize, it never left me. The sudden realization that I am still anxious, still a little depressed. It is then when it feels a million times worse. However, strangely enough, when it is at its worse, it gets familiar also, almost like, I mean, really almost, like a long lost friend that you are used to having around, but you really don’t want to keep.

Does anyone ever feel this way?

So I have decided to write this blog, more organically, like how I deal with my anxiety on a daily basis. Wish me luck.

Okay, I did check the grammar a little bit or else it really wouldn’t be me at all.