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.