This post has been brewing for a while now, so I finally decided to A) finish it and B) publish it. You might not agree with me, or understand where I’m coming from with this one, so bear with me!
If anyone has ever read any of the Just William books by Richmal Crompton, you might recall one chapter when William receives a birthday card with the immortal inscription: “a busy day, is a happy day.” Of course, the young boy thinks it’s rubbish, but it popped into my head as I was writing this and I thought maybe it has a ring of truth after all.
In the weeks before I left university, I felt the first twinges of panic begin to curdle in my stomach. Leaving Durham. Going home. Having no structure, no waves of routine to tide me along. See, I am a creature of habit. I cling to what I know like a barnacle to a rock. As I mentioned in my last post, even when it comes to food I tend to follow the same general pattern.
(I’m aware that this makes me sound super boring and I swear I am not allergic to spontaneity or fun or anything BUT -)
The problem is, when I have nothing to do, I tend to slump into depression, or into a high state of anxiety. Looking at the empty days stretched out endlessly ahead is like staring directly into the abyss – how on earth am I meant to get through all those days, stuck inside my own head with nothing but my own dark thoughts for company? And with my impending move to Croatia on the horizon, looming threateningly in the distance, I have become almost frantic. I! Must! Distract! Myself!
Stillness and stability seem like the worst thing that could possibly happen to me right now. I try not to even have a moment alone with my thoughts, to the point where I’ll listen to an audiobook to fall asleep to, or always having the radio on in the car.
My anxiety is, like, through the roof right now. But I know that all I’m doing, by giving myself so many tasks, is fuelling it! 😨
I don’t know if wanting to avoid your thoughts, and the fear of the feelings that you know are waiting for a chance to creep in, is normal?
I feel like a piece of thread, ducking and diving through life trying to avoid the inevitable tangle that I know full well is waiting at the end.
Please, don’t think I’m not trying to change this. I know that by, essentially avoiding the problem, it’s going to bite me in the ass eventually. But, and imagine me saying this like a petulant child, I just don’t WANT to. Who wants to actually sit and think about how depressed they are and then try to combat every single thought, like a game of mental whack-a-mole? NOT ME. It’s exhausting!
Maybe you think I’m crackers, at this point. What kind of weirdo is afraid of relaxing?
Yup, it’s me.
Stasis = negative thoughts. So in my lil brain, clearly somewhere along the line I have gone yup, well, the most logical answer to that is to NEVER RELAX.
Things I do to try and help myself
- Exercise – not only is it just good for you in general, but the endorphins released are a natural antidepressant, which boosts mood, and the physical strain forces you to relax afterwards.
- Eating well – I’ve been trying to FUEL MY DAY with like, fruit and shit. Healthy body = healthy mind
- Yoga – I don’t think meditation is a good idea for me just yet, as I think I need to calm myself down more generally before tackling something I know, right now, I’ll just give up on. So I’m approaching the whole thing slowly, by doing yoga videos (I like Yoga With Adrienne on YouTube!), where I can re-introduce the idea of mindfulness and peace, whilst doing something active.
Alternatively, this Could Just Be Me. I personally hate sitting on my ass all day anyway. But I think because I am so freaked out by the potential for a depression slump in the wake of this “free time”, I have gone into WARP SPEED over the whole issue.
If anyone reading this has any tips or advice, or similar experiences you might have had, please let me know your thoughts!