Oh, guys. Never have I ever had a lesson in how the accumulation of small things can just derail you like I did last week.
The anxiety was (thankfully) gone for the first part of the week. It was really nice to be able to breathe without feeling like my lungs were going to tear apart. But it’s back, and I suspect that it’s because of a number of things. My instinct here is to apologize for complaining but 1) I’m allowed to do that sometimes and 2) I’m trying to apologize less and say “thank you” instead. So thank you for reading this list of tiny annoyances and pressures that are adding up to make life vaguely miserable at the moment.
- Sleep deprivation. Now, I don’t have a crying infant or insomnia or any other number of things that make it difficult or impossible to sleep, but I am operating at a deficit. During the summer I was getting 9 hours a night, which apparently is what I need. Now I get 7.5-8. In the past, that’s been pretty sustainable, but I’m not sure it will be this year. But here’s the rub: if I spend more time sleeping, that means the rest of my day will be even more regimented and I have less time to spend relaxing, with the dude, and actually doing my job. I honestly don’t know which is better at this point: less sleep with more time to live my life, or more sleep but less time to do all of the things I need/want to do. Sigh.
- Physical comfort. There’s no AC in my classroom. We had a string of 80+ days. It got harder and harder to respond nicely to students when they complained that it’s hot in my room; my instinct was to turn to them and sarcastically say “Really? I’ve been in here all day and haven’t noticed.” I KNOW IT’S HOT. I HAVE OLYMPIC-SIZED POOLS OF SWEAT UNDER MY ARMS AND BOOBS. I know the custodians are working on it and it’s supposed to cool down over the next few days, so hopefully this is a problem that will solve itself. But it is SO HARD when you hear the same complaint 40 times a day and are also feeling that complaint yourself.
- Breakdown in management. Ugh. I did really well at keeping up with my yoga schedule as school started, which I knew would be a challenge. But I’ve done it one time since last Wednesday. ONCE! That’s not even CLOSE to what I need to be doing. As a result, I’m moodier, more tired, definitely not sleeping well, headachey every day, etc, etc.
I hope that if you’re feeling anxious or like you’re not doing enough or if nothing is working you know that even when you do everything right, you can still have bad days. And sometimes life prevents you from doing what you need to do to manage your anxiety, and that can be hard to. You’re not alone.
Tell me in the comments: how do you cope when life gets in the way and your mental health management takes a back seat?
7 thoughts on “Can I Just Get a Minute?”
Well, first, I give myself a pass. You have to tell yourself it’s ok you’ve been failing. Next, I make a plan for at least the next few days of what I’m going to do to get back on track. It may or may not play out that way but it helps me feel like I’m in control. Above all, tell yourself OUT LOUD that it’s going to work out and you’ll figure it out and get past it. You’ve done it before and you’ll do it again.
Yes! I do this in a kind of nebulous way, and I think I’ll start writing it down to make it more concrete.
I make sure my goals fit my reality a bit more. Yes I want to create change but if failing to achieve a target over and over is egging me over the edge, it’s time to evaluate where that target came from. Can I start smaller and hit it? With the sleep, maybe pick a day or two where the activities are more important, a day when you know your sleep will be made up the next night.
And remember, you set your obligations, targets and dreams. Your body just sets your limits. X
Absolutely. This is great advice, and I’m taking it: my partner will be out of the house tonight and I’m going to bed SO early!
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Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll check it out.