September 13, 2017

Managing Old Anxieties

It’s been almost a year since I quit my job and started working from home, and there’s a lot of good things about it. I’m steps away from the kitchen where I can cook my own meals and the gym I use is in the same building I live in—so there’s no excuse to not exercise often. Most of the time, it’s been great. But working for myself has a lot of new pressures, which have sometimes given room for old anxieties of mine to bubble back up.

When you don’t have a boss or company telling you what to do and where to be, it can be really hard to get motivated each day. I hadn’t had complete freedom like that since graduating university, almost a decade ago. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and anxious about all of the changes that were happening in my life. I felt completely unprepared. Like all that I did up to that point counted for nothing, and that if only I did some things differently in the past—everything would be better. I made a lot of unhealthy decisions because of that thinking. I wasn’t eating or sleeping well, and there were a lot of days when I felt totally lost. It took a lot of help and encouragement from my family to keep me on the right track and to stay patient for changes.

A lot of those things subsided when I started working for companies, because they gave me that basic sense of purpose—a reason to wake up every morning. Going to your job means doing work that makes money, which helps you pay for things. When I start knew I wouldn’t have that normal daily cycle anymore, I had to make my own. Little did I know that it would help me deal with the same anxieties I used to face. The way I look at it now, I manage my anxieties with a bunch of hacks for my day that I know will help me on even the most stressful days.

When I boil it down, it comes to 5 things: exercise, eating well, creating stuff, reading, and cleaning (used to be my least favourite). I can do one or a combination of these things, and on busy days—these things help me focus on my work. Next week, I’ll share more about what I do to help keep a lot of my intrusive anxieties and thoughts at bay.




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