Depending on where you live, the clocks were set forward this past weekend. While the clocks "springing forward" may be a time-honored tradition, the event plays tricks with my anxiety, sometimes setting me back for days.
I've had acute panic and anxiety since I was a child; this was undiagnosed anxiety, of course. I remember waking up out of a sound sleep in the middle of a panic attack, although I didn't know that's what it was at the time. My parents said I was having bad dreams, which I'm sure made sense to them. Even as a child, I knew that I wasn't having bad dreams, although the symptoms felt like I was locked in some kind of nightmare.
I have a lot of blankets on my bed, on my couch, and elsewhere. When I’m relaxing, even during the hotter months of the year, I’m often underneath some of those blankets.
There are some days when I am feeling particularly anxious that it feels hard to do much of anything, and feeling accomplished is practically impossible. Creativity is usually the first to go – anxiety tends to lead to intense bouts of writer’s block. But even outside of creativity, which is hard even when one feels okay, it can be hard to feel like doing much of anything.
There are oodles of books on self-care nowadays. Its importance to wellbeing is plastered all over social media, is fodder for talk shows and podcasts, and is touted by doctors and therapists (in my experience) as essential to curing what ails the mind and body. That being said, practicing self-care can be hard.
I recently experienced an unexpected anxiety trigger while watching a movie. This had never happened to me before. Granted, the movie was about the impending doom of planet Earth, but it was a "dramedy": a movie combining elements of drama and comedy.
I often say I have too many creative hobbies. I enjoy writing, I like video editing, among others. My hobbies are an integral part of how I keep my mental health in check; so, for this blog, I want to go into a bit of detail with regards to how I make sure my hobbies help my mental health instead of harming it.
I've been drinking an average of two cups of caffeinated coffee a day for decades. This is not a lot by some standards. I relished my first "cup of Joe" in the morning, appreciating the way it got me going. That second cup in the afternoon was the delicious pick-me-up I needed. I always knew that caffeine was a stimulant, but I never quite understood how caffeine affected my anxiety, if at all.
When I am very stressed out, I tend to watch a lot of quiz shows. This has been a constant in my life since I was very young – I remember watching episodes of Jeopardy when I must have only been two or three years old.
Anyone who has read my blog for any amount of time knows that music plays a powerful, indescribably important role in my life. In the past, I’ve specifically discussed my love of metal music and how listening to metal music helps my mental health. I want to use this post to discuss music in a more general sense, as I believe no matter what kind of music you love and listen to, you can and will get something positive out of it.