Most of my life is spent in constant worry and anxiety over insignificant things and I've learned to manage those on a daily basis. However, there are moments where it feels like everything is piling on top of me, especially with big life changes, and that can be a bit harder to deal with. I have about three weeks left in Toronto before I fly out for my move to England and, needless to say, I'm stressed. I'm stressed about all the little things, like packing everything I need, acclimating to the culture, learning how to use the transit system, and I'm stressed about the big things like finding a job that will allow me to earn as much as I need to in order to live comfortably and enjoy my time there.
This past month has been dark, but also exciting as I prepare for this new chapter. This dichotomy of emotion has left me feeling incredibly overwhelmed to the point where all I want to do is sleep the days away until my flight. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury or patience to do that so I thought I would talk about a few things I've been doing to clear my mind and relieve some of this weight on my shoulders.
Embrace The Silence
I'm usually always listening to or watching something as a means to fill up time or distract myself from worrying about things. I've had to learn the hard way that by doing this I'm only suppressing thoughts and ideas that are necessary for development and letting them fester only to have them all come flooding into my head when I try to fall asleep at night. Lately I've been trying to let myself sit in silence for a bit and really take in everything I'm experiencing and thinking about in that moment. Oddly enough, it feels much more freeing to be only with my own thoughts than it does when I'm constantly taking in information and stimuli from other sources. I'll be honest; it's not easy to do this, but I always feels a hundred times better when I do.
Take Care Of Yourself
Sometimes I forget to shower and I've accepted that about myself. But, in order to feel like the best version of myself I need to make the effort to take care of myself in any way I see fit. This, of course, includes personal hygiene, but also skin care and applying makeup as a calming routine, doing laundry, and working out regularly to maintain my mental health. I'm so quick to slip into relaxation mode and it can be quite difficult to pull myself out of it, but I've genuinely noticed that the more I force myself to do simple self-care acts the better I begin to feel. If I'm feeling incredibly overwhelmed to the point where I don't know what to do first I'll write out a list of all these basic tasks and work from top to bottom. These tasks can be as simple as "make lunch" or "write", but by giving myself the slightest bit of direction and structure I notice my spirits rise and my mind release its tight hold on me.
Isolate Yourself & Disconnect
Most lifestyle blogs probably won't recommend isolation during times of emotional and mental turmoil, but for me, it works. As an introvert I thrive on my own, but I also suffer, so it's important to know when I'm slipping into either side. When it comes to feeling overwhelmed, I've noticed that the more I force myself to be around others, either physically or via social media, the more anxious I become. Having to interact with their energies while I'm struggling with my own can be daunting and sometimes it's just better to shut everything off and be by myself as a way of realigning my mentality and intentions. It's different for everyone, but I know when I need to isolate myself if the people I normally interact with begin annoying me. When that happens I let myself enjoy my own company for as longs as I need to without feeling guilty.
Do What Makes You Feel Good
I am all about necessary indulgence, so when there's something I really want to do I go for it, especially when I'm feeling overwhelmed. It's already hard enough motivating myself to do the basic things when in this mental state, so when I feel a compelling urge for something I try not to deprive myself. I've found that by doing this it's almost like a small release of stress and a kind gesture to your psyche. Rather than always saying "no" or thinking better of something, letting go once in a while can be exactly what you need to boost your confidence or self-esteem. Currently, my go-to indulgence is ice cream. I normally try to curb my sweet tooth, but I've been craving it so much lately and it feels oh-so-good to just let myself have it and enjoy the treat.
Talk To Someone
While I love being on my own and working things out by writing in my journal, I also think it's incredibly important to talk to someone when you feel like your mind just can't contain your thoughts anymore. I took the leap of going to therapy this year and it's the best thing I've ever done for my mental health. I recommend that everyone give it a try, but the key is to be willing to be completely honest with your therapist and with yourself. No matter how hard you try to hide things from yourself, they will always find their way to the forefront of your mind. So save yourself the inner turmoil by accepting your flaws and moving forward with constructive ways to improve what you don't like. Be open and honest and you will notice a shift in perspective.