It’s a hard time, it’s a dark time, it’s a strange time, it’s a weird time. I feel like I can’t write any new post for the foreseeable future without addressing that, but it still feels weird to say. On top of people having anxiety over the situation and having to deal with figuring out how to stay at home, plenty of people are feeling lonelier than ever at this time. Part of that is obviously being at home (stay inside if you can, friends!) but part of that is not being able to see who we want to see in person.
After the events of the past few months, I feel comfortable saying it’s a nervous time right now – to say the least. And rather than tell you why that is, pretending I’m any sort of medical expert (I’ll just point you to the CDC), I want to focus on the anxiety that many of us feel right now surrounding the situation.
Earlier this week, I wrote part one of this post where I talked about a possible approach to take when you feel overwhelmed. Obviously, there are many things we can do when feeling overwhelmed (I even wrote about some of those things last year), but this two-part post is more about the thought process we have while feeling this way, and some thoughts we can stick to so that we don’t feel too overwhelmed.
Sometime last year, I wrote about the post-vacation blues. I’d just gotten home from a trip to Texas and even though I go there every year (sometimes more than one), I was particularly down. Fast forward to this week: I once again visited Texas, and when I returned from my trip I felt a little bummed out. There were two key differences here, though. The first difference is that I was in Texas for my twin brother’s bachelor party (!!!), which of course is something I’ve waited my entire life for (being a twin). The second difference is that this time, while I am a little bummed out, it didn’t hit me as hard this week as it did then. And I’d like to expand on that second difference.
When I wrote my post last week about the impact and influence we have on other people, it was inspired by the recent passing of a man, a former basketball coach who worked with my father. His influence and impact on the game, and on so many people, is immeasurable, and so much of what I know was learned by coaches who learned from him – about the game and about life. The funeral was yesterday, so I knew this week would be difficult regardless. And then I heard about Kobe.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the word ‘influence’ this week and what it means to me. That word gets tossed around all the time now because of the term ‘influencer’ but honestly, the reason an influencer goes by that term is accurate. If an Instagram influencer posts about an ad or a product, they’re doing so because that company recognizes their influence and knows that what they say matters to tons of people. And while not everyone might have an audience of thousands or millions hanging on to our every word, we all have some sort of influence on others. But the thing is, we don’t always know in what way.
Once upon a time, I used to be good at sleeping. Then, when I was 18, I went through a rough stage of life and it affected my sleep schedule in a major way. It became almost impossible to go to sleep, stay asleep, and get the right amount each night. I’d be going through my day on 3-4 hours on average – it wasn’t fun.
Since life does go on, I got through that rough stage, but my relationship with sleep didn’t get better. And though it’s improved in the years since then, it’s very safe to say that I don’t sleep as much – or as well – as a healthy person should.
For the first time last year, I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution. I had my reasons and I stick by them, but in the back of my head, I knew I was feeling some type of way about the concept of New Years’ resolutions. Mostly it’s because they’ve never worked out for me. There’s an inherent belief that when we do what we’re supposed to, things will go our way. That extends to a lot of things in life but in this case, that meant every year, I was ready for things to go my way if I stuck to my resolutions. That never really seemed to be the case.
I’ve been trying to work these two words into my vocabulary for months, trying to say it out loud as much as I can. It’s possible. There are a ton of ways to say it too, based on your inflection, so it was also important that I was saying it in the right tone of voice. At first, I was saying it wrong and turning into a negative phrase, but after some repetition, I’ve been turning it into a more positive reminder and tried to strip those words of their negativity.
I’ve been of a kick on this blog writing about worry and anxiety recently, and it’s opened my eyes to the ways I approach my anxiety disorder. Over the years I’ve developed some good strategies to cope with my anxiety and be productive despite its effects, but there’s one area where I still struggle: I can’t slow my thoughts down, and I can’t remember the last time I had that ability.