- It’s okay to step away from social media. If it makes your heart feel like it’s dying every time you look at it, you are not helping anybody by constantly confronting a wall of pain. You don’t owe it to anybody to be present online.
- You can be concerned about what’s happening in the world and still enjoy the things that you like. Sometimes that’s the only way to stay sane.
- There is still a place in the world for kindness, compassion and happiness. Don’t let that get crushed.
- For every horrible person, there are many others who are wonderful. Connect with those people. Let them into your life.
- Everyone reacts to things differently. A lot of people are in a state of mourning. Just because you are not responding the same way as others does not make your feelings invalid.
I have dealt with obsessive thoughts since I was a child. It would literally bring me to a point where I was beside myself with anxiety, and 9 times out of 10, it was actually over nothing. The feelings were made of razor blades and fabrications, a make-believe land where the cotton candy was actually fiberglass.
Even now, at the age of 30 and medicated, I still get crippled by it from time to time. So I want to share a few of the ways that I deal with popping the oil bubble in my brain.
- Acknowledge it. Don’t fight it. Let the thoughts pass unhindered, and pay them no more mind than you would a stranger walking past you in the grocery store.
- Find something else to do. Quickly. The sooner you can fill your mind with other thoughts, the faster the shitty ones will be crowded out.
- Talk to someone about it. This one is hard. Sometimes you are fairly certain that if you discuss your crazy thoughts with someone, they are going to call the Straitjacket Brigade to take you away. Find someone you trust and let them know that you’re going through a hard time. A real friend doesn’t mind that you need reassurance.
- Laugh. Find something funny and really let it go. I listen to Game Grumps when I’m feeling particularly obsessive.
- Tell yourself that this will pass. Take a nap. Eat something. Go about your day. Routine is your friend when the demons are at your back.
My day job recently has been…very stressful.
Sometimes, I finish the work day, and I am in a jumbled state that can only be described as “frazzled.” I cross the finish line and my legs won’t stop. I get to the end of the sentence and I can’t just put down the period and be done.
This is a very stark contrast to how I normally operate, when things are running smoothly: I’m a perfectly functioning automobile heading down life’s interstate. Oh, it’s time to change lanes? I put on my turn signal, move over and boom. Easy.
When I’m stressed out, it’s Fast and Furious, Part Katie’s-Gonna-Kill-Someone.
So I learned something very useful but surprisingly difficult to do: I take 30 minutes and only do things I want to. I close the door to my office. I cross-stitch. I listen to music. I mess around on my computer. I doodle.
I imagine you’re waiting for the ‘difficult’ part here. The activities themselves are pleasant, sure, but it’s the awareness of what is waiting on the other side of the door. There’s this tiny version of me, banging on it with both fists, saying, “Hey! Hey! There’s dinner to make! That laundry isn’t going to put itself away! You do not have time to just be hiding in your room!”
The hell I don’t.
30 minutes. Think about it. How many times have you wasted 30 minutes on an extra episode of a television show? Or hitting the snooze on the clock by your bed?
By taking the time to gather my mental marbles up and put them back in the bag where they belong, I know they aren’t getting lost. I can come at my to-do list reinvigorated.
Give it a try. You have time. I dare you.
If you are a fan of bohemian.on.rye, you know I love lists of 5 things. 5 things that one can do, 5 things that are awesome, 5 things I learned from some book/movie/etc. So this is my debut “5 things” post for all you lovelies.
1. Kinetic Sand
It’s not just for kids. The soft texture of this substance is extremely soothing to play with. I keep some on hand for when I am feeling especially anxious.
2. Bath bombs from Lush
So this one can be a bit of a slippery slope, because once you try pretty much anything from Lush, you’re going to be hooked. These extremely fragrant, fun balls will make your bath not only smell and feel great, but they look awesome.
3. Try Next Issue
I recently discovered this service, and I am hooked. Because I love buying magazines, but once I read them, I tend to keep giant stacks. For $10 a month, you can peruse a sizable catalog of monthly magazines and download new ones as they come out. Now when I’m feeling a bit too frazzled to get into a book, I’ll find a new magazine and flip through it on my tablet or smart phone.
4. A skein of yarn and some knitting needles
I learned how to knit on Saturday, and I can’t stop. It’s such a mindless activity that can give me a place to focus unwanted energy.
5. A video game on Steam
I love video games. I’m not a hardcore gamer, but I know what I like, and when I’m in a tense state of mind, nothing helps me blow off steam (har har) more than a few puzzle games. One of the great things about Steam is there is something for everyone (Sonic? Dragon’s Lair? Super Meatboy?) and there are frequent sales. You can pick up great games for pennies on the dollar at the right times.
What splurges do you allow yourself when you need to chill?
How long has it been since I allowed myself a satisfying sit in one of Barnes and Noble’s giant comfy chairs?
When I get there or anywhere
I’m moving, on my feet,
Like a shark
If I stop, I’m going to drown in the murky suspended animation of my mind
That whirls loud and humming in my ears
And I don’t realize that it’s a constant sound until
I come up for air
In a chair.
Why am I always thinking
I need a very specific set of surroundings?
Just to turn down?
Especially when all I need to get from the ocean to the beach is
And a chair.