One word: finals.
For college students or high school students or even jobs that involve a prime project, this is the most stressful time. Not necessarily this week, but whenever finals come around, you feel it. For students, that often means 5+ hours of studying with minimal sleep and food consumption (or stress eating. Guilty). The week ahead marked the first round of traumatizing exams and major presentations which my graduation depended upon. Fun, yes? On top of that, it was a Sunday which meant going to church which always manages to throw my anxiety out of wack. Plus, I found myself suddenly thrown into a huge dissension between a friend and his ex.
I lay upstairs, staring at the ceiling, trying to decide whether this was all worth it anyway. I ached. I was frustrated. I was stressed. My head felt like a congregation of NASCAR race tracks, each thought was a car racing at top speed around and around … My chest tightened. I was going to vomit. The room was closing in. Suddenly, everything stopped. I realized I didn’t have to subject myself to these hellish thoughts. In a frenzy, I gathered my keys and water before speeding (literally) to the gym. I spent a solid two hours there.
When I finished, I realized what I had just done. I had just beaten my anxiety. It was such a simple solution, I couldn’t believe I had never done it before. Granted, it wasn’t permanent, because guess who woke me up at 3 a.m. Each day is a battle, so I can’t expect to win every one. However, I was so proud to place Sunday under the “Win” column that I even took a selfie to commemorate the event.
If I can crawl my way out of a suffocating cage of nerves and despair by simply getting the hell out of my house, so can you.
Go for a walk. Sit on the porch with a coloring book or a good novel. Window shop at a mall or grocery store. Go to a friend’s or relative’s house whom you feel comfortable with. Go to the movies, a museum, a play. Put on uplifting music, open the windows, and dance. There are an infinite number of ways to challenge those demons clouding your vision.
I believe in you. You should, too.