2.5 Weeks of Anxiety? Not on My Watch!

First she slept; and then she read…

Got out of bed at noon. Started to read. Haven’t done much else today.

I could get used to this winter break life.

If only my anxiety wasn’t getting in the way…

I’m the type of person that dreams of having free time like no other; when it finally happens, with my mind all the sudden free from responsibility, the anxiety I’ve kept at bay while busy crops up again.

I’ll give you an idea of what I’m talking about–Thursday morning I had my two final assignments of the semester due at 10:30. I was up until around 2:30ish that morning finishing them up; I had slipped them under my professor’s office door before 10 am. I was a good half and hour ahead of schedule. You’d probably expect me to feel relieved now that I was officially done with the semester. After all, most college students would be jumping for joy directly after turning in their final assignments of the semester.

Not so. 

Instead, I could feel the anxiety that had been relatively non existent during my ever busy semester, crop up again. It happened so quickly that I didn’t even have the time to try to shoo it away before I could feel it engulfing my whole being. I had ten different things I could be doing, mind you, I wrote two blog posts and read some, I had plans for that night. The fact of the matter is though, everything that I absolutely had to do was done. Everything else I had planned for that day were things I wanted to do (besides packing…that was kind of necessary, but again, I could also do that the next day right before heading for home…which is what I ultimately did). Thursday night, a night that was supposed to be a fun night with friends celebrating the end of the semester, ended up being so unbelievably weird just because because my whole outlook was clouded with so much anxiety. It wasn’t a bad night, but it wasn’t a good night either. It was just weird; an anxiety clouded weird.

With all this in mind, having 2.5 weeks of free time really does not bode well for me. When I have nothing to do, my mind wanders to everything and anything that I could possibly worry about. I really, really want to enjoy this winter break. It’s my last winter break of college and I want it to be the best it can be. To succeed in this endeavor, though, will take a lot of extra work from yours truly.

must feel like I’m being useful, like I’m doing something worthwhile. The more I sit around doing nothing, the more anxious I’ll get. I must keep myself busy so I can enjoy all the special moments that I want this break to include.

Blogging. Applying for jobs. Reading books, particularly books that I feel I can take something away from. Cleaning my room.

These are the things I need to do to feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.

I also need to remind myself to get out of the house, to make plans with people. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in my introversion over breaks that I forget I also need human interaction to stay mentally healthy. I need to actively make plans with friends. I should make time to go somewhere, even if that’s just to the coffee shop down the street to write a blog post. I still need to go out and buy Christmas presents for my family, so that’s something that will get me out and about in the next couple days.

When I’m on these breaks, my body just wants to hide at home. During this break, I’m going to make sure that my mind is actively reminding my body that I have to leave the house. Spending a whole week cooped up reading and watching Netflix might sound nice, but in the end doing just that will inevitably raise my anxiety.

I want this break to be awesome. In the end, I am in complete control of how awesome it will be in actuality. My anxiety does not define me. Only I know how to keep it from overcoming my whole being.

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