So, a lot of what I've been doing lately has been making me anxious. I've spent my life happily invisible, living my life with a relatively small circle of people knowing of my existence. Beginning to promote my business, finding social media followers, and gaining a mailing list is stretching me in new and different ways, both in tasks to learn and emotional issues to work through. This heightened stress about work is bringing the anxiety to the surface so it's beginning to permeate into other aspects of my life as well. I've recently found myself worrying and fixating about things that will not occur for a long time and things over which I have no control (e.g., the health and death of my husband, parents, and others who, for all intents and purposes are healthy). This isn't a surprise, really, as my anxiety has a tendency to creep up when I'm stressed or uneasy, trying to overtake every aspect of my life. It means I've had to be more diligent than normal about self-care and even go a step further to help me deal with the extra stress.
So, how am I doing that? Well, my regular routine already includes self-care activities (pedicures, informal morning meditations while I'm waking up, at least one bath a week, allowing myself to get lost in a novel), but they're just not cutting it with the extra stressors. I began by journaling about what I need and decided I needed different, more assertive self-care activities to help with the more assertive stressors. In the end, I chose two extra activities to help. For me, this is yoga as often as my body and schedule will allow and more focused meditation time where I light a candle and focus on an affirmation or really stay open to listen to what I need.
And, it's been helping. It's making it easier for me to control those worrying thoughts before I spiral--the breathing I'm learning in yoga is reminding me to stop and take a deep breath when I'm beginning to fixate, and the extra meditation is making it easier to be mindful of where I am now. I remind myself just how awesome my life is and allow myself to feel the love that surrounds me. While it hasn't brought me to the level of balance and normalcy that I'd like, I also suspect that the balance won't really happen until I feel more comfortable making selfie videos, promoting my business, and being more visible, which is okay. Being stretched is a good thing--it'll make me a better, more well-rounded person in the end.