Good Afternoon! I wanted to post my 3rd Quarantine Entry a few days ago but I am all about being honest and didn’t want to post about a topic where I couldn’t give you any advice on what worked for me because I was still dealing with a particular dilemma or issue. In this case, the issue is anxiety. I have discussed my anxiety issues in the past and how I’ve tried to stop catastrophizing situations and speak positive thoughts into my life. Being quarantined has made doing these things a bit more difficult and as a result, my anxiety has been coming in full force. Dealing with the tightness in my chest and heart palpitations are one thing but the never-ending negative thoughts are what really drive me crazy. Everything is always worst case scenario and in every scenario, I am the reason why certain things are happening even when I really have no control over the actual events that are taking place. In order for me to handle my anxiety, I had to figure out the root cause of why I was feeling the way I was.
Many of the thoughts that kept popping up were related to loneliness and frustration because I felt like the life I once had was gone forever. That life included me seeing my boyfriend on a regular basis and being able to make plans with friends. Even though I know that I am not the only one having a tough time with all of the pandemic related situations we have been forced in, my responses to them were extreme and I couldn’t understand why until I took a deep look at what usually triggers my anxiety. It was then that I realized that my personal insecurities were the contributing factor and they were having a serious effect on how I perceived situations. I read way too much into things people would say and feel slighted by their actions even if that was not their intention. I made mountains out of molehills and then the mountains created avalanches in my mind that kept spiraling out of control. It was my feelings of inadequacy that was the foundation of all of my inner conflict and frustration and once I realized that, I was able to handle my anxiety better by looking at situations for what they were instead of creating worst case scenarios in my mind. By just focusing on the facts and logic and not letting emotions cloud my judgment, I was able to see that in many instances, I was either overreacting, allowing my insecurities to exacerbate situations or just worrying about situations that were unlikely to happen because I was unable to see the bright side of the situation.
Anxiety is something that I deal with on a regular basis and in extreme situations like quarantine, the feelings hit me like a mack truck. I’m learning that when they do appear, I need to take a deep breath, assess the situation and think objectively in order to gain a better perspective on things. Most importantly, allowing insecurities to creep in every time something happens that comes off as a trigger feels like I’m playing the victim and although I have no control over what others say or do, I have complete control over how I think and respond and heading into negative territory does more harm than good. I am a work in progress but I am happy that I am learning how to combat the anxiety and worry right when it happens instead of letting it linger on for hours and days at a time. One good thing that has come out of being in quarantine is self-reflection which has allowed me to really hone in on what needs to be worked on in my life in order to have the life I want. In addition to improving my mental well-being, I am determined to improve my physical well-being by working out and eating better. I’ve started on my health and wellness journey and in the coming weeks, I will update you on my progress so stay tuned for that 🙂
Are there any tips or techniques you use to deal with anxiety? Share them in the comments below! I will be back next week with another quarantine diary entry but until then, I hope you have a great weekend and remember to love and live luxuriously!
Good Afternoon! The reason why this post was uploaded at noon and not at 9am like normally is because I couldn’t think of anything to write about at first. I thought about what issues am I facing currently and I realized that my anxiety has been creeping back in my life slowly but surely. There are different levels of anxiety and its an ongoing issue that I constantly deal with but I am learning to recognize the warning signs and learning how to better deal with those feelings as they come.
My anxiety usually appears in the form of heart palpitations, worst case scenario thoughts and the inability to be able to completely relax. It happens as a result of an issue that feels out of my control or one that could have been prevented if I would have done something differently. The anxiety began this weekend when I was out at a party and I accidentally broke something. Although the object that I broke appeared to be fixed, I was still worried about something happening where my friend would get in trouble or I would have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to repair/replace the object even though a high amount was unlikely. The night went south after that and between worrying about that and being concerned for the well-being of someone else close to me, I was stressed out all weekend. The stress lasted into Monday and yesterday where I was annoyed about not receiving payment from one of my clients for something I worked on for him and wanted to avoid confrontation although I was not at fault and feeling overwhelmed with deadlines for other clients. Since my anxiety only appeared to worsen throughout the day, I decided to disconnect from social media yesterday evening and went to sleep after watching my tv shows. Today I woke up still feeling anxious so I decided to start putting everything into perspective. If I end up having to pay for the broken object, I will work out a payment plan that won’t mess me up financially. I will be direct with all of my clients from now on regarding payment and not agree to work on projects with those who have a hard time following. I will continue to stick to deadlines but I will create a schedule that will allow me to pace myself and allow me to not feel so overwhelmed. Even though my anxiety will most likely pop up again in the future, I know that I can alleviate the symptoms by changing my thought process, decatastrophizing, and realizing that no matter what the outcome is, its not the end of the world even though my anxiety wants to convince me otherwise!
How do you deal with anxiety? Let me know your tips in the comments. Still working on ideas for the next “Confidence Is…” Profile so if you or someone you know is the perfect example of confidence and strength in the face of adversity, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can interview them! My next post will be up on Friday but until then, always be sure to love and live luxuriously!
After receiving such great feedback on my last post, (click here if you haven’t read that post) I decided that transparency is my new thing. With that being said, I wanted to touch on something that I spoke about briefly in past posts but feel that this topic deserves its own post. I have been going to therapy on and off for 2 years and I feel that I have benefitted greatly from my sessions. It hasn’t always been easy and at one point I was hesitant to even admit that I needed help but I am at a point in my life where in order for me to become the best version of myself, I can’t be afraid of what others think or feel about the decisions I make that are in my best interest.
I started going to therapy 3 weeks after my grandmother passed away in 2017 and immediately questioned the decision. Even though I was depressed, I wasn’t suicidal or anything like that so why couldn’t I get out of the funk I was in? After many discussions with the therapist, it soon became clear to me that I was living in a state of constant fear and could not think about the future because I was too hung up on what happened in the past and how I was handling (or not handling) my emotions and how I responded to things out of my control. I always assumed that therapists were there to tell their patients what they should do but what I realized is that they are more like sounding boards where they listen to what you have to say and interject with questions that make you view the situation from different perspectives but they should never force any of their personal feelings on you. I’ve dealt with anxiety regarding my family, worries about relationships that have gone wrong and how I contributed to them and my fear of failure and feeling stuck and complacent in life instead of living it to the fullest. I’ve had 3 therapists and with the exception of the second therapist, I have felt that I was being heard and that my feelings were valid which means a lot when you feel isolated from others because of the issues that your are grappling with. It’s okay not to be okay but don’t give up on yourself.
I feel like therapy is medicine for my mind and soul. Talking to an objective source who doesn’t know me personally outside of what I choose to share is comforting and has been helpful in easing my anxiety because I am able to share the things that I am stressed or anxious about without worrying about anyone judging me. It is medicine for my soul because every time I leave therapy, I feel lighter as if a weight has been taken off of my shoulders. Even if I leave without knowing exactly how I am going to confront an issue that I may be dealing with, I know that I am capable of handling it and just about anything else that comes my way. I don’t see myself going to therapy forever but it is an essential part of my life at this point especially since I am in a transitional period and being able to completely let go for those 45 mins each Tuesday has helped me to stay focused on my goals for the week. I hope that the stigma that’s attached to therapy can be eliminated in time especially within the African American community. Getting help from a qualified outside source for any issues you may be dealing with should not be perceived as weakness but strength because you know that you can be better and do better in life with a little assistance along the way.
How do you feel about therapy? What are your experiences if you’ve been to therapy before? Let me know in the comments! Side note: Make sure you subscribe to my new podcast with my homie DJ called “Weekend Friendz”. Click here to listen and subscribe! New post coming Monday but until then, always be sure to love and live luxuriously!
Can we just stop
Focus on what we feel
Forget about time
Cause it ain’t real, no it ain’t real
We only got this moment
We only got this moment
We only got this moment
We only got this moment
This Moment- Janine and the Mixtape
I woke up this morning feeling anxious and tense. I had the craziest dream that unnerved me and then I was thinking about my grandmother who had a mini stroke last week and wanting to talk to her. I plan on visiting her in Florida after I take my driving test in December because I want to be able to help out more by running errands and things like that. On top of all of that, I’m waiting to start this new director gig at my current job and even though I was told that the position is mine, nothing feels set in stone. It is all overwhelming and I don’t want to break under pressure but I wasn’t sure on what to do until I did what I do when I need an escape: I decided to play some music.
I started listening to the EP of my favorite up and coming artists, Janine and The Mixtape (check out my interview with her in the Feature Artist section of the site) and her song “This Moment” came on. In that moment, I realized that we all have issues that we have to deal with but sometimes it’s best to focus on this moment and be grateful for what we do have because tomorrow is not promised to anyone. It’s difficult to live in the moment when life comes at you with full force but I know that I need to just breathe and live in the moment when it gets to be too much or else I’ll go crazy. That’s not to say that I am going to abandon my problems or be in denial about them but instead, take things one day at a time and focus on the positive. I encourage all of you to do the same😀