Let's chat anxiety...

Last night I lay in bed overthinking.
I thought about all the ways I was messing up in my job.
I thought about the relationship struggles Lee and I were going through.
I thought about how my friendships all feel a little fractured and I'm becoming irritated by people quickly.

I realised I have a little bit of anxiety.

We deem anxiety as this big thing where in order to say you have it you have to be on the verge of a mental breakdown but actually, anxiety is a perfectly normal emotion that allows us to keep ourselves in check. For me anxiety flares when I'm subconsciously feeling insecure about myself, and with all the changes happening in my world I'm definitely feeling vulnerable!

I think the biggest thing is I don't give myself grace when learning something new. I want to have it all together and be totally bossing it from the word go, but change takes time to adjust and that's okay. It's okay to have a period of time of complete disaster as you try to work out a routine to get all the necessary things done. It's okay to drop some of the balls when you introduce something new. I know all of this for other people, so why don't I do this for myself?! It's so frustrating!

Being a people pleaser means that not only am I concerned with whether I'm managing to juggle my balls, but I reeeeealllly care about what other people think too. I'm gradually (and it's a slow process - I'm only 25 bear with me) learning to not care about certain things, but when it comes to my friends, I care a great deal about their opinion. My best friend used to do my job, and as I add my own flavour to it and begin implementing some of my own structures I'm grossly aware that internally I struggle with doing things differently in fear of not wanting to offend her or upset her - even though the only thing she's ever said has been positive! That right there is where anxiety turns nasty.

Anxiety has the ability to grow into something completely overwhelming when we're unable to take a step back and analyse the situation from the outside looking in. I made the decision to get a mentor when I started this job and I highly recommend it! On my own, the decision I make when anxiety flares is to hermit. I want to hide from the world, cancel all my plans, never tell anyone anything that I'm wanting to achieve, or any decisions I'm making and just 'do it on my own'. The world often tells us to do this. 'Don't rely on anyone', 'Don't be vulnerable to anyone', 'Don't share anything with anyone' - but successful emotional growth comes when we're in community and open to people. It means hurt sometimes as we allow other people to challenge us, and sometimes that's pretty disastrous, but it also means emotional maturity as we become able to handle life better, speaking truth over ourselves rather than believing whatever lie our minds try to tell us that day. For me, having people around me to help me see the truth of the situation rather than following the thought train down the rabbit hole has been crucial in me being able to manage myself and my family better.

For me in this season I've realised that the truth is: 

It's okay to take some time getting used to new routine. 

After almost a month of trying to juggle the balls I've realised that it's okay to take things one step at a time and restructure how our routine looks. It means sharing the work load. It means delegating unnecessary tasks to other people. It means prioritising relationships over 'task lists' (sometimes at the detriment of the laundry!) for a season, and it means giving myself - and other people - extra grace as we all adjust to the emotions involved with change.

People often ask me how I manage to 'do it all' and, in truth, I don't. I see lots of things that I want to do but just can't in this season. There's a lot I say no too. But for the stuff that I am doing, making sure I'm not overwhelmed and have an emotional support network around me is the glue that holds it all together. I know I'm not on my own in my world and that's the foundation for me having high capacity and good productivity. 

Entering into February I'm starting to put some better structure in place. I'm a little clearer with what my life looks like now that I have a job and I'm excited to pick up some of the things I had to drop for a season (like this blog!). It always feels better when you are able to start managing things again, and the key to that success is taking a step back, gathering your tribe and going at it one thing at a time. 

Until next time...


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