Are you an anxious type? I am. I’d like to not be, but I cannot imagine being any other way. For some things, this personality is good. It’s suppose it’s hard to motivate yourself to write a book if you don’t wake up with your brain buzzing with dialogue. But for other things – like, pretty much everything else – it’s hard. I tend to only be relaxed when I’m writing, reading or watching garbage TV. Right now, 90 Day Fiancé is like Soma.
The medicine that I’m on for endometriosis/adenomyosis can trigger anxiety, yet does not pair well with anxiety relieving meds. Add to that the constant shifting of my vision as I go from no glasses to driving glasses to sunglasses – all with different prescriptions. I’ve developed highway driving anxiety from the LASIK guys giving me a card saying I’m fine to drive, but not explaining that the big old ablation on my eye from surgery might mess with my ability to merge. I’ve had a few close calls. They’ve filed down that cornea (true story), which has been a big improvement, but I’m still finding it hard to shoulder check (Jesus take the wheel!) Having to swivel my head like an owl every time I want to go somewhere does not a calming drive make. And did I mention I live in the middle of nowhere? The realtors keep positioning where I live as close to Toronto, but as a former Torontonian, it’s pretty, bloody far. I’m not even sure I can legitimately cheer for the Raptors. I’m so far west that the Warriors might be my natural NBA team.
I keep managing to wrestle the stress under control through a combination of magazine and beach read reading, working outside, and having baths. I also drown myself in essential oils and eat a calming diet. (The latest thing I read says that meat can cause anxiety since you absorb the cortisol of the animal. That sounds like a stretch, but I’ve yet to meet an anxious chickpea, so I’m staying as plant based as possible.) I’m in the city every chance I get since I’m one of the rare people who finds the sounds of sirens, streetcars, and traffic much more soothing that the ever-present sound of the suburban lawnmower. And beautiful things calm me down.
I think that going back to school will help too. I recently had a french language assessment and I’m qualified to take my first level proficiency exam in spite of not having set foot in a classroom for 30 years. The assessment was surprisingly restful since my brain was so focused trying to conjugate futur proche that it could not think about anything else. So maybe there’s something in that. Learning things seems to calm me.
The best thing for my anxiety is always to realize I’m not alone. Sarah Wilson’s First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is a fabulous book about anxiety I read last year and I’ll probably re-read it this weekend. There are a lot of anxiety Instagrammers too (many style bloggers are anxious, so it’s a lot less grim that it sounds.) I’m glad we live in a world where people are more open about it.
Today is beautiful outside. The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend. I’ve started to read Jane Green’s newest: The Friends We Keep. Love it. The book starts at university in 1986, which resonates. Next up is The Castle on Sunset, recommended by Vanessa. I love classic Hollywood gossip. It’s hard to stress while reading.
What do you do to relax?