Hello, my lovely readers and Happy Monday!
We are into week 2 of the ‘Social Distancing’ phase of Covid19 here in Ireland and what an experience it has been so far! I have promised new content to you all for a while, and I apologise for the delay on getting to it. I’ve had a bit of a period in life where everything has happened all at once and yet nothing seemed to be progressing, if that makes sense. I’ve been busy and yet I’ve had plenty of spare time, but what happened to that time I can’t make sense of it at all. Let’s just say, it was filled with plenty of anxiety, a good dose of stress and a lot of me trying not to sit still for fear of where my mind would take me. And by not sitting still, most of it was most likely filled with Netflix. Be under no illusion that I exercised because the time I had set aside for that, well… poof! It just disappeared!
Is this an anxiety related post?! A little bit odd you would think for someone who is a Christian and believes in Jesus and His promises of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7), who puts out such a positive front on social media, and who is generally a very happy positive individual. Well, before we continue let’s take a moment to accept that this is going to be a very blunt, very raw post. So, approach with caution and please let me know your thoughts afterwards!
This past season has taught me if nothing else, that I am only human and sometimes life is difficult! It might sound worse than it is, and I can definitely say my situation has not gotten to any stage it’s been like before in worse times. I am far better off than a lot of people but if you have ever experienced anxiety in any form, you will know that no matter how good you have it, all you can see are problems. Anxiety has a way of ramping up situations to look more terrifying than they actually are and to be quite frank, it’s a bit of a pain in the backside.
I want to encourage you all, those who are currently suffering with anxiety, those who have never suffered with anxiety and those who have overcome anxiety, it is just for a season! We go through life and have many experiences; sometimes bad ones and I’d like to think most times good ones. Often, we build up stigmas around scenarios and life choices because of past experiences. With these stigmas in place we avoid and sabotage our own growth, our own happiness, our own love. When we are in a place of feeling anxious, we are really in a place of fear – fear of the unknown and to our own demise, fear of the known. But sure, why would we fear what we already know you ask? Ha well let me tell you! Anxiety has a funny way of making you feel inadequate, insecure, inept. Lies for definite, but for those brief and sometimes long spells of unease we succumb to them. A truth I must remind myself of in these times is: Where fear lives, Love unfortunately cannot! And in this realisation is where I begin to fight my battle…
Love gives us peace, it gives us happiness, it sparks encouragement and laughter. What I have found in times of feeling anxious, is that I can get copious amount of encouragement and love from all around me and yet still feel caught in a snare of my own self sabotage. And that’s exactly what anxiety is, self-sabotage! From experience, the only way to battle this stage of anxiety is to call yourself out on your own shit! Excuse the blunt language!
Why are you feeling anxious?
Why are you holding yourself back?
Do you have a legit reason to feel that way, or is it just overthinking?
What can you do about the situation to have a better mindset towards it?
How do you expect someone to understand what’s going on inside your mind, if you’re not willing to talk about it?
Are you uncomfortable? If so, make the change to get to where you need to be to feel comfortable!
These are questions I ask myself to cut down the long grass in my mind so I can finally see the meadow. Sometimes I can get through it quickly and no one would even notice I’ve had an anxious thought, yet other times it’s a lot more difficult!
I am a firm believer in God and Jesus Christ His son and sometimes even that is not enough. Before you judge me, and yes, I’m referring to fellow Christians in that too, let me explain. I am only human; I am not perfect. In fact, I am far from it, and when my mind decides to have a little meltdown sometimes nothing can stop it from doing so. Does that falter my faith?! Certainly not! Does it make me any less of a Christian?! I don’t think so. What it does make me is a human being living in a fallen world doing her best to get through life and with the aid of God in my life, I find it easier. If I didn’t have God, this whole anxiety thing would a be a heck of a lot harder than what it already is. To all my believing and non-believing readers, my point is YOU ARE ONLY HUMAN!
We can’t do life alone, no matter what your beliefs are I’m sure you would agree that life is much better with family, friends, lovers, pets… We were not made to be alone; we were made to connect!
Give yourself a break. Practise self-compassion, self-grace, self-forgiveness! Yes, give your anxieties over to God, or whatever your faith beliefs are, but without love for yourself your actions will be null and void. God says we are made in His image, He says to treat our bodies like temples, living vessels for His Kingdom (apply this to your own beliefs), so then why do we not have compassion, grace and even forgiveness for ourselves? It’s such a hard hurdle to jump over I know, but there are so many ways to get to this point of self-love, and trust me it is a process, it does not happen overnight.
Journaling: write how you are feeling, compare it to how you want to feel and prepare a plan of action to get to that place of wellbeing!
Bucket Lists: what do you want to achieve in the coming weeks/months/years? Come up with techniques to make working towards your dreams a reality.
Affirmations: look up daily affirmations, write down the ones you believe in, that you are comfortable with and place them somewhere you will see each and every day!
Prayer and meditation: take time to connect with God, the Universe, your surroundings and allow yourself the time to breathe!
Connect: surround yourself with people who love you, people who want the best for you. Get rid of toxic relationships, situations, workplaces. Give your time and energy to those who help you to feel more like you, the beautiful, positive, creative being you were made to be!
If you are in a place of anxiety right now, please let me encourage you to act now!
You won’t regret it!