Once in a while we get the chance to sit alone with pin-drop silence. Most of our days are filled with the hustle and bustle of work, families, and other responsibilities that leave us in a near constant state of commotion. It is in these peaceful moments that we discover the power of solitude.
In life a lot of us, including myself, struggle with balance and this ultimately leads to a burnout. I feel as though balancing rest and work in today’s world is even more difficult. I am the first to admit that I burnout quickly and I require more downtime than most people. I believe this is due to me being a very “sensitive” person and I process life very deeply. I sometimes wish that I didn’t absorb so much energy and emotions as it is quite draining.
When we are with others, so much of our energy and focus are on other people. We keep up with the demands of relationships, work, school, and we are depleted of energy before we make time for ourselves. We need to learn to put ourselves first, because if we are not physically and mentally sound, we cannot possibly give our all in life. Think of the last time that you sat alone outside by the water, drank a cup of tea or coffee in your recliner with no one else home, took a walk in nature just you and the universe. How did that make you feel? I am guessing that for a lot of us, that feeling would be whole, peaceful, renewed, uplifted, and relaxed. I do understand for some that being alone may trigger fear, sadness, and loneliness. Some individuals are alone most if not all of the time and they crave human interaction. It’s all about balance. There were times that I was alone so much that I was depressed and craved companionship, I’ve also been in times where I was around so many people that I just wanted to hide away from the world and be by myself.
Solitude brings about both peace and strength. There is something so beautiful about being at one with yourself, feeling yourself breathe, and having no outside stimulation from the world. One can process thoughts and emotions and find peace in just existing. On the other hand, solitude requires strength as it is not exactly how humans are “hardwired.” There are individuals of course who are introverted and I do find myself becoming more introverted as I age. Solitude is also when we are forced to face our demons. Whether you prefer being alone, surrounded by people, or a mix, please make more time to do what you love and what renews and refreshes your soul. Your mind and body are so precious and we need to put ourselves first so that we can be the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be. Just a few minutes a day set aside just for you can make all the difference in the world.
Most of us feel some sort of anxiety in our lives during specific life situations like a new job, moving to a new house, having an argument with a loved one, giving a presentation, etc., however there are individuals like myself that struggle with anxiety on a daily basis. This is the more extreme form, not your typical anxiety here and there. In this blog I will be talking about my personal experience with anxiety and also tips and tricks that I have found to be very helpful along the way.
I have dealt with anxiety since I was a young child. Things often worried and scared me without any particular reason. I remember being so tense about things and I couldn’t relax enough to be a wild and free kid like many children are. I of course had a ton of fun in my childhood and have many great memories that I will never forget, by this I mean I was an overly-cautious child and that hasn’t changed much to this day! As I grew into my teen years, my anxiety became more apparent. I was extremely shy, I hardly spoke to anyone. My hands would sweat and I was afraid of what others thought of me. I was so shy and nervous that it prevented me from even knowing what to say to other people, I had a lot of trouble keeping a conversation going with anyone outside of my family. I believe that anxiety and shyness are in most cases part of being a teenager, however my anxiety was extreme and impacted many areas of my life. Now, as an adult I still suffer from anxiety, but I have made a lot of improvements by submerging myself into situations and forcing interactions with others until they became natural. This took years and years for me to be able to do, but now good luck getting me to stop talking!
I am reminded of my anxiety on a daily basis with varying degrees depending on what’s going on in my life. I have experienced those dreaded panic attacks, moments where you literally cannot get your mind from snowballing from one idea or fear to the next, and times where you feel like you are literally going insane and losing control. I have thankfully found ways to manage and lessen my anxiety and I am happy to share them with you! In some cases, the tips below will not suffice, there are cases where individuals should seek a professional to help them develop a deeper understanding of where the root of their anxiety might be coming from. Here is a list of tips that have helped me:
Be out in nature – it’s so peaceful and relaxing and makes you realize that we are a small part of something so much greater
Go for a walk – the physical aspect is very good at calming anxiety, being exposed to nature is an added bonus if you walk outside
Take a hot shower or bath – heat is so soothing and relaxing and so is the sound of water!
Write or journal – express and relieve emotions. I love to write and blog
Have a hobby and a focus – this keeps your mind busy, an idle mind is not a good thing, there’s too much thinking. A hobby gives you focus and hope as well as something to look forward to, it’s a nice distraction
Talk with like-minded people – this can help you realize that you aren’t alone and you aren’t as different as you feel from society. I know a lot of times I literally have anxiety about having anxiety, so just to know that there are others that have similar fears or experiences, makes me not feel so alienated