Life is full of extreme highs and extreme lows right now. Most of this I attribute to the pandemic, but different seasons of life seem to flow in different ways. Naturally, this can cause a bit of anxiety for anyone facing this climate. I wanted to walk through a few ways my anxiety manifests to hopefully make you feel less alone. It shows itself differently for everyone and it’s important to respect each other’s emotions during such uncertain times.
When things seem out of control around me I tend to retreat into my own space. I spend many hours at a coffee shop just to be alone and reduce the stimulus around me. I might pull back from friends or social media because social interactions seem draining. This sometimes helps me reset, but other times makes me hyperfocus on issues that would otherwise seem insignificant. I try to recognize this and find a distraction if my mind starts to spiral.
I react quickly
When I’m extremely anxious, I may react more quickly than usual. My thoughts almost get jammed and I might blurt things out to those close to me. I don’t think things through as clearly and I have a hard time processing any new information or stressors in my personal life. This is my least favorite part of anxiety because you never want to lash out at people you care about. I think we do this because those are actually the people we trust the most with our emotions. Usually all it takes is a workout or simply time to bring me back to center.
I search for change
Anxiety makes me feel trapped and I look for a way out before I get stuck. This used to mean changing my hair color, but now looks more like taking a trip. I’ll start searching flights while almost on autopilot because I just want a fresh enironment. Sometimes I follow through and it’s a great refresher. Other times, although it might take a second, I’ll realize the emotions will pass. I’m naturally a very spontaneous person who loves new experiences, but anxiety makes me feel like the change has to happen that instant. I try to remember that all good things take time.
There are so many other ways anxiety can come out, but these are the three most typical for me. Remember that these emotions will pass and to ask for help if you feel the burden is too much. You are never alone and I am a firm believer that those struggling with mental health are actually some of the strongest people out there.
Let me know if these resonate with you and if your anxiety manifests differently.