All last week, I seemed to be battling a feeling completely foreign and quite scary to me: anxiety. I’ve always applauded myself as the type of person who is always put together and has things figured out, even when I’m juggling many things at once, but it seems my twenty-something self was finally too ill equipped to handle it all. There I was, lump in my throat, shortness of breath, increased heart rate and lingering nausea, completely unaware of what was making me feel so strangely (which only made matters worse). To say this experience was frightening would be an understatement, and I couldn’t stop wondering when I would just feel normal and myself again.
After a great weekend spent relaxing and hanging out with John and his family, I surprisingly felt much better. My symptoms seemed to have vanished and it suddenly hit me that maybe that was all due to the fact that I’d finally let myself relax and recharge.
As a twenty (three)-something female, I work full time for a Marketing company, blog 3-4 times weekly, am trying to jumpstart a photography career, live in and help maintain a home with my boyfriend, am in the process of finding and adopting a dog with this boyfriend, manage my personal finances in addition to remembering to pay the gas, electric, water, internet, student loan, credit card and car insurance bills on time and a lot of other things I could list but you probably don’t want to read anyway. (Yes, the length of that sentence was intended to make you feel anxious and overwhelmed.) Being far away from home means I can’t just go see my friends and family, so instead I have to rely on weekly phone calls to feel connected to most of the important people in my life. In a nutshell, I am the human equivalent of the energizer bunny. And in between all of my daily responsibilities, I leave little to no time for me. It’s no wonder my brain is exploding.
After sitting down and consciously thinking of everything I am responsible for on a daily basis, I had to ask myself if we are all guilty of biting off a little more than we can chew as twenty-somethings. One minute you’re in college responsible for little more than completing class work and buying groceries, next thing you know you have to find a job, pay back your loans, and totally survive on your own. While this is all part of growing up, I’ve learned quickly that it’s easy to take on too much sometimes and even easier to forget about oneself when all is said and done.
While my brief encounter with anxiety was pretty alarming and frightening, it also forced me to take a step back and focus on me. I’d be crazy to think I could juggle all of the elements of my life seamlessly 100% of the time, so it’s time to stop holding myself to impossible standards. Instead, I plan to carve out time each day to do nothing but focus on myself and relaxing. I encourage you to do the same!