Anxiety – You Don’t Always Need a Plan

I came across a tweet from Paulo Coelho recently and it’s something I wish I’d been able to tell myself earlier in life, especially due to my anxiety.

You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you need to breathe, calm down, look around, and improvise. Because, as you already know, you CAN’T control the future

If you read my blogpost about The Alchemist, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of this novel and I do genuinely believe that it changed my life. I see it as a good omen and it makes me feel inspired every time I think about it. If you’re looking for motivational and uplifting tweets, I would recommend following Paulo Coelho as he shares some really lovely and wise content.

Having a plan

plan

Up until this year, I was a big planner. It’s in my nature to a certain extent and one of the reasons why I’m the ideal for my current job role as an Account Manager. Organisation is really important to me and planning ahead helps me keep life organised. But that’s just the thing, you can’t really organise your life and have a plan as such, because you never know what life will throw at you.

The good day, bad day, equilibrium

equilibrium

As someone who suffers from anxiety, I tried to avoid any situations that I knew would make me uncomfortable. If I had plans with family and friends, I’d picture in my head how perfect they would be and how much I would enjoy myself, thus setting high expectations. I would also plan for my anxiety to take a back seat and not let it ruin my evenings and weekends. This is another thing I was naive about. It was almost as if I was setting myself a target to enjoy myself and be happy for several consecutive days in a row. If I achieved this, I would of course be super proud of myself, however I would then worry about ruining that streak which in turn flared up my anxiety.

If I had a day where I genuinely felt happy, I would then worry and get anxious because I didn’t know when I would feel like that again. If I had a bad day with my anxiety, I would beat myself up about it and endure an overwhelming feeling of guilt and disappointment in myself. This draws back to this idea of a good day, bad day, equilibrium. I would imagine my days almost as a scale and take note of the ups and downs throughout my week. The issue here was, I told myself it wasn’t OK to have a bad day and when I did, I’d feel like I’d failed.

Take each day as it comes

the little things notepad

As Coelho tweets:

Sometimes you need to breathe, calm down, look around, and improvise

I try to remind myself to take each day as it comes. Focus on the present, enjoy the moment and don’t worry about tomorrow. If there is a genuine reason to worry of course, that’s easier said than done. However, I’m much more at peace with myself now that I tell myself its OK to have bad days and the most important thing to do is take a breath. If I’m happy, I appreciate that moment as oppose to questioning it.

It’s a long road with anxiety

yorkshire terrier long road

I’m not expecting to get to a point in my life where I’ll always be happy and never have bad days with my anxiety. I do however, want to be able to control how it affects me and how I deal with it. The self care tips in my previous blogpost are a great example of this. Finding an outlet, my blog for example, is also helping me massively on my journey. Even if this only ends up being a blog for me, it’s nice to see how far I’ve come 🙂

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