Anxiety is a sad but common feeling amongst professional twenty-somethings, and it’s something I have had to deal with over the past year.
I used to wake up in the morning feeling sick. Panic would grip me when I thought about everything I had to do. Many people said that I worked too hard, which is why I got sick because I was run down and stopped taking care of myself. So right now, I’m on the quest for some life-saving supplements.
Now I’m not telling my story for pity because everybody works hard. And we’re so lucky that we get to do what we love – I just know my story will be very familiar to most girls our age. And I knew I needed to find a way to cope, so I started writing every single evening.
An after work ritual:
My new after work ritual is to get comfortable, sit down at the computer and write 1,000 words. No matter what, whether I’m tired, upset, hungry or have already stared at a screen for too long. I just sit down, and I do it. No excuses. I’ll probably even do it on Christmas Day.
I decided to do it thanks, in part, to NaNoWriMo which I finished last year. Writing 50,000 words in a month was nothing with a little dedication every night. So I figured, I could do that again. It was a healthy routine, a nice little ritual to round off the evening and give my brain some time to recover, and I often managed to reflect on things better when I wrote them down and discover things I hadn’t actually noticed about myself.
What to write:
I write anything I feel like writing. Chunks of a novel I’ll probably never finish, how I’m feeling, anything that annoyed or stressed me out during the day. I try to write negative things and then round off with positives and what I’d like to change going forward. Some days where I’m positive and happy, I prefer to plug my headphones in and write creatively. 1,000 words takes no time at all when you’re writing what you know. I could go on forever.
Why it works:
It’s the same basic concept as keeping a gratitude journal. It helps you to reflect on the day and dump your emotions on paper instead of keeping them pent up inside. Also, if you’re stressed or anxious about something, writing it all down helps you to cope and strategize about how you’re going to handle the pressure.
Writing helps you to reflect on your life and get some clarity about what you’re doing. Especially if you’re keeping a daily journal or writing mindfully. I am not at all stressed or anxious anymore, and I seriously look forward to my dates with my desktop.
So where should you start?
Start right now. Open your diary or your computer and set a ten-minute timer if you want to start small. And just write. Dump your emotions, anxieties, anger and worries all on the page and then tell yourself not to spend one more second thinking about them because they’re the books/computers problem now. Trust me, it’s addictive.
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