2022 is already starting off badly, how do I manage my damn anxiety?

I have a whole bunch of varying thoughts coursing through my mind and it is making me anxious as hell. I didn’t know how to write a coherent post because there are just all sorts of things going through it. I am writing this to resolve some of the icky and tight feeling in my chest.

My anxiety was at its worse in the second half of 2020, I was getting anxiety attacks almost once a week or every other week, I would go to bed with a pounding heart, and wake up with a pounding heart. I have worked so hard to pull myself out of that dark hole which I am really scared of falling back into. This blog is honestly such a great outlet to regulate my emotions.

List of things I’m anxious about:

  1. Falling out with my flatmate/ ex best friend, who is moving out at the end of next month
  2. Not knowing who the replacement tenant would be, whether they are clean or not, whether I would get along with them
  3. University is restarting, last semester was stressful as hell I practically lived in the library and barely had anytime to do the things I liked doing–especially hiking, painting, baking, yoga
  4. I have no summer plans/ job, have never worked in my life and I am in my third year of university
  5. My brother is visiting me tomorrow, it’ll be my 11th day of having covid (marking the end of my isolation), but a part of me is still worried about spreading it to him
  6. Not knowing what I want to do after university, I am graduating in May 2023 (which is not as far away as I imagine)
  7. Not doing enough in life, not being productive enough

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I guess I just needed to write all of this out, and when I acknowledge my feelings and thoughts, that is how they dissipate. As this @wetheurban post pointed out: “Before I could manage my emotions, I had to accept my emotions. Before acceptance, I need to identify my emotions. Before identifying, I need to acknowledge my emotions. Before acknowledgement, I had to be honest with myself… And this took work”.

So here I am, being completely honest with myself about how I feel, acknowledging that I feel shit, identifying the reasons behind it, and accepting it. As cheesy as this is, it is true that the only constant is change.

Somehow, ever since covid happened, my ability to handle uncertainties have greatly declined. I used to be able to go with the flow of things, be ultra spontaneous–and to a certain extent I still am–but now, uncertainty scares the crap out of my. I can be spontaneous in a given day, but not so much when it comes to longer term things, such as what I am worried about regarding my new flatmate, the implications of falling out with my best friend (it also means I have to worry about whether it would affect my friendship with some of our mutual friends), not knowing what to do after uni.

I guess the only solution to anxiety surrounding uncertainty is acceptance. Accepting that change is inevitable, accepting that change is the only constant, and accepting that the future is unknown is the only way to dissipate this built up anxiety I have. Besides that, if I absolutely know how everything is going to pent out in the end, that makes life so unexciting right? The future is filled with so much positive potential and I do not want to pollute it with my anxiety.

I can only hope that the replacement tenant will be a good fit, but even if they are not, I just have to deal with it then right? No need to worry about that now. It still hasn’t happened, a replacement tenant have not even been found yet and my current flatmate still has not even moved out.

Regarding uni, take it one step at a time, breathe, and enjoy the process. This will be the only time in my life where I get to not work, but still financially supported (by my parents), I don’t have to worry about taxes, buying a home, having kids, health issues etc. Being in uni is probably one of the most care-free time I’ll ever have and I want to cherish that, instead of dreading the process. Besides that, I am so excited for my modules this year– Neuropolitics, The Transformation of the Chinese Economy from 1949 and a History Research and Methods class to prep for my dissertation. I just need to trust my own ability and trust that everything will turn out fine. I will be able to balance work and also my hobbies although of course those have to be compromised a little. I can set up a system to be more productive, go on my phone less, spend at least an hour on something I really enjoy doing outside of uni work every day.

Falling out with my best friend may also come with some silver lining. I just need to accept this loss, but it doesn’t mean all the good times we have shared have disappeared. I still appreciate her and am so grateful for the good times we have spent together, but our friendship has run its course I guess. Maybe it just was not meant to be. The way she made me feel so uncared for, her hostility, tactlessness, irrationality were all signs that maybe I don’t actually need her in my life. Besides that, her role in my life is one that is replaceable, just because she is gone does not mean I won’t have anyone to have good times with, celebrate my birthday with anymore. Looking at our friendship, it wasn’t one that inspire much growth–spiritually, emotionally, mentally or physically, so maybe it is not that big of a loss.

Not having any summer plans mean that it is time I start looking for one, apply to firms, especially F&B and food tech firms which I am really interested in. I just need to put in the time and effort to make plans. Although I lack experience, I still believe that I am a keen and fast learner, and that I will thrive in things I do, as long as the due effort is put in.

Everything will fall into place over time. Time is a remedy to everything.

When I feel my anxiety building up, I fear what happened in 2020 would happen again. But I just need to trust that all the work I have done to be where I am will guide me, and I will be okay. I will never be where I was. I will be okay 🙂 everything turns out okay at the end, and most things are not as big of a deal as I make it out to be. Most things are just so damn minute in the grand scheme of things, especially in the wider timeline of my life, I just need to take a breath and trust that with time, everything will fall in place, one step at a time. As a friend once told me, when you are crossing a river, you have to look at the stepping stones right beneath/ right in front of you, if you look too far ahead, you’d fall. So, this step is a reminder for myself to accept the changes and uncertainties that inevitably come with life, but I just need to take it one step at a time 🙂 it’s 2022, new start, to more mindfulness practice, to spreading more love and happiness

“Whatever wrong someone may do to me, may I be compassionate, forgive and bear no hatred in my heart, I shall bear in mind to be grateful for the acts of love and consideration shown to me, no matter how small they appear to be”. — Affirmations from a Buddhist prayer book my mum used to recite to me.

With love,
Sing

2 thoughts on “2022 is already starting off badly, how do I manage my damn anxiety?

  1. I can understand your situation friend as I am also going through something same…but you are doing great 👍 I am proud of you…acknowledging how you feel is very important ❤ sending lots of prayers to you

    Like

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