Some mornings you just know.
You know that your muscles feel a little bit weaker, your heart is racing just a little bit faster, and the overwhelming dread of the upcoming day is so much stronger. There isn’t a rhyme or reason to it- there’s not always a big exam looming in the future or a recent stressful event that has set you off. Some days you just feel all the feels, and when you live with an anxious mind you learn to accept that days like that will happen.
Some days it will fade by the time you get out of bed and onto the rest of your day, but other times it will not. The ride to school feels more difficult, focusing in class feels nearly impossible, and every minute of the day seems to drag on. It is like the world is moving in slow motion but the thoughts in your mind are racing a mile a minute, and synchronizing the two is unimaginable. *Deep breaths in and out and in and out*
Racing thoughts, sweaty palms, pounding heart. There is nothing to fear but the power of my own mind. I trick myself into believing I am unsafe, I am not enough, or I am not strong enough to overcome. How can I be afraid of something that exists within my own imagination? How trivial that I would dare feel afraid when others have a real reason to. I am none of the things my mind tricks me into believing about myself.
“I am safe. I am strong. This is just a feeling”, repeats in my mind over and over as a mantra. I know that I just need to make it through this hard day.
Almost through the day and the feelings are still rushing in and out. *Deep breaths in and out and in and out* The temptation to skip class and go home is there, and at times I find myself really close to doing it. Giving up makes me feel weak, but the idea of being somewhere I am more comfortable is very desirable. Fatigue sets in and my muscles ache from being so tense. Living with an anxious mind is draining to every part of my body.
Walking to my car at the end of the day is a sigh of relief and a victory march. I survived and came out stronger, and while it was difficult and exhausting it was a typical anxious day. Living with an anxious mind means knowing your limits and knowing when to push yourself out of your comfort zone. It means taking a break when it is needed and utilizing self care methods. Finally it means allowing yourself to feel the negativity but not letting it consume you- for you are the ruler of your own mind.
Some days will be hard and you’ll know it from the start, but does that mean you are weak? Does that make you incapable of leading a successful day? The answer is no- a successful day is when your mental health is put first and everything else second, not when you accomplish everything on your to-do list. So on the days when you “just know” that it will be more difficult than normal, repeat those mantras, breath in deep breaths, and don’t be afraid to feel all the feels that come along with having an anxious mind- you’ll make it out alive just like you always do.
Written by Campus Rep, Alyssa Friedman