You have a free day! Yay! You have two choices to either chill and watch movies all day or start a list of all the things you meant to do but didn’t. I chose the latter, list made over breakfast, gym bag packed and iPad, Organiser and pens all stuffed into my handbag. Cue phone call from a friend of a networking contact to ask if I was busy. It’s a tough one to answer as she didn’t say why and I really wanted to get through my list. I assumed it was related to my job hunt but when I said I had a few things to do but could make some time, she asked how quickly could I get to the other side of town.
It turns out the speaker to their women’s group had cancelled on them and one of the ladies had been at a workshop I helped with a while back. Their subject was Coping with Anxiety and “all you have to do is talk for 10 minutes then maybe a wee exercise then finish off with another 10 minutes”. Cope with anxiety eh???? Sure says I, it will only take me ten minutes to get things rearranged. In fact I had an hour to get changed, think of what I was going to say and jump in a taxi.
One of the things that you need to be aware of when you are learning to cope with any kind of heightened anxiety is to stop and take a breath. You sit still and become conscious of your breathing, take the time to still yourself and calm as much as you can to reserve your energy for what you need to face or cope with.
For me it does just take ten minutes. I sit on the floor, if I can, light a candle on this statue, (I also carry a photo of this on my phone) and then I pick a place that I love. I focus on why I love it, the memories attached to it and listen to a specific piece of music that lasts exactly ten minutes. It works every time, just that short routine helps to focus and clear my mind as well as calm any building anxiety. The other thing that works is a proper cup of tea. Brewed in a teapot and poured into a proper cup and saucer.
The talk went really well, sharing thoughts and experiences just shows the amount of different ways anxiety, stress or panic affects our lives. From those it cripples so much they can’t go out or those of us who are lucky to have found ways to control it even in the worse case scenarios, you find your own way to cope. But the most important thing to remember is that you never fail to cope, you are always learning because no two days or instances are the same.
A huge part of this 150 day challenge is to add things into my life that become second nature. Like turning down the most amazing home baked scones or skipping a delicious looking piece of cheesecake because I knew I was being treated to dinner. Coping with that was very very tough!!!!!!
So with halo in tact and polished even more when I got the taxi to stop in town so I could walk it home, a day that should have gone one way turned out differently. And it only took ten minutes to cope!