I know that I've alluded to it, but I don't think I've ever said it here. I have anxiety (aka the irritating little gremlin). It's something I've dealt with since I was a very small child. I remember not being able to sleep so re-organising my bedroom so I wouldn't get in quite so much trouble for not going to bed. As a teenager I found adapting to secondary school tough and had my first experience of professional support, and though my 20s I went though one of the toughest periods I'd ever experienced. I spent the best part of 5 years breaking free from that time, and in the process totally upturned my life. I took up running, I reconciled some difficult relationships and ended others, I learnt a lot about myself and worked out how to be truly content. I can quite confidently say that in the last 12 months I've felt more settled and content than at any other time in my life. Up yours irritating little gremlin.
However, that doesn't mean there won't be the odd wobble. These last few weeks have been tough. Exams don't normally mess me up, but for some reason my recent set up. Sitting in the exam hall I fought off the urge to run out of the room, despite knowing I'd worked my ass off to get there, and the last couple of weeks have ground my academic confidence down. It's all felt a bit raw and tough. Studying while working isn't a joke. It's a grind. You are constantly going, you have no time to assimilate the knowledge that you're gaining because you're always on to the next thing. Your brain buzzes constantly. I love learning, and I'm passionate about my subject, but my goodness it's overwhelming. I've got to get a handle on it.
Over the years I've learnt all sorts of tricks to manage my anxious phases. All these tricks simply come down to self-care. Self Love even. There's no magic formula. It's things like taking time. Getting fresh air. Exercising. Eating whole foods. Skipping sugar. Not drinking too much. Doing yoga. Surrounding yourself with people who love and support you, and crucially being open with them about how you feel. Ideally before it is too late.
The angst I feel now is nothing compared to what I've overcome. In fact I wonder slightly if I'd really call it anxiety. I'm just having a perfectly normal wobbly. The type that anyone who is taking on something that scares them (and my goodness does my MSc scare me) feels. I just need to remember that if I do the things I need to do it'll stay that way, and ultimately it will fade off in to the background. Like the irritating little gremlin it is.