I overslept by almost an hour this morning and am, as a result, feeling panicked. It is 7:30 now and I am forcing myself to relax, have my coffee, let the day unfold.
It is okay to start my Monday an hour later than intended. I’m unemployed. It impacts nothing whether my job search activities begin at 9 or at 10.
Anxious thoughts tell me otherwise. They say I’m starting down a slippery slope. If I let the schedule slide a little, it may quickly become an uncontrollable avalanche. Before I know it, I’ll be in a lazy loop of not getting anything done on any given day. I’ll be Pam Bundy, sitting on my couch with bonbons* all day, never really getting anything of importance accomplished.
* minus the bonbons because I can’t afford them
These are anxious thoughts. They are not my reality, and I recognize that. Yes, the Pam Bundy scenario is a reasonable state to wish to avoid, but there is no sense getting lost in anxiety about it.
The reason? Because it’s something that is 100% within my control. If that’s not how I want to be, I simply won’t be that way.
Yes, I overslept today. If anything at all depended on me being set up in front of my laptop ready to start my job search duties for the day at 9 then it would make sense to be in a bit of a panic. I wouldn’t sit with my coffee or write this post. I would race around to get ready.
However, that is not the case. I can start my day whenever I wish. It is good I am able to hit the pause button on my anxious thoughts and recognize this.
Today, my “workday” will be from 10-6 instead of 9-5. There will be absolutely no negative repercussions from this shift.
Tomorrow, if I choose, I will go back to working 9-5 hours.
My anxious thoughts are within my control now, far better than they’ve ever been before in my life. It is one of many things I am so grateful for, and an achievement I am incredibly proud of.
How I’ve managed to get my anxiety under control:
- Therapy. Finding a therapist who is the right fit for me has changed everything. I found my current one by asking for recommendations and being open about what I was looking for.
- Medication. I take methylphenidate for my ADHD. Without it, I find it very difficult to keep anxious thoughts from spinning out of control. I also take bupropion for depression, which likely also helps.
- Practicing mindfulness techniques. It began after I listened to Pema Chodron’s book, “When Things Fall Apart,” years ago, which I highly recommend if you find controlling anxious thoughts to be challenging. There are plenty of other mindfulness resources available, though, if a book or audiobook isn’t your style.