Ode to Being Anxious

I want to share some things that make me anxious. Fun fact, I am currently anxious right now writing this blog, but I know this list could help others feel better about their anxieties. So without any more delay, here’s my list everyone.

I am anxious when:

-Things are out of my control

-After job interviews

-Meeting new people

-Dealing with a tough decision

-Being alone

-Waiting for an answer to a serious question

-When someone says they have something to tell you but have to wait until later to say something

-Telling people no

-Going to a party

-Driving

-Laying down in the dark

-I cannot understand why I am anxious

-I cannot get in touch with my mom or my husband

-Knowing that I have to go to the doctor

-Getting tests done

-Disagreeing with someone I love

-I do not eat

-I eat too much

-People looking at me when I walk into a room

-Running low on my meds

-Getting ready for therapy

-Thinking about death

-Going into stores

I know to some, these things may seem silly. But to people that deal with anxiety and depression, these things can cause you stress. Don’t feel bad if you are dealing with anything that makes you anxious. You are not alone; I am here with you. We will get through this together.

Are You Being Served?

I was thinking about what to write today since we are coming up to the end of the year, so let’s talk about letting go of things and people that do not serve us anymore. I know it is not a happy topic, but we need to talk about it before setting any new goals for 2021.

I am huge on friendships. I would stay in them even when I do not see them going anywhere. My anxiety would make me feel bad for ending relationships, and I would go back to that relationship, knowing nothing would change. This year as I look back on relationships that ended, I realized that holding on to a relationship to make the other person feel good does nothing for you. Is someone looking after you? If you cannot say yes to this question, it is a safe bet to say that your relationship is not serving you.

We cannot continue to live our lives for others. What does it do for us to give them our all and never get that in return? We have to remember that our means should be met in the relationships we have and if they are not met, we should feel no pressure to stay. I saw a video that said, “You do not have to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.” This means we should not burn ourselves out just to be with a person. We should not be the only ones giving our all to the relationship. Find a person that will be willing to give as well as receive.

2 Something in the Morning

I am not feeling my best right now, so it only fits to spread positivity to myself and others. Here are ten affirmations I use when I am feeling out of it during my depressive episodes.

I possess the qualities needed to be successful.

I am a work in progress, and that’s okay.

I choose positivity today.

I will let go of things that do not give me peace.

All my problems have solutions.

It is okay to say no to things that do not serve you.

I am grounded.

I choose happiness.

I can handle anything that comes my way. I am strong.

I have the power to control my thoughts.

Say these affirmations to yourself daily and see how well they work for you. I am not saying that they will work overnight, but if you are willing to make it a habit, you can see your behavior change.

Words of Encouragement to Self

Hi Ari,

I know that the last two months have been tough for you but know that we will get through it. We don’t have to be perfect. We are fine the way we are. I know you feel that we should be on at all times; however, we are not a performer. We deserve to take breaks and try again later. We have to be patient with ourselves. We are not in a race with anyone. We can take our time until it is our time. We are loved and respected regardless if we make our goal today or two weeks from now. Ari, we have to stop being hard on ourselves and love ourselves harder. We will be okay. We are everything we need right and more. We do not lack for anything. We have our whole life to get to our calling. Don’t rush the small victories to see the main prize.

WE ARE LOVED ARI. Please remember that.

NO.

How hard is it for you to say no? If you are like me, saying no feels like slapping someone in the face. Saying no makes me feel guilty even when I have a reason to say it. So what do you do? Should you say yes forever? Well, I have a list we can all use to help fight the fear of saying no.

It is okay to say no…

If it doesn’t make you happy

If you feel as if someone is forcing you

If it doesn’t fit your plans

If it makes you uncomfortable

If you want to be by yourself and relax

If your feelings are not being valued

If it goes against what you believe in

If it’s a family member

If you have no reason other than you wanting to do it

Understand that it does not happen overnight. But remember, you have the right to say no to anyone about anything. Saying no helps protect your feelings, so use it when you can.

10 Things I Need to Stop Worrying About

Writing this list was hard for me because worrying has become like second nature to me. Hopefully, by writing this list, I can help not only myself with worrying but help whoever reads this.

Stop worrying about things that are outside of your control. You can only handle what you can touch.

Stop worrying about people’s approval of you. You are entitled to make decisions for yourself without someone telling you that your choices are okay to them.

Stop worrying about the “what ifs.” When you allow yourself to focus on what may or could happen, you slow down getting to your goal.

Stop worrying about the future. It is your job to enjoy the time that you have right now. Tomorrow is not promised.

Stop worrying about how to fix other’s problems. When you take on someone’s problems, they began to become yours that you will never be able to fix. Your job is to focus on what you need to fix for you.

Stop worrying about being perfect. Sweetheart, we will never be perfect. But what we can be is our best while embracing our flaws.

Stop worrying about if you are where you should be. It is not about getting to a place at a specific time, but the lessons you learned on the way to that place.

Stop worrying about money. Your needs will be met. Trust the timing.

Stop worrying about issues from your past. You are not your past. You cannot change what has already happened, but you can grow from it.

Stop worrying about change. How will you grow and progress without changing? Changes bring on new chances at winning.

Dear 20 Something Ari

Hey Girl,

Right now, I am sure you are writing your fifth 10-year goals list, hoping that 30 never comes for you. Well, sis, it’s coming sooner than you think. But guess what? You do not have to have it all together before 30 comes. You are at a place where making mistakes should not drive you to think less of yourself, but the mistakes should be taken as lessons being taught to you. You are smart enough to reach any goal you set your mind to; just stop trying to focus on how quick that goal is achieved when it’s not the time for you yet. I know you see people you went to high school with having their degrees and starting new chapters for themselves, but understand you did not do anything wrong. We are not supposed to move the way we see others moving. That’s not how we were made. We were made to march differently and do so with ease.

Lastly, Ari, you are killing it! Just take your time and do not allow what you see others doing; keep you from being your true self. We have time, so take the time to enjoy the journey.

Love,

30 Something Ari

Alone at Last

When I am depressed, I find myself pulling away from people that I usually like being around. Most people have told me that if you are alone when you are dealing with something, it will only make you feel worst. That’s not always true. I know for me, being alone helps me handle whatever issues I might be dealing with at that moment. See, I still want to be viewed as the one who has her stuff together. Being anything less than that will not work for me. I want to make sure I am okay before I spread any negative energy around people I love. I also chose to be alone because it helps me get my feelings in order and ease the anxiety monster hiding under my bed. The more people I am around when I am depressed, the more likely she (anxiety) will show that cute little face of hers (I kid, she’s a mess, but you didn’t get that from me), so alone I stay until I am out of my depression. I need that alone time to get me together, so I know how to face whatever this life has in store for me the next day. If you are like me and need that time away from people, take it. Do not respond to people who say that you are funny when you decide to be alone. Only you know what you need to get over your depression. Your peace is what matters the most. Choose peace over anything else. Trust me, and it is worth it.

Being alone has a power that very few people can handle.

Steven Aitchison

Mirror Talk

My love language is words of affirmations, so if you could only afford to give me a card as a gift, trust me, that card would be cherished far more than any piece of jewelry would. If you do not believe, ask my husband how many times I cried over a card without giving the actual gift any shine. Because of this, I use positive words of affirmations to get through some of my depressive episodes. I want to offer you 30 positive affirmations to tell yourself in the mirror (hence the title of this post).  I hope you can find the self-love and positive self-talk you have been searching for with this list. Oh yeah, shout out to my therapist for getting me out of that “stinky thinking.” Thanks, sis! You are with my copay and then some!

So when you are standing in front of the mirror getting yourself ready to start your day, recite some of the following affirmations:

-I am love.

-I am in charge of my feelings today.

-I will not compare myself to anyone.

-I am enough

-I have the power to create change

-My presence is my power (This one hits hard)

-My past is not a reflection of my future

-I will succeed today

-I am confident in my ability to [Fill in the blank]

-I give myself permission to make mistakes today

-I will trust myself to make the right decision

-I have value

-Positivity is a choice

-I will find the solutions to my problems

-I am fearless

-I forgive myself (another fan favorite)

-I learn from my past

-I am grateful for my life

-My life is just beginning

-My fears of tomorrow are fading away

-I believe in myself

-I am in charge of my life

-I deserve love, compassion, and empathy from myself and others

-I release self-doubt

-I let go of what no longer serves me

-My thoughts become reality (good or bad)

-I will not worry about things I cannot control (Ouch! I step on my toes with this one)

-I am proud of myself

-I do not fail, I learn, and I win

-I was not made to give up (thanks mama for this one)

I hope that this list gets you to the love you need. Please feel free to share this with anyone you know that needs a little pick me up.

Low Battery

I had no idea what slow down means. I felt that if I sat down longer than a minute, I would get worried that I would not get things done. I have been this way since I was 11, and this “get up and go” mindset has only gotten worse.

“Ariel, when do you ever just stop moving and relax?” My therapist asked during our last session. “What does that mean?” I said, laughing so hard that I begin to cry. My therapist just shook her head and responded to my silly question by saying, “You cannot keep going without stopping and taking some time for you.” I thought to myself, “what if I do need to slow down?”, “What if I am not getting enough rest?” “Well, I have a lot to do.”

Friday, I had a 12-hour workday. I thought I was going to pass out as soon as I came through the door of my house. I didn’t even say hello to my husband before I fell asleep on the bed. When I woke up the next day, I told myself that I was going to take a day to pamper myself. I went to get a beautiful mani and pedi, and I must say it was amazing! I guess my therapist was right; if I do not slow myself down, my body will make me do it.

I know that it is easy to forget that rest is needed to help your body recharge from the work that you do. We are not robots. We cannot put ourselves on a charger for 20 minutes, and we are back at a full battery. If your situation is not on fire, it is safe to say that it can wait until you get your rest. Understand that you only get one body, so treat it with the utmost care.