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I’m a Frayed Knot

The awareness of mental health is currently at its peak, and it couldn’t be more wonderful. Anxiety, in particular, has become a friendly topic. A small, yet significant, example was the initiative taken by the Mental Health Foundation to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week on the 18th-24th of last May on numerous social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more.

It is also, unfortunately, also one that I, along with others out there, have been in a constant battle with. The tendency of feeling uneasy, nervous, and general fear of what’s to come interferes with day-to-day focus every now and then. At this point, though, few coping mechanisms have been made as a form of adjustments that could come in handy. So, while I’m at it, it’d be nice to share a little notion of my own.

What do I feel?

  • Toss and Turn

Having spent an entire day being productive, what you want is to end it with good, well-resting sleep. But imagine having to actually put in some effort in order to fall asleep. There have been countless days where the sleep only lasted a few hours, yet still feeling the need to burn the remains of energy. Constantly waking up all the hours of the night, sometimes until the very morning, and having recurring nightmares are now a familiar series of events.

  • Worry Not

Excessive worrying. This is mostly rooted in things that are to come in the future, with no current solution or control over. It constantly clouds the mind and brings in this ‘tense’ and on-edge feeling until the coming day. Over time, it started to become clear this is a trait I’ve carried from an early age. It’s important to remember that more often than not, things turn out not as bad as expected. Sometimes even the complete opposite. But having them turn out disastrous is not completely out of the equation either. This is most likely the biggest supporting factor as to why this unhealthy trait lingers on.

  • Leap of Doubt

Perhaps the most poisonous of them all. It’s enough that at times validation is the key ingredient for confidence and reassurance, but an added sprinkle of self-sabotaging makes it even trickier. The tendency to second-guess and countlessly rethink decisions in life have taken over one too many times. There have actually been many occasions where, sadly, others believe in me more than I believe in myself. It’s also quite the wake-up call, fortunately.

How Do I Deal with It?

  • Sanctuary in Songs

Music. The prime antidote. The immediate go-to when I’m in need of a sense of relief, and to travel through time without lifting a finger. Quite frankly, almost anything goes. Especially when everything feels rock-bottom. It doesn’t matter which genre, artist, type of beat or whatever tune the song carries. The idea is to shut out the rest of the world and be still in my own, just for a little while.

  • Take It Outside

Be it an afternoon walk for a few miles or a drive-around in several neighborhoods, a little time outdoors is always a necessity every once in a while. And for me, this ultimately goes hand-in-hand with the first point. Stepping outside without a good jam blaring from my headphones is only doing it halfway. The goal is to disconnect from everything else but myself. Quite the remedy that I turn to almost every day.

  • Face the Music

The one that tops it all off. Actually solving the problem. Personally, all the brief distractions could only do so much. Getting rid of the issue that started it all in the first place is what eventually would diminish that anxious feeling altogether. All the mediums above are ultimately mere temporary escape compared to this. It’s mandatory that I go back to analyze the root of the problem and face it with a much-needed clear mind.

- JO

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