Sometimes our anxiety gets so high it is debilitating.
And even if we can still manage to function, it can literally ruin most of our waking hours. In these next few posts, I am going to concentrate on some small things that may not seem powerful enough to make a difference for you, but please give these ideas a chance. Perhaps just one change will not suddenly relieve you of your anxiety, but over time, you will find that these small changes CAN and DO make a difference. And because they are small, they can be implemented quickly and start to help you right away. Also, please don’t let your perfectionism get in the way of using these suggestions. Imperfect action makes a difference, so just get started. That’s the main thing.
On to your home… Our homes are often overlooked in the larger scheme of things. We concentrate on our jobs, our salaries, our relationships, etc. and often we don’t look at our houses as closely as we should. Sometimes we may think a relationship is troubled, when really our house is just driving us crazy. On television, we see that the solution to this is to buy a bigger house. Somehow that will solve our problems. No…it won’t. It will just be more to clean.
I am going to discuss one part of your house at a time, so don’t get overwhelmed and try to change everything all at once. That can cause more anxiety. And now, let’s look at your bedroom.
Perhaps your bedroom has become the dumping ground for what doesn’t have a home in the rest of the house. Perhaps you look around and see children’s toys, papers spread around that need attention, clothes on the floor, and all manner of detritus from various activities, like dishes, pens, crayons, etc. Perhaps underneath all of these things there is a computer, a TV, maybe even a sewing machine, or scrapbooking equipment. Perhaps your clothes don’t all fit in the closet, so there are some draped over that exercise machine you bought from HSN. You may notice that it is hot in your bedroom, or drafty. You may notice that your pillows end up on the floor because they are not comfortable for you. Your mattress may be sagging in the middle, etc. I am starting in the bedroom because you need your rest. Part of the reason you are suffering from anxiety might be because you are not sleeping well. You need to sleep to heal.
So, little by little, let’s make some changes.
This is not going to all happen at once, so don’t get frustrated, please. You may need to set your timer for 20 minutes at a time and just start. Or set it for 15 minutes. Whatever works for you. First, I want you to remove all noisy, high tech equipment from this room. No TV, no computer, no sewing machine, please. No exercise equipment. Take it all out and put it somewhere else. We’ll talk about that in an upcoming post. Next, pick up everything from the floor. All the crayons, toys, etc. All the papers. Take them out. Anything which is office work and demands your attention. Air out your room if you can.
Start addressing your closet so that you have somewhere to put your clothes. If you still need more room than your closet affords, use another closet somewhere else in the house for out of season things. Now, think about your sheets and pillows. Spend some of your money making these comfortable for you. No polyester sheets! If you can’t afford it now, start saving for the future. Think about your lighting. You need a lamp by your bedside if you read in bed. No overhead lighting while you are getting drowsy enough to sleep. Think about the temperature in your bedroom. Do you need a fan to cool things down even more? Sometimes the white noise from a fan can also be soothing.
Lastly, please go to bed at a decent hour. Even if you have gotten in the habit of staying up, start forcing yourself to go to bed at a decent hour. It may be difficult at first, but begin. Lastly, please forgive me if I sound like I am fussing and not understanding your particular situation. I just know that taking care of yourself physically makes a big difference – and you deserve to be cared for.
(You’ll thank me later.)