Not really a word that many would find pleasing, but it’s giving me all sorts of hope right now.
See, I suffer from anxiety. I honestly didn’t realize the diagnosis until about a year ago. It had remained buried under a lifetime of depression stemming from my father’s death. Since it’s less traumatic than depression (with its suicidal, overwhelming doom), it’s easy to miss.
When I was going through my usual back-to-school spiral of unknowns and changes last year, I had the epiphany. I shared my new realization with my mom and even a couple of siblings. The response was pretty similar: we thought you already knew (my siblings seem to have it, as well). And, honestly, I think that the norm these days for many people leans into the realm of anxiousness. Phones and social media and all that goes with it.
This coupled with the fact that I went to write down a list of issues I want to tackle only to lay my hand on a notebook which lists almost every single issue – untouched – from last year, brings me to my new beacon of exciting hope.
I once saw a gif that essentially advised you to “do one thing everyday that makes you uncomfortable.” It was easy to ignore and even roll my eyes at. Who wants to do that?! Cheeseball.
But then I had an epiphany. Looking at my huge list of things I need to work on, the thought of each thing made me…uncomfortable. Changing habits tends to do that – put you in a place of discomfort, truly outside your comfort zone. Even the things that used to be enjoyable that have gotten challenging to do seem uncomfortable because they’re not part of my current norm and breaking the habit of NOT doing them would be tough.
Yet, the THOUGHT of getting on top of these things – of finally taking control over some things or putting myself out there more or finishing some projects or following through on some ideas – is invigorating. Initially, the list is daunting to look at and completely impossible without a direct how-to manual.
So, I’ve figured it out. As cliche as it sounds, I’m going to DO SOMETHING EVERYDAY THAT MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE.
Some days that already have built-in challenges (hello, first day of school) are non issues. I’m already beyond uncomfortable and padding myself with grace. Other days, it might mean perusing the list to remind myself to try something new.
Some days it may be simple – like avoiding a single use plastic item (hey, it adds up) or forcing myself to skip social media and work on laundry or do a workout. Other days, it’ll be more in-depth like getting a house project done, working on my website, or creating a new budget. Still others, it’ll fall somewhere in between, like decluttering a closet.
Whether tiny or large, it’ll chip away at not only the to-do lists but hopefully at my anxiety, as well. I realize that living in a cocoon of my own making may be comfy, but isn’t achieving a full, well-lived life. It’s also a crappy model for my kids. So, some of the activities may seem like a walk in the park to some people, but may be a huge feat for others (like me).
I hope to check in with my discomforts along the way, both to hold me even more accountable and also to grab hold of one of those discomforts – writing here more often! Ha. I also think I’ll actually USE my planner to jot down a word or two encompassing my daily discomfort for that day.
I’d LOVE to hear about things that YOU find to be filled to the brim with fear, anxiety, or discomfort? Anything in your daily life that you avoid regularly because of it? Seriously.
And if anyone wants to join, you are SO welcome! I may also hop onto Instagram (my favorite safe haven), so find me @megactsout to follow along. Share your own stories by using #dailydiscomfort.