anxiety · life · social anxiety

Completing Small Accomplishments

For once I’m in a good mood after accomplishing several small things today. I didn’t really have the things on a mental to-do list but simply did them. Sounds simple, right? Nope. It can be a challenge to get myself into the mindset of “You can do it!” Believe me, I suck at it and usually just thinking about the tasks I want to try makes my head buzz with anxiety to the point I give up even before I attempt anything. I’ve had a lot of those days recently.

Two things I did today that I’ve put off for more than a week:

*Phoning a representative who has been trying to get in touch with me about a job. He called me and left me voice messages all week. Somehow I couldn’t stop this reaction I have every time I receive a phone call and I have an option to decline or answer it. My heart rate spikes instantly and I’m frozen as I look at my screen and wait for it to ring until it stops. He also emailed me and I finally struck up the courage to email him back on Wednesday. I promised to call on Thursday but did not. Yep, I’m a coward hiding behind anxiety. I purposely waited until today to phone in so I could leave him a message because I knew he probably wasn’t in the office on weekends. Well… at least I called even though it was two days late. And maybe this will be the push I needed to give myself so I can call him again on Monday. Hopefully?

*Completing my first task on the Youper app for building confidence and lessening social anxiety. To be honest, I had this app downloaded on my phone for more than two weeks and when I was presented with my first task of walking around in a square in a crowded area for 30 minutes, I balked out of apprehension and laziness. I gave it a go today since I had a long way to walk to get to a clothing store I wanted to check out, however, I improvised the assignment a little by walking on one side of the street for one block and then crossing to the opposite side of the street to walk back another block and then back again on the other side. So I guess I actually walked in more in the style of a rectangle rather than a square. The persistent feeling I had walking through a crowded market section was really bad. There were people going the same way as me but also people going in the opposite direction at the same time. I neglected to bring my sunglasses and it had gotten quite sunny so I felt both nervous because of having to navigate the crowd and the fact the sun was getting in my eyes so I squinted and blinked a lot. I had the Spotify music app playing through my earphones as I walked. When I got to a street that was less claustrophobic but still had a reasonable amount of people passing by me, I noticed I was slowly feeling not as anxious. I think putting myself in the Youper exercise gave me a new perspective. There was a blurb on the task page that instructed me to actively observe other people as I walked and really try to see how people hold themselves. This helped give me a proper excuse to briefly glance at people for 2-4 seconds without feeling weird when typically I feel too uncomfortable to look at anyone when I walk on my own. I realized after a couple of times of studying people that about 8 times out of 10, most people did not meet my gaze if I was looking at them. This happened whether the person was walking and on the phone at the same time, standing on the street smoking or using their phone, walking with another person, or walking alone. It’s so interesting that while I have always been very self-conscious about people looking at me, this experience has helped me see that most people don’t actually care lol.

Some other things I did today:

*The weather was fantastically warm and that got me excited about putting on a new top I bought some weeks back and pairing it with shorts. Catching my own reflection in the mirror on my way out of the house, it struck me as surprising to actually see that I made effort to dress nicely, though I most definitely do it to make myself happy and it’s not to please other people.

*I had a great time browsing for yoga clothes and later buying them. It helped that some select items were on sale. I didn’t mean to color coordinate the outfit but somehow I ended up finding a workout style tank top and yoga pants that were both shades of blue. The one downside of this trip was what happened after I tried everything on in the fitting room. I got a card with a number on it in order to get into one of the rooms. The card fit right on one of the clothing hooks in the room so I put it there while I tried on the clothes. I ended up forgetting to take the card with me on my way out and once I realized this, someone else had already gone into the room I was in. I decided to wait for the woman to finish up but after she was gone, I went in and the card was nowhere to be seen! Ugh. Had there been a back exit I could escape out of, I would have taken it, lol, rather than having to go up to the counter in the front and tell the fitting room lady that I couldn’t find the card. Of course, I was terrified she would get mad at me because that’s the scenario my brain always goes for anytime I have to communicate something to someone that might not be what they want to hear. Looks like for once my anxiety hit the mark. Maybe she had the right to be upset if this is a situation she’s dealt with many times before, but I really didn’t appreciate her acting like I was lying or being an annoyance on purpose.

 

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