With all the tumult and anxiety going on lately, I’ve really been making an effort to try to equip myself with some coping mechanisms to keep from spinning out. For a long time, the second something made me anxious or upset, I’d let those feelings feed me until I was having an inconsolable panic attack. I’ve been in therapy for a few months now and over the past few weeks I’ve really started to learn that I had no coping skills I could use – I would just freeze up and let my thoughts spiral over and over or run down paths it shouldn’t go. Especially in light of the election results and confusion, I’m working to create a sort of “toolkit” to distract myself from unhealthy actions.
I used to primarily consider myself a lone wolf – I’d rather get through things alone rather than reaching out to other people. After the election (a night in which I spent on a Google Hangout with my friends, anxious, upset and teary) I headed back to Chicago a day early so I could be around people who felt the same way I did. Getting out of the house and being around my friends is an important way to connect with people to stay grounded, and calms the anxiety sparking in my head when I don’t have anyone to take me away from the thoughts. (Social media DEFINITELY does not count as a way to connect here.)
Spend less than $220 on Pennsylvania trip nope. Went over by $17.01, but much closer than I expected.
Pay $450 to student loanscheck! Paid $525.88. I got a little overzealous and instead of saving my tax return, paid most of it to loans. There are worse ways to use it, I suppose.
Run 50 miles NOPE. Because of my knee injury I stuck to more low-impact or strength-only workout.
Go to restorative yoga regularly well… I went once. It’s one more time than I had been going.
Run Wine Lovers under 35 minutes (pass since it was rescheduled to March 1)
Do my knee and hip PT exercises five times a week nope. I pretty much knew this one was doomed from the start.
Bring lunch four times a weekcheck. The fact that I did this but still went almost double over my restaurant budget tells me I have a real problem…
Return gifts etc. that I’m not usingcheck, finally. There’s one thing that didn’t go back but it was a shirt that was $5 so at this point, I might just keep it.
Do laundry every weekcheck. It was definitely a fight because my roommates are not the best at removing their stuff from the dryer (or transferring from washer to dryer in a timely fashion at all…) but I did it. And now I want to get rid of even more clothes.
Stick to my budget NOPE NOPE NOPE. Really I was doing great until the end of the month when some pretty serious stuff happened with a friend which involved a lot of alcohol and Chinese food. (And some sad impulse shopping on my own part.) Next month will be better. I did track my spending very closely this month which gave me a lot of insight into what’s going on, so I feel really good about having a handle on my money.
Improve work social media presencecheck. Before I even got around to doing anything proactive about this, I found out that we are in the top buildings for social media in the country. Sweet. I did end up putting together a social media plan, most of which was regarded as un-usable, but hey… I tried.
Speed work once a week
Pay $500 to student loans
Collect outstanding invoices
Find one extra income stream
Clean out my Dropbox & organize digital life
Mail in my Direct Debit forms for any accounts not using them, contact AES to see about rate reduction
Apply to ten jobs
Bring lunch four times a week
Only eat out with someone else
Go on a shopping ban & pantry challenge
Start saving for a car
Bring clothes to Goodwill/consignment
Watch House of Cards
Build professional portfolio
I feel like I have a lot of goals for March, but they are for the most part small things that I just don’t get around to doing without listing things out. For about two months I’ve had bags set aside to bring to Goodwill and I just haven’t ever bothered to drag them down to my car, I meant to do a pantry challenge in February and felt so busy like I couldn’t meal plan or anything… so those are the kinds of goals I want to focus on in March.
A friend linked to this article from Relevant Magazine regarding the influence of social media on how we feel about ourselves. I’m not usually prone to reading anything from Relevant – I’ve been kind of insulted by some of their stories before, and even this one I gave up on toward the end – but I clicked through anyway because of the except she posted:
The danger of the internet is that it’s very very easy to tell partial truths—to show the fabulous meal but not the mess to clean up afterward. To display the smiling couple-shot, but not the fight you had three days ago. To offer up the sparkly milestones but not the spiraling meltdowns.
It’s especially dangerous for those of us with FOMO. For those of us with spending problems that could be set off ever so suddenly. Would I be the owner of a kate spade new york bag if I hadn’t seen it on Tumblr a few months ago? No. I probably wouldn’t know that it even existed. Would I be lusting after getting a gigantic canvas and painting my favorite poem on it instead of just taping up pictures I already have printed if I hadn’t seen that idea on Pinterest? Nope, I probably wouldn’t have thought of that either.
I’m absolutely guilty of it too. I post pictures to Facebook of the coolest parts of my job and send out snide little tweets about the same or about how cool my old life was. I have a Pinterest board where I’ve culled projects and recipes I have made, and you never see the sink full of dishes or the paint I had to clean off the carpet when it spilled. You see the cute outfits and accessories I have but not the other neglected hangers or drawers too-full of clothes. You see the awesome classes I go to and workouts I do at the gym, but not the pricetag of what that membership costs and how it effects my budget (unless you read my blog :)). All of my social media, with perhaps the exception of my tumblr (which probably makes me look suicidal,) makes my life look awesome because that’s how I want to portray it when really, it’s the opposite. In college everyone saw my lifestyle but how many of them know now what it’s costing me in interest? (How many of my “friends” have that same kind of secret?)
It’s no secret that I have been prone lately to spending binges – how many of them have come at the hands of too long spent scrolling Instagram or Pinterest? (Probably most of them, I’d bet.) It’s dangerous for my bank account – and it’s dangerous for me, at a time where I really need to be focusing on getting my head right and figuring out what to do with myself.
I talked to a friend about it recently, about how I feel so unsatisfied in my life and asked if that was normal. I think it is, unfortunately, normal now – but 20 or 30 years ago, I think people were more satiated (maybe? or maybe they had other temptations, other influencers putting them down.) I blog about it over and over, but I really need to limit these temptations and my exposure to them. (Maybe there’s a Chrome extension for that.) I’m giving myself some homework – instead of documenting new hauls, to document the things that I already have. My word for the year was supposed to be “enough,” and I have DEFINITELY lost sight of that. Besides, I’m packing anyway, and doing some visual inventory will help me downsize before I try and pack half an apartment into a new small bedroom.
I just really don’t want delete my Instagram account.