On Anxiety & Life Moving In Super Speed

. 2 min read

What is your natural MO? Is your wiring quick and speedy (anxiety-inclined) or is it slower (depressive-inclined)?

Personally, I've always been on the former side. Quick. Quick. Quick. That's how my mind tends to run if I'm not mindful. Similarly, that's how I tend to work. I'm inclined to think, "Be efficient with your time, Mackenzie! What are you doing? Pick up the pace! The world is passing you by!"

There are days when I spring out of bed with all this energy and begin my morning at 4:45/5AM. Sometimes, I think it's a good thing. I mean, isn't it lovely to be excited about life and to ride the waves of the natural energy that come with being where you're meant to be, walking the path that's honestly yours? But then again, there are other times, often when I'm sick or I find myself so aggitated at my not having yet reached whichever goal is on the docket to be reached... then it's time to step back and ask whether this is purely "drive" or whether this is something else.

Say, insecurity. Say, anxiety.

I bring this up now as I begin to write the next draft of my novel and I feel my little monkey mind going, "Seriously? You're taking THIS long to draft the outline? You should already have written the first three chapters by now. You're never going to get this thing done by December 31st."

Though I notice this, I'm still finding that it's a significant battle to fight back against, to remind myself that it's okay to take my time, that actually my book is going to be way better served if I take this time. After all, in spite of what my inner gremlin shouts, it's not about getting the book to market ASAP. It's about creating the best possible novel that will serve the audience. And that doesn't come at the flick of a wrist, or the snap of a finger. It takes headspace, thoughtfulness, a sense of calm, and so... ultimately, time.

But it's hard, right? To honour the process, I mean, it's hard. That's why I'm sharing this. Because we (I included) give so much lipservice to mindfulness et al. and yet we often don't talk about the reality.

"The reality being that intellectually understanding a need for self-care is not at all the same thing as actually serving it up to yourself."

That takes carving out space in your day, quieting down the gremlin blabbing in your ear, saying, "Hey you, you're worth this moment of stillness. It's okay. It's really okay that you calm down now. If it's necessary, you can always get back to work later. For now though, let's be still. Sh."

In order to provide myself with this space of true calm, to slow down my natural anxiious wiring, I need to be in a space devoted to such a practice. I need to be in a yoga studio. Otherwise, the cell phone will be out and there will come the need to do something, anything, in order to push the needle forward — be on social media, be sending emails, be making notes for my novel, pitching, etc. And I will find a way to tell myself it's necessary, that I'm doing it all for my own good.

We live in such a crazy, quick world, it's no wonder the percentage of those suffering from anxiety and other mental health issues/disorders is rising. So, on this day of Bell Let's Talk, tell me, how do you carve out time for yourself?