Feeling Anxious and Foolish

Tomorrow I am going back to the office for the first time since mid-March. I told my boss I would come to the office twice this week, something I am now regretting.

Last week I felt confident that I could begin my transition back to the office. I acted on that feeling because if I didn’t, I would never go back. I had promised my boss I would come back a few days a week after she let me stay home for longer than she originally intended me to.

I feel foolish for being so anxious about going back. I will see maybe five people at most and be sitting alone in the basement where my desk has sat vacant.

So what is there to fear, if I won’t be having conversations with my coworkers because of social distancing? What am I so afraid of, if I will be alone in a basement like I am alone at home most days?

The only thing I can think of is the fear of leaving the comfort and safety of my home. My house has always been my safe haven where I can be myself. I can wear my pajamas, eat all the snacks I want and have my pets by my side. At the office, I don’t have any of those things.

Even before COVID and quarantining, I had trouble leaving home. Something I never ever thought I would struggle with! I had to push myself to put on my shoes and get out the door. So COVID happening has only made it more challenging.

In my previous post, I wrote about having an anxiety emergency kit to help me cope. Looking at it now, I feel like nothing could help my anxiety. That it will swallow me whole.

I try to tell myself that it’s not a big deal. I’ve been working in an office full-time for years so I can do it again. Right?

The difficult part about mental illness is that it doesn’t always respond to reason. Sometimes my depression or anxiety can be quelled with reason and facts but this time it’s not cutting it.

Maybe I will get there and I will be fine even though I’ll be shaking all morning during my drive to the office.

This isn’t the biggest challenge of my life but it sure as hell feels like it in this moment.

How are you coping in this climate? Have you had to make any big changes recently? If so, how did you cope?

Anxiety Emergency Kit

This coming week I might be returning to the office for one or two days. I don’t want to go but I know the longer I put this off, the more difficult the transition will be. To help with my transition, I am going to create my own anxiety emergency kit for my mental health.

Essential oils and diffuser – Nobody wants to sit in a musty basement and breathe in all the smells of a basement. To be fair, this basement is pretty clean and well kept but that’s not the point! Essential oils help me relax and put me in a better head space.

Adorable stress ball – I got this little stress ball that is a chubby dog in a yellow hoodie. It’s adorable! I will bring him to squeeze and lift my heart with his cuteness.

Good food – Who doesn’t love good food? I will bring some good snacks like almonds, crackers and hummus and something chocolate for a sweet treat. To take some of the burden off of me, I will order out for lunch. Packing a lunch can take a lot of time so ordering a take away is one less thing for me to do.

Happiness playlist – As a millennial, I love 00s pop and hip hop. Anything that was playing at a middle school dance are the jams that make me smile. Oh and of course I have to have my favorite k-pop tracks in there too! Have you listened to “God’s Menu” from Stray Kids? So good!!

Support plushie – I’m not ashamed that I am an adult that still enjoys plushies and stuffed animals. They’re soft and can make uncomfortable situations bearable. I think I will bring this BT21 Baby Tata or my hippo from Animal Kingdom. Decisions, decisions.

I hope that these few things will help me mentally handle this coming week.

How have you been mentally during this time? I wish you all health and happiness!

It’s Been a Minute!

Hey everyone! I’m still around and existing on this planet with you all. I haven’t posted because I honestly haven’t had anything to write until now.

Over the past few months I’ve been spending almost all of my time at home which has been relaxing for my anxious mind. I don’t have social anxiety because I don’t see anybody outside of my small circle of family.

But now life is beginning to go back to normal (despite COVID still being very present in America). I now begin to worry a bit more and more each day about returning to work and going back to my frequently anxious state. I was supposed to go to work on Monday but I asked if I could stay home a bit longer.

I had been so anxious about going back that I couldn’t eat. When my eating habits change, that’s when I know I’m really not doing well.

Getting out of bed has also been a big challenge. Instead of getting up to face the day, I just lay around with my cats hoping that the day will be over by the time I decide to get my ass up.

As times moves forward, I will be posting more about how I mentally handle going back to regular life. I want to prepare myself with an anxiety emergency kit that I can bring with me.

I will make a post about what I decide to put in my emergency kit. It will likely include a stress ball and essential oils but I need more than that to survive.

Are you struggling as life goes back to normal? How has your mental health been over the past few months?

Being an “Essential” Worker

I work at a non-profit that focuses on helping people who are HIV positive as well as doing prevention outreach and testing for HIV and STIs in-house. Since we are a charity that focuses on the health and wellbeing of people with compromised immune systems, we are essential.

Reflecting upon the phrase “essential worker,” I am clumped in with healthcare workers, pharmacists, scientists, grocery store staff, those in food service, etc. I don’t feel like my duties come even close to the level of importance of those groups jobs during this crisis.

I do fucking social media and marketing. My coworkers are the ones who are actually making a difference. They are delivering food to clients, checking in to make sure that they are doing alright and all these other wonderful things.

In my eyes, I am the farthest thing from an essential employee.

The only thing I feel like I have contributed is spreading the word about our mail order condoms program. It’s pretty awesome! Anybody can email us or fill out a form on our website to have a box of condoms shifted to their door.

My coworker told me that her inbox has been blowing up since my press release has ran in a few newspapers and online news sites. That made me feel good. Beyond that I feel like I’m the farthest thing from an essential employee.

Have you been working over the last month or so? If so, are you able to work from home or are you going to your place of employment? If you can’t work, are you getting by alright?

Bursting at the Seams

I’m on the verge of tears.
I want to scream.
I want to punch a punching bag until I wear myself out.
I want to lay in bed until the afternoon.

All for no real reason.

I’ve been working from home for exactly one week now so I don’t see many people anymore. Which is the case for most people across the globe. Naturally I rarely go out except to get food or go to the grocery store.

My mom calls me, I text my brother and a few friends but that’s about it.

I had been doing alright up until yesterday when I was bursting at the seams. I was about to lose it especially after I dragged all of my recycling to the recycling center to find it was closed! They took all the bins away!!

While I was working I texted my brother, “I’m so cranky I can’t even handle myself.”

It’s depression, it’s anxiety, it’s a longing to have life as it once was which I’m sure this is a worldwide feeling. I am not the only one feeling this.

My mental state was in good shape up until yesterday. I honestly thought I could handle this situation. I thought that I could be happy staying in my home with my boyfriend (when he’s not in work), pets, food and internet access.

I have been doing things that I enjoy first thing in the morning like exercising, reading, writing and learning. Maybe it’s not enough, maybe I need more.

How are you coping? Are you cracking or keeping yourself together?