As most people who come home from school for break know, there is a rise in “what to do” moments. When I came back home, I forgot how many of my close friends from school, don’t live in Boca. Here, I have only kept in touch with a few friends. While they are some of my best friends, it can get lonely having such a sudden drop in close-by friends.
While I felt depressed at first, I realized that this has turned into a big learning moment for me. I have always had anxiety (clinically diagnosed and everything) and one of the things that set it off is being alone. Even going to the store alone is enough to set me off. I’ve learned little ways to get around this like going shopping with sorority sisters and calling my mother while I shop, but It would be nice to be able to be more independent. Maybe this could be the start!
Here are some suggestions I have thought of for anyone wiling to take this journey with me:
1. Take baby steps
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is mental health. if you push yourself too far, you can really hurt yourself and trigger some kind of attack. This isn’t a race, so don’t rush it. Start by signing up for a class at a gym or an art class where you don’t know anyone. Or maybe Take a walk around a park or down a path alone. It’s never bad to tiptoe out of your comfort zone instead of sprinting out of it.
2. Find something that makes you comfortable and incorporate it into your daily routine
I have always found that wearing makeup and wearing sunglasses (basic, I know) makes me feel like another person. I feel like a character in a show, like I’m confidant and can do anything. If I start to feel anxious or nervous, I put on a new coat of lipstick or gloss and I feel calm. I know a girl who always carries a ring her mother gave her to help remind her to breath and that she’s never alone.
3. Don’t be afraid to talk about it
I know this whole thing is all about being independent, but never forget that you have friends and family around to help you. If you feel you need to talk to someone, never think that you are alone. You always have people around you that care about you and you can always talk to them. You’re never alone.
My first trial to myself is going to a new gym alone. To be fair, it is a Pole Dancing Class, so I won’t be fully alone, but I don’t know a single person in there, so I count it. I have just signed up for classes at a local pole fitness studio and I can’t wait! I’m terrified of being the newest and worst one in the class, but I know that everyone starts from somewhere. Plus, I met with the owner/instructor and she was so personable and helpful. I can’t help but think that I’ll feel at home there.