Putting in the work

After having a rough start to the whole stay-home-forever-due-to-coronavirus thing, I believe I’ve turned a corner in the past two weeks.

I attribute my positive change to the following:

  • Daily meditation/yoga during the work week. This was an initiative by a co-worker and once I started attending regularly, it helped me feel more connected to my coworkers and part of something larger than myself. It also helped to keep me from doing not-work which, for a high strung personality like myself, is huge!
  • Daily exercise in the form of walking outside for at least 40 minutes during my lunch break. I cannot stress enough how important it has been to feel the sun on my skin while walking. Talk about an instant mood lifter! As an African who works a white-collar job, I’m predisposed to not getting enough sunlight and I was definitely on the borderline w.r.t. my vitamin D levels.
  • Medication. Getting on my prescription medication has helped me be calmer and more open to possibilities. Before starting, “no” was my frequent answer to M’s insistent asks to accompany him on walks. Now my default mode is “Sure”! I feel more even and it’s made the lessons I’m learning from meditation sink in a bit better.
  • Daily affirmations. This is a more recent development but I’ve found that my mood is improved after I repeat and meditate on select affirmations. I have my group’s engineering manager to thank for this but I cannot stress how affirming it feels to be nicer to myself and essentially gas myself up. Being kind to myself is something I’ve started doing a lot more and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Overall I feel like a new person with a renewed interest in truly living again. I feel like I’m seeing the world and myself with fresh eyes. It’s fascinating.

My anxiety is still there and in fact, I’ve had very vivid dreams lately about some of my big triggers. The good news is I now have tools to de-escalate when I feel a bout of anxiety coming. For processing particularly disturbing dreams, I’ve taken to taking the sting out of them by acknowledging that

  • I’m likely blowing the interaction out of proportion. I have a history of seeing things (particularly my work output) in the most critical light possible and I now take the time to affirm that I do know my shit and to err is only human
  • It’s okay to be scared and feel the feeling. That I now know what I need to do feel better.

Overall, life has felt amazing despite the scary news in the world. M and I are closer than ever and I feel so blessed to call him my husband. I’m closer with my and his family. I’m opening up more with my coworkers and feeling more confident about sharing my perspectives. I look forward to my continued awakening.