Since the beginning of the year I have changed my lifestyle and tried to make a real effort to improve my anxiety. It is working, slowly but surely! I am working again which is a big thing for me and I want to keep going. I admit I get impatient sometimes, I want to push myself to do things but try to do too much too soon. I want to take big leaps and feel frustrated when I realise that I can only manage baby steps. I already use my “Little steps” posts to set myself monthly goals but lately I’ve wanted to do more. I keep thinking of things I would like to do that my anxiety currently prevents me from doing, a lot of the big things are to do with travelling. So I’ve decided to make an “Anxiety bucket list”.
The idea is that I write a list of things that I would like to do or achieve at some point in my life. Some will be small easily achievable goals and others will be bigger and may take me years to complete. I’m not setting a time limit, there is no rush and I will keep reminding myself to take baby steps. Each goal will either help me expand my comfort zone or help me manage or overcome my anxiety. I will also add new goals or modify existing goals when necessary. I’m trying to be realistic while also challenging myself. I’m hoping that with each goal I complete I will get more confident and learn to better manage my anxiety.
***At the suggestion of my therapist, I have recently added some smaller goals linked to well being and self care. As he pointed out, the point of the list is to help me improve my anxiety and my sense of well being in day to day life. Not all of the goals have to be big scary challenges, they can be enjoyable too! So as of today (04/10/14) I will be trying to make this more fun =)***
So here is my list. The red items are completed!
- Go on a caravan holiday. This one will be the 1st one I tackle because I’m leaving in approximately 36 hours! I haven’t been away since 2012 so I’m hoping it will be a nice break and I’ll come home feeling refreshed!
- Get a massage. When I’m stressed my back and shoulders get really sore so I’m going to book myself a massage to loosen them up again. The caravan park I am going to has a spa so I’m going to do this one while I’m away.
- Join an exercise class. I have attempted to do this a couple of times before but I let the nerves get to me. I’m nervous because I won’t know anyone but I know once I go the first time it’ll get easier. I’m thinking maybe yoga or tai chi.
- Try aromatherapy oils. I’ve heard a lot of good things about using aromatherapy oils to relax. Might help me destress after trying some of the other goals ;)
- Go to another concert. I went to a concert in February and had a great time despite being really anxious beforehand. I would love to go to another concert, I’ve done it once so I can do it again!
- Come off my medication. (Postponed*) Ok this is a big one but I have been doing really well lately and I would like to talk to my doc about coming off my meds soon. Obviously I’ll do it slowly and if it doesn’t work out then at least I tried. * I have halved my medication from my original dose but I am not reducing any more right now. I hope to revisit this goal in the future.
- Try zentangles. The lovely Somber Scribbler inspired me to do this. Her post explaining zentangles is here. Basically they are a form of structured doodling/drawing that can be used to relax.
- Watch a film at the cinema. I can’t actually remember the last time I went to the cinema but I think it was about 4/5 years ago. Crowds+sitting in a room for a couple of hours= nervous Hayley! I have been to the cinema since my anxiety started and it wasn’t too bad but I just got out of the habit of going. I think its about time I went again, after all I managed the concert!
- Go to the theatre. Same reasoning as the cinema, it makes me nervous but I’m ready to try it again.
- Leave the country. This isn’t as dramatic as it sounds! I haven’t been abroad for 5 years due to my hatred of planes. I want to get a train or ferry into Europe =)
- Do a fun run for charity. I’m not very good at running but I did do the Race For Life a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. I would like to do another fun run for a good cause =)
- Do a sponsored *something* for a mental health charity. I don’t know what yet, though not a fun run as that’s the goal above. Something outside of my comfort zone, I’ll be putting more thought into this one!
- Go on a canal boat. It looks so relaxing and I loved watching Rosie and Jim when I was little! (International readers- Rosie and Jim is a British children’s program from the 90s about 2 ragdolls who lived on a canal boat)
- Go stargazing. No particular reason for this one, its just something I would like to do!
- See the Northern Lights. I don’t care whether I see them in Scotland or abroad (maybe Iceland?) but its a life ambition =)
- Go to a comedy gig. My reasons for avoiding this are the same as the theatre and cinema but I love comedy and would love to go to a live gig.
- Learn a new skill. Maybe something like crochet or felting, its always good to learn something new =)
- Go somewhere that you can meet new people. Maybe I could combine this with the above goal and sign up for a class?
- Visit my cousins. I have some cousins who live near London and one that lives in the Lake District. Both have offered to put me up for a couple of days if I want a break. I haven’t felt up to it yet but I’d like to go at some point.
- Visit a Christmas Market. I have always wanted to go to a big Christmas market! I’m planning to go for the weekend for my birthday with a friend.
- Go back to Alnwick. My friend and I visited Alnwick while we went away during the summer. We discovered the most incredible bookstore and an amazing cafe/chocolate shop that sold the best hot chocolate we have ever tasted! I want to go back soon =)
- Go for a walk on the beach. I haven’t done this for a long time, which is a shame when I live near the coast. There is something very calming about watching waves hit the beach.
- Complete Christmas project. I love being creative and I have a festive project planned. More will be revealed later!
- Read “The Power of Now”. I’ve had this book a long time and haven’t read it yet.
- Reread “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. I can’t recommend this book enough! It is a great read, all about positivity and has a lot of useful ideas and exercises.
- Join a gym. I could do with some more exercise and I recently stumbled on a website for a local women only gym. Some of the classes look really interesting so I’m thinking of signing up for a month to see if I like it.
No doubt this list will be getting added to a lot but those are my goals for now! Do you have a bucket list?