Monday, March 10, 2014

Anxiety and Homesicknes

Hello my lovelies!

Today I want to talk about the topic of anxiety and homesickness. Since I moved to Holland, I have been feeling homesick quite often. It especially hits when I see others on social media upload pictures of them going home, or with family. I know I have my family here, but it just isn't the same. A girl sometimes needs her mom, or her dad, or her brother. They are my safe place, where I know there is no judgment, and always a shoulder to lean on when things get rough. This borderlines with anxiety, because when things get rough, it sets off a switch in the body that engages anxiety. I had a talk with my dad today, and we landed on the topic of anxiety and ways to relieve it. One things he told me was that we wanted to start his own blog. I said that he should go for it, because writing about what bothers you can help ease the tension. It may sound like I'd use a blog to talk smack, but I use it to out myself, to share the struggles I have with others. Everyone has problems, everyone can relate with each other. It's just that society has made it seem like being honest about your feelings is a bad thing. That's why so many people resort to drugs, or excessive behavior, or shopping, or whatever comes to mind. But none of these things help. We have to be honest to ourselves and to others. The only way to move forward is to let go of what holds you back, and by doing this, you must also let go of some suppressed feelings. We all know we have some feelings that are linked to a certain someone, or to something, but we have to get rid of that. Otherwise, you'll just be stuck in one area feeling sorry for yourself. No one wants a whiny or negative person around them.

So, people, let's open up and share! There is nothing wrong with admitting what really keeps you caged up behind your comfort zone. Today I had a crappy day, but I got something good out of it. I did a survey a few weeks ago, that would determine whether I would be capable of doing the study I chose. Well, today I had a meeting at the school with a woman who had looked at the results, and she come to a conclusion that I was not suitable for it. I sat in front of her, looked her straight in the face and managed to stay calm. But man was my mind going through so much! She had basically told me that I would not be able to do the study because my results had shown that I did not have what it takes to do it. One thing I knew before coming to Holland, was that dutch people were very critical and everything goes by the book. Today I witnessed it firsthand. She was so focused on the statistics that she didn't give me the chance to prove to her that I am capable. So, as I sat on the train, I went through the entire meeting in my head. I had decided that I wasn't going to let it bother me. For the first time, in a long time, I was able to push it aside and not worry about it. The good thing that I got out of it was that I knew what could hurt me and what mattered more to me. I knew that from that meeting, I would not feel good going to that school. I have this thing with vibes and appearances of places. And I kind of knew from the first time I went there, that I wouldn't want to attend school there. I had applied there anyway as a back-up school, but the place is so cold, and the people are just as cold. But I digress! Let's get back to the main topic of this blog.

I believe that homesickness and anxiety are closely related. When one is felt, the other is just around the corner. I have a few ways of relieving my anxiety. One is writing on my blog, another is doing an exercise called "the tapping solution". What this entitles it tapping on pressure points on the body. This helps release the tension, and hopefully cause a more relaxing and accepting feeling. The pressure points on the body are: sides of hands (the outer part where you would lean your hand when writing, e.g.), above the eyebrows, beneath the eyes (tops of cheekbones), above the top lip, in the crease of the chin, below the collar bones and sides of rib cage (for women it is about where the bra strap would be). You need to start by tapping the side of your hand (your choice which hand), and repeat three times the words: even though I (whatever it is that bothers you), I deeply and completely accept myself. For instance, what I would say is: Even though I feel like my nerves are making me feel insecure, I deeply and completely accept myself. And you do this first three times on the hand, and then tap a few times of the other pressure points. One you have finished the first set, do it again. Change the ways you announce the problem to yourself. I suggest saying it aloud, preferably when you're home alone, or somewhere where you won't be worrying about people seeing you. I learned this from a woman who had helped me overcome my anxiety attacks before my big move. She borrowed me a DVD that explained everything about this exercise. And the great thing is that it can be used for anything. Not just anxiety, but also for insomnia, or the loss of a loved one. I watched that DVD probably 5 times, and it impacted me in a good way. I am so grateful that I went to her, and asked for help. She saved me from backing out of something that could potentially be the best thing for me. Another good way of relieving anxiety is taking walks. It sounds simple, too simple even, but it does help. I read it somewhere once, and decided to try it. The best place to take a walk would be in the woods, but not everyone has the accessibility of a wooded area, so just go out and walk. Instead of taking the car to someplace you know is in walking distance of you, just go ahead and put on some good shoes and walk it. The fresh air helps your breathing, which then calms the nerves. It also gives you the chance to think things over. Of course, I'm not saying you should try to figure out the problems of the world, but take baby steps when trying to channel the cause of your anxiety. What I like to do is listen to happy music when I walk. It distracts my mind, and also gets me in a good mood. There is nothing better that listening to the song "Happy" from Pharrell Williams. That song seriously gets me pumped and in the mood to do good. So I recommend it to anyone who needs a boost. What else helps me? Reading! A good book will keep you occupied for as long as you need. There are more ways to relax yourself. I sometimes Google ways to relax, and it is insane how much you can do! So take your time, try out new things, and see which one helps you the best. One advice I can give you, that is almost guaranteed to help, is talk to someone about it. You'd be surprised how many of us struggle with the same things. Before my anxiety attacks, I didn't talk about it to my parents, but once I did, I started noticing that I wasn't the only one. Family can help you a lot, but I think the best thing is to talk to someone who doesn't know you. The reason for this, is that he/she will see something that you or your family members don't see. I was able to fix my dilemmas because someone who didn't know my story was able to see the problem, and also saw a solution.

So, don't be afraid to speak up, and come out of your comfort zone once in a while. Trust me, it might be scary at first, but once you do you will notice how much better things get. You will be amazed by what you are capable of. So, my darlings, get up, dress up and go out. I've opened up, and I want you to also open up. The first step to take the step. Go for it! And remember that you are not alone. There is always someone there to give you a helping hand.

Live life without fear, accept the challenges and embrace the outcome..
Love, Nini