Talking openly about anxiety, or any mental illness, is a relatively new concept. For many, it can be a terrifying notion. It wasn't that long ago that psychiatric illnesses were not only a blight on the individual but on the whole family, as well. This is finally changing.
I remember when I was in college, I had to stop into one of my roommate’s friend's rooms across the hall. When I opened the door, I felt uncomfortable – not because of anything they said or did, but because of what I saw. The room was bare – I don’t remember seeing anything on the wall, shelves, anything. I remember thinking to myself, how could anyone live in a place like this? After that, I went back to my room and just sat for a while, enjoying my familiar environment. It was the first time I realized what I need in terms of that environment – namely, lots of decorations everywhere. I have found that decorations help with anxiety.
Every day, I make a point to take at least one bath. Sometimes if I’m really stressed, I’ll take more than one.
I was in my late 30s when I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). As a child of the '60s born of immigrant parents who survived both the Great Depression and World War II—each of them with their own harrowing experiences—I was raised with a don't-complain-pull-up-your-bootstraps-and-get-on-with-it mentality. As such, I grew up feeling unworthy of my anxiety.
I was gone for over a week seeing my family for the holidays, and that means I had to leave my cat, who is my emotional support animal. I had never left him alone for that long before, and even though I have a cat-sitter who I trust unconditionally, it’s always hard to leave him. Being away from my emotional support cat makes me anxious, and though there’s no way I can know for sure what he’s thinking, I’m sure it makes him anxious too.
My name is Liana M. Scott, and I've recently joined HealthyPlace as an "Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog" writer. This isn't my first gig at HealthyPlace. I was part of their "Coping with Depression" blog team back in 2013/14. Since then, my mental health challenges have changed insomuch as anxiety is now very much the focal point of my mental illness.
In a recent post, I discussed why I like wearing comfortable clothes to manage anxiety and what, specifically, comfort means to me in that context. In this post, I want to do something similar, only this time I’m discussing furniture as opposed to clothing. Again, ensuring one’s furniture is comfortable is a pretty self-evident thing to do, but like my recent post, I want to go into a bit more detail with regards to what that means to me.
One of the things I enjoy doing in my free time is watching cooking and recipe videos online. As I don't have any professional training, I tend to seek out videos of simple recipes that don't require any obscure ingredients to make.
The title of this post may seem self-evident to a lot of you. Of course you like comfortable clothes, you’re probably thinking, everybody does. I suppose that’s true. But I want to also spend a bit of time discussing what comfort means in the context of clothing; as for me, it encompasses several dimensions, all of which help me manage my anxiety.
This is not the first time I’ve talked about my cat affecting my mental health on this blog, and it will not be the last. I’ve struggled with writer's block as of late, but writing about my cat is very easy because he makes me feel happy, and I feel that there’s so much I can talk about regarding him. He is probably the thing that helps me the most when I am feeling down because he is always there for me.