I've decided to switch up the way I'm going about this, because finding time to sit down for 45 minutes at night and write about my day is difficult. From now on, I'll be keeping this as a chronological entry. I'll write some in the morning, some in the afternoon, final thoughts in the evening, some spurts of writing throughout the day whenever I can.
It's snowing, I think? There's some kind of generator outside our dorm windows, we have yet to figure out what it is, but it releases steam all the time. So I'm really unsure if it's snowing because by the time it hits my window, it's just water.
This morning I got up and made some coffee, which is typical for me every morning. I
didn't make breakfast, though, because Ben and I are meeting Yeinye and his girlfriend Hannah at noon for brunch. How brunch can the dining hall actually be? We're going to find out.
Ben told me that last night my breathing was shallow, which means that I probably should've done the breathing exercise before bed... whoops. I'll definitely do it tonight, but I've found that it makes me really, really tired. I don't think doing it in the mornings would be helpful.
The chapter I read this morning that I'm going to apply throughout the day was on meditation. The basics of meditation that everyone knows was basically all that was laid out in this chapter.
Sit in a quiet room
Breathe, but not forcefully
Focus on the gap in between thoughts-- let your thoughts come, but then gently push them away
There were some reassurances after the instructions that said things along the line of, 'It's okay if you can't do it; just give it a try!' I've noticed there have been a lot of reassurance-based things in this book. I guess if you're reading a book about sorting out your anxiety, you need to be reassured a lot.
My coffee is cold, and all I can think about while I'm writing this is one question: Who's actually reading this? Maybe you, our readers, whoever you may be, can offer me tips along the way. That way I can figure out if this challenge is doing anything for anyone. Maybe reading about how I'm feeling makes you feel more secure in your own thoughts? Maybe getting summaries from this book saves you $11 and you still get the good pointers? Maybe this isn't as deep as I'm making it, and the only people who read this are my boyfriend and my parents.
I deleted my Instagram post from yesterday. I'm telling you this because it's important to note just how many things make me anxious. Some kind of social-media flu made its way around Mercersburg Academy in 2015 that made getting enough 'likes' the most important thing in the world, and if you didn't get enough, you'd panic and delete the picture later. Don't get me wrong-- not everyone was this insecure in high school, but a lot of the people I knew had the same surrounding worry. Even though I know it doesn't really matter how many 'likes' a photo gets, I still overthink it. This morning I looked at it, only 150 likes, and thought, 'I don't even like this picture. I only posted it so people would read about my blog challenge... I guess everyone's seen the caption, so now they know..."
Taking this challenge seriously will do me some good to say the least.
Ben and I are about to leave for breakfast... I lied to you-- it's not actually noon... it's closer to 11. Still, my day has already progressed enough that I felt okay putting this all under the noon category.
I want to make this more interactive for readers. We should have chat/ comments enabled for every post, or at the very least it's on our homepage. Tell me things about you, things that only I (and Lauryn, obviously, because she has access to this site as well) will read. Have you struggled with anxiety? Would you consider reading this book? Do you think what I'm doing is miraculous or a complete waste of time? Let me know what these posts are doing for you.
Wix, the website we used to create our blog, sends me notifications every time someone's on the blog and reading and where they're from. I really like seeing notifications from home because I know it's family or a close friend with whom I grew up. I also like seeing notifications from places where my friends go to school or even from locations I had no idea even existed. Knowing people are reading is really cool, I'm not going to lie to you.
Anyway, that's my noon rant, and since neither of the practices listed in the book so far will affect me until tonight, this blog post is going to remain a catalog of random thoughts until then, or until tomorrow morning... maybe I'll get a heck of a good night's sleep in because of all this breathing and meditation... who knows!
Ben and I joined Yeinye and Hannah for brunch at the 90, which is the dining hall on central campus. Yeinye accidentally took Hannah to the other dining hall first... ironically that's closer to where I live. We had fun talking and eating for an hour or two.
I'm really struggling to understand where to apply meditation to my day. I feel like living on a college campus makes it difficult to have a quiet space where I can be alone with my thoughts for that long.
So far, the tips this book has been offering have needed a certain level of independence that I don't have yet living in a dorm. If I were in my thirties, living in my own apartment, maybe with a dog, and had nothing better to do with my time, this would be a piece of cake.
It'll require some dedication and some serious thought throughout the next month, but I think I can do it. Tonight, I'll apply my breathing and my meditation, and maybe it'll affect me tomorrow, but for today, not much has changed, and I still have a million things due in the next few days.
Ben and I are back at the dorm, still going back and forth on whether or not to watch the Super Bowl. I'm not particularly interested in either team, but that's life.
I'm hoping over the course of the next few weeks I'll see more progress. I know it's only been a few days, but I only have so many days to begin with.
Once I get back on track with my running, which I've taken a brief stress-induced break from, and get in a good routine with my classes and work, I'm sure I'll start to feel better on my own. (By the way @theUniversityofKentucky, why in God's name did you think it would be a good idea to put the gym so far from everything that has ever happened on Kentucky's campus? Let me know, please! Thanks!!) Maybe this book will help to further that. From my mouth to God's ears, I guess.
Let me know how you like the new format of these posts and if I should continue. I started adding more pictures for the sake of documenting the little moments I feel are important in my life, for instance, having brunch with a best friend and a new friend. Hopefully you, reader, find what I'm doing interesting and worthwhile.
If you have suggestions for the future, don't hesitate to reach out, as I'm doing this not only for myself, but for the readers such as yourself as well.
Thanks for reading!