On the 9th of January I had my first psychologist appointment of the year and my psych decided to
give me a challenge this year: to be more flexible. One of the big things with my anxiety is that I am a control freak and am in no way spontaneous, I like to plan things and know what is going on around me.
Being unemployed for so long has really taught me that I am not in control of my life, it's meant that I can't plan things in advance and things can change at a moments notice if I get a job interview. But despite being unemployed and having to be flexible I've still tried to control as many things as I can. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with liking control and sticking to a routine but when it limits you it's a bad thing.
From the get go anything out of routine would scare me, one of my anxiety triggers is new experiences which also means out of routine experiences. In school I would stay awake obsessing over the smallest of things; swimming lessons at school, a relief teacher, sports and swimming carnivals (though I blame that on Dyspraxia and my lack of coordination more than anything else!), new classes or learning activities and don't even get me started on school camps! I was able to memorise my high school class timetable within the first week of the school year (and then I would start to memorise my friends timetables once I saw the patterns) as it was a routine that I had to stick to. If I knew what was happening during the day I could prepare myself for it but when things came up and I wasn't prepared then I wouldn't cope. That's still my mindset even now and looking back it's clear to me that not much as changed. I internally freak out when people ask me to do things last minute that I haven't planned for, if you give me 24 hours notice I am fine but anything less and I struggle (though at times 12 hours is fine).
So this year my aim is to be open for new things, take on new challenges and not be afraid to go with the flow. This means saying yes to new things, agreeing to do things last minute, not being afraid to put myself out there and not to stress or worry when things don't go my way, this is all easier said than done which is why I am focusing on it.
This year I am working on my (mental) flexibility and trying to target yet another of my life my anxiety rules.