I am a profoundly anxious person. I am easily ruined if my routine is disturbed, easily consumed by the various worries I collect.
Guion goads me to release my anxieties, and I want to, more than I can say. But I will always be an anxious person at heart. I will never be the kind of woman who would let her dog run around off leash or walk on a slimy riverbed barefoot or trust her own instinct with directions or cook without following a recipe. Sadly. (She sounds like a nice woman, and I’m sure I’d love to be her friend and envy her personal freedom.) Rather, I am the kind of woman who makes compulsive lists so that she can cross things off; who schedules free time in hourly increments; who takes excessive notes in any lecture; who remembers obligations, appointments, and debts with nigh sacred devotion.
But. To bend my will and to step out of this anxious frame, I have discovered that there are small things I can do in a day to improve my mental state and ward off anxiety.
If I begin to feel the creeping fingers of anxiety, I like to
- Clean the kitchen, paying special attention to polishing the counters and cleaning the floor
- Make the bed
- Write a letter
- Finish a book
- Start a book
- Take the dogs on a walk
- Examine my plants in the front yard and clear out weeds
- Look at flowers, tend to my orchids
- Mentally recite the scripture I still remember
- Make a list
- Throw things away
- Recall Japanese words and phrases
- Take notes on a good book, even if I will never look at said notes again
- Mow the lawn
These things have been perpetual antidotes, soothing balms. I am not ashamed to say that I rely on such simple actions to restore me to equilibrium.