✘ Does Free Time Make You Anxious? 3 Suggestions To Help Reduce Your Anxiety Around Free Time.
When you have free time throughout your day/ night or periods when you have a quiet moment at work, how do you feel?
Are you anxious?
Are their feelings of fear?
Do you feel like you need to fill that silence?
Maybe you find that you feel like you get a roller-coaster ride of panic, fear, anxiety, doubt, and shame? When you really stop to think about how you are feeling in those moments of silence, what is going on inside of you?
In today’s world where we do not have to sit in the quite many people feel uncomfortable with silence. Many people (maybe this is you) feel like they always need to be doing or running in order to feel ok.
For example when I sit down after a long day my normal go-to is to look at my phone, check my e-mails, plan for tomorrow, read a book and think about what I am going to eat (I feel that I spend a little to much time thinking about what I am going to eat but hey we all have our things right). But I started to notice when I wasn’t filling my free time with other mindless things, I started to feel uncomfortable, almost like I was doing something wrong. I noticed that when I would take a shower, I would be flooded with negative self-talk and emotions- because that was the only time I was “disconnected”. At first, I would play really loud music, now I lean into that time to see how I am doing inside.
My question to you friend is what happens when you don’t reach for your phone, music, food or other things that take up our attention?
Often times there is a lot of negative self-talk that comes up. Feelings of anxiety or fear are also common.
I would like to help reduce these feelings and help you work on changing your pattern of thinking regarding free time.
1. Set aside a small amount of time either when you wake up or before bed to check in with yourself. This does not need to take long just a quick check-in and get on with your stuff. I prefer to do this in the shower, you choose what works best for you.
2. Start to be more aware of your thoughts around being quiet. What does that look like for you? What comes to your mind first? You can write this down or just make a mental note.
3. Work up to spending 30min a day in silence (yes on purpose). This can be on your way home from work in the car, take a bath or going for a walk. Start out small and work your way up to thirty minutes.
※Your Challenge: Try the three suggestion listed above for two weeks.