Happy Monday, folks!
Another week is officially in the books. Can you believe that we are already into May??
The time is seriously just going way too fast.
Anyhoo, let’s get down to business.
It is currently 6:30pm on a Sunday night, which means that it is the ideal and prime time for me to be writing the words that you are currently reading.
And as I sit here writing this week’s post, I’m currently looking outside the windows at the sun shining on the grounds of wet grass because of the torrential downpour that happened a few moments ago whilst wrapped in a blanket on the couch of my parents’ house while I dog sit for Ginger. And in the distance, I hear some slightly calm cracks of thunder in the distance.
And as the candle on the table by the front bay window burns its scent of blue spruce and The Golden Girls play in the background, I think to myself that even in the world of Mr. Sunshine, there are moments that bring a few rumbles of thunder and clouds.
Anyone else have these moments of rumbles in their life?
As we continue to live in a world that is still trying to navigate the aftermath of a global pandemic, I can’t help but think that there is one word that has decided to creep into all of our lives as we grasp with the fact and reality that our world is a scary place.
And that word that I’m talking about is this: anxiety.
What is anxiety?
We could go around and ask everyone in our lives what they feel the definition of this word is and we could come back with 100 different definitions.
According to Dictionary.com, the word anxiety is defined as the following:
- Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune
- Earnest but tense desire; eagerness
- A state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder
According to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), here are a few quick facts and statistics about anxiety:
- Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.
- Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
- Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
As someone who has been given the nickname of Mr. Sunshine (that I continue to wear proudly), I tend to believe that people around me think that the actions and word of anxiety are not something that I experience.
And, let me tell you folks, anxiety is real even in the life of Mr. Sunshine.
The year is 2022 and I have a stronger conviction and passion now more than ever to make sure that we are taking time in our lives to talk about this very word.
It is a real thing.
And it is a real thing that real people around us are experiencing.
And it is something that Mr. Sunshine has experienced, even more so in the past couple of months. I recently found myself being nominated to take on the role of Church Council President, which is a position that doesn’t sound like it would be difficult but involves some very intense back-end work involving difficult decisions that affect the livelihood of a church faith community that feels like home to me.
And the past month and weeks have proved to me that it is not always easy and that there are difficult moments to come which involve conversations that no one likes to have and also trying to get others to buy in to the decision that you feel is best for the longevity of the faith community.
It’s a lot. And will continue to be a lot for me in the coming months.
And top this off with other daily stressors of work, customer interactions, and just whatever other world crapola happens to be occurring around us.
Anxiety is a real thing.
And it is a real thing that can cause even more serious issues if it is not talked about.
So, how does one deal with anxiety, especially when they are nicknamed Mr. Sunshine?
Well, here are my personal tips and tricks.
- Make sure to set aside time during each day to do something that brings you joy. This can be anything. For me, one of those things is running. It is a time where I get to release toxins, decompress, and clear my mind.
- Start a journal. Being vulnerable and writing out our thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper can be an exercise of such great therapeutic relief. Try it.
- Take time to laugh every single day. Laughter is the best medicine. It can relax us, reduce our stress, and even boost our immune system.
- Use the support system of friends and family when you need some extra love, support, guidance, or encouragement. Reach out when needed and don’t be embarrassed if you are struggling. And, if you need to seek professional help for additional support, so be it. There is nothing wrong with that and the people that think it is a problem are wrong.
- Talk about it. You will never be able to foster a healthy environment for you (or anyone around you) if you aren’t willing to share and talk about your struggles. Be vulnerable. Be real. Be genuine.
These 5 things are just a few of the biggest entities that help me get through and cope with any anxiety that I might be feeling in life at any given moment.
And while these tips will not work for everyone since we are all created with beautiful, different unique qualities, the most important thing above all to remember is to seek professional help if you are struggling on a deep level.
Anxiety is a real word.
It is a real thing that many of us have experienced, are currently experiencing, or will experience in the future.
It is called being human.
And it’s ok if you are dealing with it.
You are not alone.
Let’s talk about it.
And let’s say it loud and proud.
Sprinkle sunshine always,