Battling anxiety demons has taken it’s toll on me recently, physically and mentally. My body has been reacting to the stress of it with headaches, neck aches (stress neck as I like to call it), and tummy problems. Everything felt up in the air, like nothing was certain and that this daily cycle was never going to end.
I realised that I needed a little bit of a plan. I needed to define what it is that I want to achieve (however cliched that may sound).
I started writing down ideas and desires and things I want in my dream life, scribbling down everything I could think of. Then I tried writing smaller steps of things I could do to get to those goals. Simple, right?
Unfortunately, when you have anxiety/depression, your thought patterns can turn into this:
“I wish I could do that thing.”
“Maybe I could do that thing?”
“Okay, this is how I could do the thing.”
“Then I could do that thing and this other thing!”
“I can see myself doing the things!”
“But I’m not sure if doing that thing will work?”
“I’ll never be able to do that thing.”
“I don’t know how or where to start.”
“I’d never be good enough to achieve those things.”
“I wish I could do that thing.”
Never-ending cycle of up and down thinking. One of the most frustrating and self-sabotaging thought patterns there is.
So I decided that taking note of the small things might help. I could do little tasks when my spirits are high and hopeful, write down each small action, and reflect upon that list of brilliance whenever I felt like I could never accomplish anything.
Therefore there is a spread in my notebook which is dedicated to celebrating my little successes. Sometimes they’re not successes at all, but instead actions or small steps I have made to achieving one of my goals.
It’s been about two weeks and I’m running out of space. I’m also not recording everything, which needs to change. I need to jot down how I spent four hours on a presentation for an exciting interview. I need to write down how my recent blog post about inspiring writers made those writers happy, which made me happy. I need to write that even though everything is up in the air at the moment, I’m still trying.
Celebrating the little things is important not just to those that suffer from constant self-doubt but for those who are trying to achieve something. Big goals can seem overwhelming and almost impossible at times. Looking at that end goal can make it feel like a million miles away, because there is just so much to do before you can get there. If we were to celebrate the little victories we have accomplished each day, not only are we giving ourselves a well-deserved pat on the back, but we’re also making that gap between now and the big goal shrink.
If you’re stuck in a rut, not working towards much and feeling bad about that, here’s some legit small victories that you should celebrate:
- Having enough milk in the fridge.
- Cooking dinner/getting take-out/eating something yummy.
- Going out for a walk, run, skip or whatever you like.
- Not feeling like getting out of bed but getting out of bed anyway.
- Not getting out of bed, because even as adults, bed covers feel safe.
- Texting your friend.
- Calling a family member.
- Practising some self care.
- Showing support to your favourite online chums/real-life chums.
- Watching Westworld.
- Focusing on yourself.
Taking a moment to celebrate a small victory will build your confidence, motivation and happiness a little bit at a time.