No matter how on top of projects I am and how far ahead I work, there’s always going to be the odd day when work needs to get done, but the anxiety is crushing. Cue mad panic.
I’ve found it’s best for me to go into this situation with a plan on how to deal with these days. And that plan’s first step is to make a plan!
1. Plan the day
For me, making decisions is so difficult when I’m anxious. My brain is already running on overdrive and can’t handle the extra work. Before I get too lost in panic, I sit down and write out every single micro step involved in accomplishing whatever’s got to get down.
With the steps written out, I schedule them at different times, leaving space where I remind myself to eat, grab water, shower or just chill.
2. Cut the excess
On these days, I pull everything off the to-do list that isn’t necessary. Sure, I like to post on Instagram everyday, but my career isn’t going to fall apart if I skip a few. As much as a healthy meal would benefit me, on high-anxiety days that require me to accomplish something, I’m grabbing whatever is quickest to eat. The less there is to do, the easier it will be to get through the day.
When I’m done what has to get done, I stop and drop. Go for a walk. Crawl into bed and doze. Watch Netflix. Read a book. Stare at the wall. I do whatever the anxiety allows me to do, and don’t do any more than that. Other celebrating the fact that I got shit done despite my anxiety.
Days like this are becoming fewer, but I still struggle with anxiety basically every day. For a better picture of what (my) life as an anxious freelancer can be like, follow me on Instagram!