I was in my late 30s when I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). As a child of the '60s born of immigrant parents who survived both the Great Depression and World War II—each of them with their own harrowing experiences—I was raised with a don't-complain-pull-up-your-bootstraps-and-get-on-with-it mentality. As such, I grew up feeling unworthy of my anxiety.
I was gone for over a week seeing my family for the holidays, and that means I had to leave my cat, who is my emotional support animal. I had never left him alone for that long before, and even though I have a cat-sitter who I trust unconditionally, it’s always hard to leave him. Being away from my emotional support cat makes me anxious, and though there’s no way I can know for sure what he’s thinking, I’m sure it makes him anxious too.
My name is Liana M. Scott, and I've recently joined HealthyPlace as an "Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog" writer. This isn't my first gig at HealthyPlace. I was part of their "Coping with Depression" blog team back in 2013/14. Since then, my mental health challenges have changed insomuch as anxiety is now very much the focal point of my mental illness.
In a recent post, I discussed why I like wearing comfortable clothes to manage anxiety and what, specifically, comfort means to me in that context. In this post, I want to do something similar, only this time I’m discussing furniture as opposed to clothing. Again, ensuring one’s furniture is comfortable is a pretty self-evident thing to do, but like my recent post, I want to go into a bit more detail with regards to what that means to me.
One of the things I enjoy doing in my free time is watching cooking and recipe videos online. As I don't have any professional training, I tend to seek out videos of simple recipes that don't require any obscure ingredients to make.
The title of this post may seem self-evident to a lot of you. Of course you like comfortable clothes, you’re probably thinking, everybody does. I suppose that’s true. But I want to also spend a bit of time discussing what comfort means in the context of clothing; as for me, it encompasses several dimensions, all of which help me manage my anxiety.
This is not the first time I’ve talked about my cat affecting my mental health on this blog, and it will not be the last. I’ve struggled with writer's block as of late, but writing about my cat is very easy because he makes me feel happy, and I feel that there’s so much I can talk about regarding him. He is probably the thing that helps me the most when I am feeling down because he is always there for me.
When I am anxious, sometimes it is very difficult for me to do a lot of productive things. While I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing, as taking care of one’s mental health should always take priority, in hindsight, it can be easy to regret the time you had to take away from your passions to better look after yourself.
I’ve written for this blog for a few years, and in that time, I’ve given a lot of advice for what I think are good strategies for keeping one’s anxiety under control. For that reason, It would be easy for anyone reading this to label me an “expert,” even though I don’t have the academic credentials to be labeled as such.
I have thoroughly enjoyed being here, writing the "Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog" every week for the past eight years. I actually didn't plan to stop blogging for HealthyPlace, but I must do so for health reasons. I've discovered that living with autoimmune and digestive disorders means that I can't just continue to let my mind be fully in charge of what I do, doing what I want, and ignoring my body. Listening to ourselves, tuning into what our entire body-mind communicates is key to both mental and physical heath--including when it comes to managing anxiety. So honoring that, listening to what my body has been trying to tell me, means that I must step back from this blog.