I have given a name to the speaker of negative thoughts in my head; meet Marvolo (you will immediately earn my respect if you recognize this name from a certain series of magical books and films). Marvolo is me, I do not hear voices, he is simply the imaginary persona behind the negative stream of consciousness that co-resides with the logical one within my head. Some days, Marvolo’s voice is merely a whisper and some days Marvolo acquires a megaphone.On such days, I try to put everything into perspective and thus I have devised ‘The Anxiety Awards’; giving verbal gold stars for performing the everyday tasks that Marvolo can make seem monumental.
And in the category for personal hygiene, the nominations are…
- Having a shower (award yourself extra stars to symbolize the amount of days you’ve been avoiding this category).
- Changing out of pyjamas (even this is only into the comfortable jogging bottoms of your choosing).
- Brushing your hair (another extra star if you go as far as to use dry shampoo).
And in the category for health, the nominations are…
- Making a meal (and no, anything involving chocolate spread is not a meal).
- Making a cup of tea (yes, tea is vital for health).
And in the category for socialization, the nominations are…
- Leaving the house to get some fresh air.
- Actually replying to the messages on your phone.
- Refusing to cancel your plans when a simple walk round the park feels like a trek to Mordor.
And the big one, drum roll please; the nominations for the category of University are…
- Actually attending a lecture when you’ve been avoiding leaving your flat (if this is a 9am you deserve so much more than gold stars, you are a queen).
- Actually contributing in a seminar.
- Sitting down to attempt some work, even if you only manage a page, when (rather ironically) the stress of the work you have to do overwhelms you to that crying-heap-under-the-desk person you don’t like very much.
As silly as this may seem, it can be helpful to remind yourself that such little things can be an achievement and should be recognized. No, you didn’t get that essay done today, but you did get out of bed and shower- look at you, you functional human being!
Am I alone in this? Please let me know, let us congratulate each other on our ability to maintain a human standard of hygiene.
(I guess now I can add ‘posted a blogpost’ to this list; two days, two posts,two verbal gold stars.)