You know you have developed a problem when you realise having a tight chest and a racing pulse have become a staple in your daily routine. Breakfast is eaten with an assortment of fear and worry about the day to come and along with your sandwich at lunch you pick up a snack of stress to enjoy later. This has been the story of my January, as I have begun the year with everything to play for but no certainty on how to win the game. There are so many things that are supposed to just happen this year, I can’t take the stress of wondering if everything will just fall into place.
Has January caused you to nervously nibble on your finger nails? These are my main blood-pressure raisers.
1. The weight that is supposed to be falling off
I have found that the task of loosing weight has just become another weight on my shoulders. Every time there is an option to eat unhealthy food I think about the future slim me, and thoughts of how far away she is are met with thoughts that I’ll probably never get to meet her, and with that unhealthy snack is popped in my mouth and consumed with regret-filled enjoyment.
2. The house that is supposed to be getting snatched off the market.
I am pretty obsessed with properties on a good day. I don’t know what it is about them but scrolling through the best of what Zoopla and RightMove have to offer gives me more pleasure than scrolling through designer clothes or fantasising over fancy cars. The difference between my house searches now and the ones that consumed my free hours at university is that now the purchase is almost achievable. I can nearly taste the picketed fence and open plan kitchen-diner, but the looming mystery of gathering deposit money casts a stressful shadow on my search. I’ve never been one for looking at mansions because that might never happen, but 2 bed flats with an easy commute to London fit in perfectly to my obsession with making plans that leads me to everything I want in life. It’s when the plan doesn’t seem like it’s coming together that the headache begins.
3. Becoming a millionaire
As materialistic as this sounds this isn’t just about having a nice house with an football pitch of a garden and a shiny car parked in the front. Whether you like it or not, more money equates to being able to do more, and usually make more of an impact. House and holidays aside the pressure I put on myself to be financially comfortable, to the point where I could set up outreach initiatives and fill the gaps in society that the government are unable to plaster, makes me nervous. What if I’m never comfortable? What if I can’t say yes to the driving lessons and dance classes and school trips abroad that my future children want to go on. The desperation to not be that woman drives me to continue designing a life plan that allows me see my fantasises materialise.
I think January adds extra pressure because everyone’s expectations are high of the year to come. We are all in ‘work smarter achieve greater’ mode and we are all aware that most people fall into the same ruts of previous years so try extra hard to keep to the new plans we have written ourselves.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
So where do we go from here? I realise that when I feel stressed its because my shortcomings overshadow the things I’d like to achieve, all the while forgetting that I don’t need to make things happen when God is in control of my life.
When you are next feeling anxious don’t just take a deep breath, say a prayer and wait for the peace that God has promised you