You wake up naturally without the alarm, and for a while, you just lie there and let thoughts come and go. No need to impulsively check your phone, or scramble to finish an assignment. But, maybe you’ll answer texts right away instead of putting them off. You know? Put your best foot forward today.
Never mind that paper you have to finish, that person you need to call, that appointment you need to set up, that summer internship you need to find. Just prepare some breakfast.
Entering your zoom class, you don’t start to spiral thinking about COVID-19, you turn on your camera and say hello to the professor. You start taking notes and — oh, breakout rooms? No problem. You don’t start to sweat profusely or feel your heart stop for a split-second. You definitely won’t try leave the meeting ASAP. Instead, you stay and embrace the awkward silence…
…”So, does anyone know what we are supposed to be doing?”
Finally checked your phone! Turns out, you missed an assignment due.
That’s ok. You’ll figure it out.
Your friends seem to be texting you an awful lot. Are they fighting?
They’ll figure it out.
Hey, the world is really going through it right now.
We’ll figure it out.
You take charge in your group project, and rather than feeling doubtful, you go into it with confidence — usually this kind of thing would be a big deal to you. Can’t even count all the times you’ve freaked out on the floor, tugging at your hair, your face heating up. But not this time.
Spent some extra money on food to treat yourself. No worries!
Your roommates went on a walk without you. For some reason, you didn’t spend the rest of the day wondering if they had noticed that you felt left out, if they thought you were weird, if you talked too much or said the wrong thing, if the wrong thing is actually the right thing, if they hate you, if you hate yourself, if you deserve love, why are you even thinking about love your roommates just went out for a walk, but then why didn’t they ask you to come, should you move out?
You may not have finished everything you wanted, but you put your mind at ease anyway and let today’s problems roll off of you.
Tonight, you went to bed early and you didn’t have jolting thoughts about that embarrassing thing that you did when you were seven. When you close your eyes, you lie in peace. But the longer you lie, the longer you realize that you start to miss something. You realize, that despite how great today was, an impossible thing has happened: you miss your anxiety. You miss that thing that allows you to think a lot and feel a lot. To feel deeply. You miss that thing that allows you to connect with others and care about things in a way no one else does.
In a weird way, you realize it’s kind of special.
If you need help managing anxiety, you can reach out to Penn State’s Counseling and Psychological Services for free. They offer a wide range of services and counselors to help you find the right options and coping skills for you. Anxiety is special, but that doesn’t mean you should let it overrun your life. Your perfect day without anxiety may not exist, but how about your perfect day with anxiety?