Friday, February 7, 2014

My Anxiety Solution = A Cozy Corner

I am so calm right now, it's almost freaky.

A solution that helps with my anxiety/overstimulation: small spaces.
I've noticed in the past that when I'm either overstimulated or having an anxiety attack, I am rather intimidated by larger rooms, especially if they're filled with people. I would gravitate towards a smaller space—such as a public bathroom stall, or under a table somewhere—to deal with the anxiety. So I'm pretty much the opposite of claustrophobic.

Today, I was talking to my suitemate and another friend of mine in my dorm room, and while I loved the company and conversation, I was having a hard time focusing because I had just gotten back from lunch in the cafeteria and was overstimulated. I excused myself to change into my "chillin' at home" clothes, which consisted of a baggy t-shirt and sweat pants since I have sensory issues with clothing, and sat down in my computer chair to re-join the conversation. Their voices buzzed a little in my ears, but I ignored it because I wanted to enjoy my time with them. Eventually I picked up my stuffed deer named Gigi and curled up in my chair, closing my eyes to mentally recover while still listening to the conversation between my friends.

I zoned out a bit and started to think about small spaces, and how nice it'd be to have one. Then I remembered the space between the end of my bed and the wall. I used it as a storage area last semester, but now there was nothing there. Then I thought of a bed that dogs slept in, and how small and cozy they look.

I knew what I wanted to do.

I got out of my chair and started putting pillows back there. I told my friends what I was doing because I was so excited about it, and because the idea of having my own "doggy bed" was so appealing that I wanted to try it out right away. We continued the previous topic as I put it together, and by the time it was finished, we concluded the conversation and my friends left the room. I had it all to myself now.

My Doggy Bed
I curled up in my makeshift hiding place with a soft blanket, and pulled my bed rest pillow over me to make sort of a cave around my head and shoulders.

After a few minutes, all the buzzing in my head stopped and I was perfectly calm. When I got up again, I wasn't even drowsy... rather, I was just pleasantly mellow. I think I should try this again when I'm having a more severe anxiety attack, to confirm whether or not it works for me in those situations.

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