This year has been hard on everyone, and I hope some insight into why staying active helps me manage my anxiety might help you too.
I’ve learned more about myself during this time than I ever thought was possible, and I’m still figuring out the best ways to cope. Initially, panic set in, realizing that things were changing rapidly with COVID-19 precautions, resulting in tour dates being postponed and writing sessions no longer happening in person. We’re so used to going a million miles a minute and being forced to pause at this time also forces us to reset our pace, and at first, that can really feel unsettling.
Making a commitment to working out and being physically active has helped me manage my anxiety in many ways:
It adds a component of routine to my day and knowing that I have that time to myself gives me something to look forward to.
It gives me an opportunity to check in with myself, ask myself how I’m doing. I try to identify my feelings and why I feel that way. If I feel good, I dig deeper and learn what I truly enjoy and try to immerse myself in that. If I’m feeling low or anxious, I ask myself if there’s anything I can do to change those feelings. If there’s not, I do my best to let it go and try to emphasize the positives in my life.
I try not to focus on “being the best” but being a better version of myself. Being consistent with my workouts and reflecting on how far I’ve come helps to give me confidence for the future – it tells me that if I’m consistent with anything else, I’ll only get better at it.
I’m not a complacent person. I’m always trying to get to the next thing but seeing my progress in my workouts helped me realize that time and persistence are two key things in accomplishing anything.
Being able to better manage my anxiety has allowed me to be more comfortable when I take on new challenges, like recording my dream project. The new music we’ve been working on in quarantine is a collection of songs that I moved to Nashville ten years ago to make. It’s finally happening, and it’s made me feel I’m coming further into my own.