I lead a charmed life, I truly do, or maybe it leads me. ~grin~ Yet I do face occasional stress. Social anxiety is perhaps the most common and very much a trigger for me. It’s an effort to mingle with strangers at the gym until I get into the physical groove and zone out.
Sudden noises, not even necessarily loud, are another problem.
Our home is very quiet, free of barking dogs and noisy people. My pets are two elderly cats and tropical fish, all very Zen companions.
At my neighborhood YMCA families troop through nearly nonstop. That’s especially true in the locker room, which naturally provides natatorium access. I cannot count how many times I have finished a relaxing swim or been grounded by resistance training only to have my calm shattered by slammed locker doors and screaming toddlers.
A few weeks ago I faced yet another swim meet. Besides self absorbed sports enthusiasts bowling me over at every turn, the announcements were broadcast in the locker room at deafening levels.
While in the fitness room I debated whether or not to bother showering there. I considered asking at the front desk if the sound could be lowered in the locker room. It seemed unlikely.
If only I had cotton with me, I thought. Then I remembered my cotton tipped ear swabs. Unfortunately that idea failed because the swabs were too narrow and could too easily injure my eardrums.
Ultimately I ended up using pieces of a torn up facial tissue. It worked, giving me an idea.
I went home, bagged up some cotton balls, and put them in my backpack. Now I block my ears upon every visit to that locker room. It has made a huge difference. I just wish the idea would have come to me sooner.
How about you? Do you suffer anxiety? Can you offer any suggestions on how to cope short of hiding in your house (which I have been known to do)?