An Anxious Guide On Fucking The Rest of 2020

NO MORE WAITING!


I thought 2019 was a shit show (and it was), but 2020 honestly feels like 2019 2.0. 

The good news: it’s not too late for things to start looking up.


Last year, my social anxiety was the worst it’s ever been. If I left the house, chances were I’d start hyperventilating, shaking, and feeling every revolting emotion at the same times. So, I resorted to the only logical solution (at least the one that my anxiety-ridden mind designated as logical): if I wasn’t in class, I was locked inside of my room where I could be a ball of panic and tears, alone.

A few months later and I’m still doing the same thing — except this time it’s government-mandated. 


Maybe I should’ve put myself out there more freshman year, pushed myself. (At least that’s what I’ve been ruminating on since I’ve been quarantined.) Part of me blames myself for sheltering myself and letting my anxiety paralyze me; the other logical part of me (and seemingly much quieter part) knows that none of it is my fault. 


Would I have pushed myself to get better this year, or is the situation I’ve been in the past few months inevitable because I’m too weak to be better and get better? I guess I’ll never know the answer. And the answer doesn’t matter.


It’s the beginning of the new school year. I still feel anxious, but I’m really lucky to say that I feel well enough to at least try and give myself a year worth not hating and also give myself a me not worth hating. 


So, fuck it. Who knows how this may turn out?


I know in the midst of this transition, this “new normal” as I’ve heard many call it, there are many people who are also not feeling their best and not doing as well as they want. It’s completely okay to be feeling down about everything going on! We all feel constrained by this pandemic.


The good thing is, as the wise, old High School Musical kids used to say, we’re all in this together. 


I’m not necessarily a know-it-all when it comes to positive thinking (honestly, what even is it?). But thinking of some of these things, trying to affirm my consciousness and peace in different ways has helped a little bit so far. I don’t know about you, but even a little bit of progress is better for me in times like these.



1) Productivity isn’t something to optimize

I watch all these girls on YouTube being independent boss ladies. They seem nothing like me, so I can’t help but think: “Is it my incompetence preventing me from being like them or am I just innately incapable of success”? 


Frankly, I’m not sure which one is worse. 


It took me a while to realize that my worth isn’t outcome-driven or dictated by my accomplishments. I can realize my worth from working on myself, and that can mean a lot of different things. It could mean truly hitting rock bottom and coming out of it in order to attain clarity about things that might have plagued your thoughts in the past. Some days, I can barely exert any energy — that doesn’t make me any less successful. 


Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to really breathe. I’m attempting to unlearn what productivity means to me and how much of it decrees my existence, but the realization that led to the unlearning is enough progress for now.


2) Indulge in your hobbies

I’ve spent a lot of time neglecting things that really make me happy because for some peculiar reason, I established that anything that makes me happy isn’t worth my time. 


I don’t know who needs to hear this, (1000% me. I need to hear this) but that isn’t true. 


Hobbies! Are! Not! A! Waste! Of! Time !!!!!


Hobbies are a time to forget about “being productive”. They’re an act of self-care. Use them as a reminder that there are still places that you can resort to find bliss and contentment. 


What are hobbies? There aren’t any standards for them. Literally anything, darling. If something gives you that release from stress, it's a hobby. Anything goes. 


You can have a movie night with yourself under two sheets and a weighted blanket. You can ditch the movie and scream your frustrations out at the top of your lungs. Only you decide what makes you happy. So, guess what? You decide what “having hobbies” means to you.



3) Reach out to your friends, they don’t secretly hate you.

My social anxiety has convinced me that I am worthy of absolutely no one’s time. Whenever I talk to a friend, as stupid as it sounds, I feel insecure that my personality or anything I’m saying isn’t enough for them to truly enjoy their time with me. 


I’m still going through this. I’m finding that I tend to stray away from Facetime and Zoom calls (even scarier? Zoom parties). If you’re like me, I get that it’s hard to find solace in others and in yourself. 


So how can you find support? We have to push ourselves to attain that support that we might not think we deserve. Well, we deserve it all right and although there are barriers involved in finding consolation in company, I’ve found that being honest about my feelings with even one friend and opening up to them has allowed me to better feel supported and escape the habit of self-deprecation that I tend to get into.


4) Know what you want now.

I’ve spent too much time — pre-quarantine and during — thinking about the future. What if I’m not happy? What if I’m not successful? What if X, Y, Z and every other terrible event in the book happen? 


I can spend weeks and even months ruminating over irrational thoughts. But I’m done. I’m not waiting for these thoughts to stop me from living in the present. 


I’ve had enough of these thoughts plaguing my mind, presence, and peace. I’m not sure if I can ever stop them, but I do know that continuing to think about them is hurting more than helping. 


I’ve spent quarantine thinking about what I want now, how I can get it, and how nothing else matters in the little flashes of life except for how you feel that very moment.


How does the air smell? How does the sun feel on your skin? How do you feel about the moment you’re in? We can ask ourselves these questions in moments of chaos and feel peace by grounding ourselves in the present.


5) NO MORE WAITING

I haven’t even come close to putting these affirmations and practices into effect but having them in mind and trying to abide by them has provided me clarity when it comes to my path and journey. 



I know that this school year, and the future in general, feels uncertain, but find yourself a community, work towards loving yourself more and more every day (because there is no such thing as too much self-love), and throw yourself into the things that you enjoy and that make you happy.








Anushka Dakshit is a Staff Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She likes to read, watch really long films, listen to old Bollywood, and listen to sad music when it rains. She wants to use her writing to discuss the nuances of womxnhood and culture and is passionate about social justice, femininity, and words that bring her catharsis. You can reach her at anushkadakshit@ufl.edu