Time, Space and Vulnerability: August Reflections

Normally when writing these reflection posts, I sort of know what I want to say as I begin typing. There’s a theme that comes to mind, or something I’ve learnt about myself or the world. I’m not sure August has held such monumental realisations as I haven’t been travelling, working or studying (but I’m sure at least one will emerge as I type). It’s been more like a collection of moments, all coincidentally held together by the fact that they occurred within the same month, and all surrounded by a bit of time and space.

This is definitely something I needed – a month in which to process things and prepare myself for what’s to come. Perhaps some will see this as pathetic (maybe it is), others will see this as a clear show of privilege that has allowed me to have this time (and that’s certainly true). Either way, I’m so grateful to be in a position that gives me these freedoms.

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8 Ways To Manage Time Anxiety

The other day I wrote about time anxiety, the persistent fear of the passing of time and the stress of not being productive, and the potential debilitating impact of this stress on a person’s personal life. It can be completely paralysing to have such strong anxiety towards prioritisation and time management; the weight of it can press down on you, so much so that it stops you from getting stuff done. But is there anything people prone to the pressures of time can do about this?

For me, time anxiety was perhaps an aspect of mental distress that didn’t really bother me until more recently. The rigid structure of school, and lack of necessity for me to make and carry out my own decisions, meant that time walked forward at a reasonable pace. My life was clearly compartmentalised – morning routine, school, walk home, homework, dinner with my parents, relax, and bed.

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Mental Chaos and Low Productivity: Living With Time Anxiety in a Non-Stop World

My mind goes through periods in which it is vulnerable to feeling a little cluttered; it fills up with erratic thoughts competing to be the centre of attention, somehow fighting with each other but also working together to form a barrier between reality and clarity.

This means that when I’m going through one of these times, I find it hard to carry through thought processes or focus on one thing. I get irritable or emotional ten times faster and my patience cowers in a corner with rationality, overshadowed by an overflowing, overwhelming monster, trampling any sign of productivity or routine in a temper tantrum.

I lose sight of what I need to get done that week, or even that day. I catastrophise easily. Suddenly everything is Something with a capital S: a big deal, a hurtling train of thoughts, a problem that needs solving now.

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