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Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

Hi @ayrc_1904 !

Yes thats exactly the root of my anxiety too - I just finished my Honours year and experienced a lot of guilt and anxiety if I didnt study for 10 hours a day (not an exaggeration). This isn't exactly feasible in your undergrad as studying for 10 hours day for four years will result in some serious burn out. However Honours I could somehow justify it (particularly whilst in lockdown). Anyway, I did find reading psych books to be a really good way to enjoy some down time but also feel like I was contributing to my knowledge.

I really love tales of psychotherapy and experienced psychologist's recounting their clients stories (whilst adhering to confidentiality). These are my favourites:
- The Skeleton Cupboard by Tanya Byron - by far my favourite book of all time
- Any books by Irvin Yalom - I particularly enjoyed Love's Executioner
- The Girl That Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks - has a more neuropsychologist perspective but nonetheless super interesting!

Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

Oh I've also been recommended the Skeleton Closet @Wolfie_ ! Why is it your favourite? I've been meaning to read it for a whole now, so this might be a good motivator 😅

 

You also shouldn't beat yourself up about feeling a bit anxious after honours, I think it happens to a lot of people. Because the year is so intense it can warp how you see your free time/productivity and as a result can make you feel a bit empty or on edge if you aren't doing anything (even if there's nothing to do!)

Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

@Andrea-RO I couldn't recommend it enough! It tells stories of psychotherapy through Tanya's (a psychologist) perspective and her training placements through Masters. The tales are just amazing, its easy to read and I honestly couldn't put it down.

You're so right, it definitely is drilled into you from the start of Honours.

Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

@ayrc_1904 Hey there! I hope you've been doing well- sorry for the late reply Smiley Very Happy It's definitely an isolating experience when you're in a group where everyone kind of shuts down when they're stressed when you're full steam ahead even to your own detriment. I've ended up surrounding myself with people who never quit and relax either, so it's gotten to the point where we all force ourselves to make time for each other so we don't ruin our social lives or never take breaks! I also work out to feel productive because I love the feeling of being strong. My family is getting a puppy later this year hopefully so I've been making a goal to walk for 20 minutes several times a week to prepare for dog walking. It's not going very well in the cold weather Smiley Tongue

 

I find that having long-term goals really helps me to feel like I've got stuff to do and everything I do has meaning, even if it's trying to watch more shows. Another answer to the productivity thing I have is to have hobbies where you 'see' the productivity. My mum recommended this because even though I'd do creative writing you don't really have any tangible, physical product (unless you print it out) and it's also high stress because you need to have your brain in gear. I've honestly found I don't do any creative writing in the holidays because I don't want to think too hard Smiley LOL At the moment I've been doing an embroidery project with my local craft store where you make a felt ornament every month for the 12 days of Christmas and end up with a whole tree's worth of decorations! It's also good because you can listen to podcasts or watch youtube in the background. Another thing I've been doing is playing minecraft because it's all about building and I play it with a couple of friends. 

 

But honestly, one thing I was told that has really helped me is that if you took the day off, and you enjoyed it, it's not a day wasted. Recharging is another form of productivity and it should be honoured!

 

@Wolfie_  Thank you for the book recs! They sound super interesting and informative. It sounds like you finished your Honours last semester? Congrats! If you have a break before masters what are you planning to do?

Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

@StormySeas17 Thats such good advice for @ayrc_104

Thank you! I had a lot of plans before COVID ruined them all haha im currently looking for another job and wanted to get into some volunteer work - ive also enrolled in a few short courses just to keep the brain going whilst on the break!

Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

@Wolfie_and @StormySeas17  I can really relate to your posts. I also struggle with always try to achieve something. I learnt the hard way in year 12 just how important breaks and downtime is. I was so exhausted at the end of year 12, I had 3 month period where I struggled to physically get myself to achieve things like I used too. @ayrc_1904 I think another way of thinking about downtime is to make it part of your routine and to think of it as a task to keep yourself energised to keep being productive the next day. This could also maybe help you with the holidays as you can think of it as a productive but restful period of time. Changing the mind your mindset can help depower the negative thoughts that can come with a lack of productivity in an anxious mindset which makes you want to do more work/study.

Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

I can relate to your experiences and am also a psychology student. I also feel guilty when I am not doing something I consider productive as I am task-oriented. I can see from your posts that you have found ways to improve your study/life balance, how might you go about ensuring that these activities are consistently completed to prevent you from burning out?

 

Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

@ayrc_1904 Sorry to chime in but I would recommend The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris

Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

Hey @Janine-RO 

Thanks for your reply! Yessss I completely relate! Same thing for me too these days actually. I do more walking and exercise to manage stress. It's working so far!

Re: Anyone else actually work/study more with anxiety?

Hey @Wolfie_ 

That sounds so great! The one by oliver sacks was actually one of the readings I had to do for uni and it was definitely really interesting. Congrats on finishing your Honours year too btw! Heart