I get a lot of things done. I am a divorced mom of two delightfully complicated and interesting sons and I have a full-time job on The Big Bang Theory. I started Grok Nation and write for it regularly. I have a YouTube Channel that I regularly update as well! I clean my own toilets, try to eat a relatively healthy, vegan diet, and I have written four books. I also try to maintain my mental health by going to therapy twice a week, exercising, and having relationships which I can be proud of.
I also develop scripts, wrote a screenplay, and do charity work as well as mentor a handful of women in my spare time. I am a lactation educator counselor and I love to help new moms breastfeed.
I get a lot done.
But most people would be surprised—perhaps even shocked—to hear that I am not a particularly confident person. I made a video about it, actually. I live with social anxiety and OCD, along with a healthy dose of generalized anxiety and depression. It’s sometimes hard for me to have confidence in myself and my abilities when I feel down on myself a lot.
And I know I’m not alone. I wanted to share the top 5 things I do to get stuff done despite my challenges in hopes it might help some of you who struggle similarly.
- Get educated. Knowing about my challenges from an academic perspective has helped me tremendously. As a kid, I thought that there was something terribly wrong with me. Why did I have so many scary thoughts? Why did I tantrum long after my toddler years when presented with a new situation? Why did I think dark things about myself, beating myself up at any given opportunity? Learning about what anxiety is, how it affects our brains, and how it impacts our lives has given me the ability to know what parts of me I can and can’t control. There are certain things about my genetics I cannot change. And there are certain things about my behavior which I can. NAMI has a lot of information I found valuable about some of my challenges. You can also go to national organizations supporting your particular challenges. Resources are listed at the end of this article.
- Get busy. Isolation is a terrible trap for me. I have to stay busy to keep momentum. One way that helps me is by volunteering at senior citizen centers and homeless shelters. I’m able to be useful to those in need while also getting out of my head. Being of service to others inspires me to not wallow in self-pity—which I basically have a PhD in. Finding hobbies can be hard, but even if I want to be alone, having stuff to do with idle hands lifts my spirits. I like crafting: cross stitch, felting, assemblage, and resin molds are my favorites.
- Get quiet. It’s time to meditate. Start with this article I wrote. Take a walk in your neighborhood. Find nature even in your urban environment. Trees force their way through concrete sidewalks. Flowers bloom. The sky is yours to love. Quiet your mind by learning to follow your breath. It helps. It’s science.
- Get support. Therapy is becoming more and more available to those who can’t afford the typically exorbitant rates therapists charge. There is online help. Therapy training centers where sessions are discounted. There are therapists who work on sliding scales. Get help. Don’t spend time with friendships which bring you down or make you anxious or sad. Pursue healthy connections, even if it means your social circle gets smaller for now. Surround yourself with positive people who get you. Life’s too short to be brought down by unsupportive friends—and even family.
- Get roots and bloom where you’re planted. Find what you’re good at and embellish it. I wanted to be a doctor but found that I could not compete academically to get the grades needed for medical school. I cried about it for weeks before I re-shifted my focus toward a life and career that was within reach. We all have gifts. Channel them in ways that lift you up and make you appreciate what you can offer. Don’t try to be who you think you should be, or who your parents want you to be. Be the only you that ever has been, and ever will be.
- Get faith. Whether it be organized, Patriarchal religion, or a spiritual connection to Something bigger than you, faith is a critical facet of our lives as humans. It means believing there is something bigger and better for you than you can even imagine. It means putting one foot in front of the other even if you’re scared. It means taking the first step even if you can’t see the whole staircase, as the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. suggested. Read about spiritual connection. Explore a religious tradition that moves you. Find wonder and hope; therein lies faith.
I’m a work in progress, as we all are. I have to remind myself of these things many times a day. Every day is a new opportunity to start again with confidence and strength.
I do a lot, but it takes a lot to keep me going. Let’s keep going together.
Mental Health Resources
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Postpartum Support International
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