6 Do's And Don'ts For An Anxious Girl To New Year's Eve

6 Do's And Don'ts For An Anxious Girl To New Year's Eve

NYE doesn't have to be stressful.

New Year's Eve (NYE) is a stressful evening for many people, and it can be even worse when you have an anxiety disorder. Some potential NYE triggers include loud music, strange crowds, the pressure to party like your peers...the list goes on.

This year, I'm not letting my anxiety stop me from enjoying New Year's Eve. If you're an anxious girl like me, NYE doesn't have to be stressful. Here are my tips for a fun night.

Don't: Put yourself in uncomfortable situations.

This is one of the biggest triggers for an anxiety disorder. If you don't want to go somewhere, don't! You don't have to spend NYE in a bar or at a party, even though you have been raised to think that you do.

It's important to keep in mind that big crowds of unfamiliar people may not be the environment in which you want to spend your evening if you struggle with anxiety.

I know I personally am spending NYE with two close friends, drinking wine and playing Bananagrams...and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Don't: Drink if you don't want to.

I'm not a big drinker, which can feel alienating at times. If you don't want to drink on NYE, it's perfectly okay to say no! Be someone's designated driver for the night or just stay home and watch the ball drop from the comfort of your own couch.

That being said, if you're around people drinking for the night, keep an eye on them to make sure they get home safely. And never, ever let anyone who has been drinking drive themselves home. Safety first!

Don't: Let that midnight kiss psych you out.

It's notoriously awkward when the ball drops and you have no one to kiss. Don't worry: there are a million other people in the exact same situation as you. It's totally okay to not kiss anyone when the ball drops

The awkwardness will only last a few seconds. Don't let it stop you from going out! NYE is for single people, too.

Do: Make plans for the evening.

Anxiety is the fear of things beyond your control, so make plans! This allows you to take control of your night. Figure out what you want to do, where you want to go, and with whom you want to spend it.

Even if your plans are "I have no plans," at least you know what to expect.

Do: Surround yourself with people you trust.

This is the best way to counteract any anxiety you might feel. Spend time with friends and/or family that make you feel at ease. This way, you'll be more comfortable and be able to actually enjoy your evening.

My favorite people to celebrate NYE with? My parents!

Do: Have fun!

The ideal NYE looks different for everyone. Have fun in whatever way you see fit, whether that means at a raging house party, taking shots at the bar, watching the NYE countdown at a friend's house or just turning in a few hours early at home.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you and your friends are safe!

Cover Image Credit: Carlos Domínguez

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My Constant Dilemma, Seeking Out Positive Artistic Communities

How can I find a balance between comfort and visibility?

When it comes to art and expression, I’ve always subscribed to the mindset that it’s important to practice what you love in communities that are positive and uplifting, as opposed to competitive and cutthroat, even if it means sacrificing visibility at times. Through my background in theatre, music, and writing, I’ve encountered many types of artistic organizations and communities––some have been healthy and beneficial to me, and others have been toxic. I’ve spent a good amount of time floundering with this––I’ve had to learn to navigate where I feel most comfortable creating, and when to reevaluate the situation.

As someone who went to a performing arts high school for theatre, I spent a lot of time weighing out whether or not I would thrive or completely flop in a college conservatory program. After contemplating where I saw myself and what I wanted for my education for a very long time, I settled on Pitt, a larger university that would allow me to pursue a healthy balance of artistic and academic opportunities. Although this is glaringly obvious to me now, since spending almost two years here, it’s become clear that the answer isn’t so transparent; avoiding a conservatory didn’t solve all of my problems. In fact, in some ways, it might have made things more confusing.

Since transitioning from theatre to writing, I’ve entered some spaces that have been friendlier and more supportive than others. Since writing fields are inherently cutthroat in a lot of ways, it’s easy to get roped into an unhappy and uncomfortable situation if you settle for the mentality that experience is experience, and you should take whatever you can get. While this is unfortunately true in a lot of ways, and finding your voice and gaining visibility means working your way through the ranks, I still believe that you shouldn’t always have to compromise your health and happiness in order to get your work out there. When it comes to writing, or producing any kind of work that you’re passionate about, being surrounded by constant negativity can really take a toll on your mental health, and maybe even cause you to start harboring hatred for an art that you’ve always loved.

Of course, only seeking out one or the other, comfort or visibility, can be a double-edged sword. I’m still trying to find that balance for myself, and it’s definitely not proving to be very easy. I think that most creatives go through an artistic block or take a hiatus from time to time, but I’ve found that the periods where I’m lacking the most inspiration and drained of energy come when I’m surrounded by people who aren’t comfortable building other people up, or acknowledging others’ accomplishments and ideas. I’m still working to surround myself with individuals that respect me and aren’t solely committed to seeing their own name in lights, but I know that I can’t have my cake and eat it too; sometimes pursuing what I love means sacrificing that comfort and positivity. It may not be painless, but it’s definitely necessary.

Cover Image Credit: Lolaperl Maria

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No, You Aren't 'Crazy,' And We Need To Stop Using That Word Altogether

You may have been called crazy, and you may even believe it. But, don't.

Crazy. It's a word that has become integrated into our daily language.

If you ask the guy you like why he double tapped a girl's picture, he calls you crazy.

If you have an opinion that is different than everyone else, then you're crazy.

If you are getting married too young, or too old, then you're crazy.

Pretty much no matter what, you're crazy.

But, the truth is: you're not crazy.

Crazy is an all-encompassing word used to describe something that is undesirable. It is a word that that mocks mental health. A word that convinces you that you're the problem, that you're feelings are the problem.

You aren't crazy, you're human.

It's normal to feel. It is okay to wake up one day and feel one emotion, just to wake up the next day and feel different. It's okay to wake up each day and feel the same. It's okay that you don't know how to describe your feelings, and that you don't really know why you feel the way you feel.

It isn't okay to make someone feel less because they having feelings that you don't understand.

Mental health is becoming an everyday topic. College campuses focus on improving mental health for students, and people are taking the initiative to work on their mental health individually. It is becoming more common to see people working in the best interest of their mental health because it's finally being recognized the way it should be.

Mental health should be talked about, because mental health changes so frequently. The condition of your mental health can be different from day-to-day, and it is okay to not completely understand these feelings.

Mental illness is common. About 18 percent of the adult population in the United States suffer from mental illness every year. Mental illnesses refer to mental health conditions that may impacts your mood, thinking, or behavior. Mental illnesses range from depression to schizophrenia, and everything in-between. The stigma around mental illness creates an isolation of those impacted.

Once it is revealed that someone has a mental illness, they are seen differently, treated differently. They are ostracized, and it creates a stereotype that cause both average people and professionals to be wary or nervous about them.

The word "crazy" is demeaning.

It makes it seem that feelings and emotions and conditions are out of the ordinary, that they are "wrong" and that you are the problem. It creates the basis for the stereotypes that lead to the stigma surrounding mental illness.

However, you aren't the problem. You are a human that has a real life and real struggles.

No one can judge how you feel, and how that impacts your everyday life.

You aren't crazy, you're strong.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com

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