I struggle with social anxiety (and to a lesser extent, other forms of anxiety), which is something not many people know. It's hard for me to move forward and get better because I've pushed myself into a bad routine. If I go out, it's with very few people. If I get into a conversation, I want to walk right back out of it. I stress over everything. It's at that stage where I can tell I'm getting worse. I find myself going backward, and backward, and backward. With my 18th birthday just days away, I've decided that this year is going to be the year I get better. I'm hoping that by the time I turn 19, I'll be 'transformed', through the hard work and effort I will give. I've learned recently that sometimes little steps aren't enough. Little steps let you give half of yourself, while still letting the anxiety win. Sometimes you need a huge act to step forward and begin healing your mind. Put yourself all in, and experience life. When I'm doing what's out of the ordinary, and not thinking, I'm my best self. Whether you're working yourself out of the downward spiral, or you just need an adventurous changeup in your routine, here are 20 things you can do to challenge yourself!
1. Cut and dye your hair
2. Initiate conversation, with friends or strangers
3. Talk to someone on the street
4. Try a dance class
5. Pick up an instrument
6. Take a sewing class
7. Try crafting/DIY classes
8. Spend the day walking around a popular city, instead of inside your house
9. Go on a spontaneous road trip!
10. Learn a second language (or third, or fourth,)
11. Pick up a part-time job, or quit your old one
Change your routine entirely by adding a job! If you dislike the one you have, take a chance and quit it!
12. Volunteer somewhere you’ve never been
13. Join a group with a common interest
14. Start a garden in your backyard
15. Write a book
Everyone has a story. Everyone has a different point of view. Use these and write a book. Fiction, historical (non)fiction, biography, it's up to you!
16. Go indoor skydiving
17. Get a makeover/transformation
18. Buy new clothes for your wardrobe
19. Adopt an animal
Animals are huge responsibilities but are also therapeutic. Dogs especially are good emotional support pets and are really cute!!
20. Join a support group/therapy
Finally, the (for many) hardest, biggest step of all. Joining a support group for anxiety, or going to therapy. With social anxiety, it's nearly impossible to do this. You're not only putting yourself out there, but you're claiming this mental illness, thinking that people will judge you for it. But it's better, and nobody's judging you. It helps to have a group you can go to, of people who are going through what you are.
Whether you have anxiety, or you just want to change your life, or even if you just want a few adventures, this list is for you! I'll be doing many of these right along with you! Finally, if you have anxiety or other mental illnesses, talk to a healthcare professional, and let them know what you're going through. It may be hard, but it'll be worth it in the end!