How I’m Going to (Try to Reduce) Worry in 2016

Unless I enter into some Freaky Friday brain switch situation or the body-snatchers invade, I’m going to remain a worrier this year. There’s no (realistically 😉 ) getting around that. I already shared my biggest worries for this year. But I want to be a better worrier (i.e., worry less or at least less destructively), and so this is how I’m going to worry in 2016!

  1. Yoga for relaxation and health. But mostly health. Confession time. When I do yoga along with a YouTube video, I tend to yell at the yoga instructor with her tight abs and impeccable balance a lot. Stop telling me to “breathe into my hamstrings”–I don’t have lungs down there! You expect me to put my foot WHERE?! This is why I am not yet ready to take a real live yoga class. (That, and my poorness.) In the meantime, I will focus on strengthening my body, so that one day I won’t have to be so jealous of the yoga video girl’s flat abs and won’t have OCD eating/not eating impulses. Maybe I’ll eventually be more yoga-esque in the mind.
  2. Healthy(ish) eating. I’ve mentioned before how insightful I found Michael Pollan’s In Defensive of Food, and that book is basically my inspiration for eating in twenty-sixteen. The best summary of that book is, in M.P.’s own words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Coming off of the holidays, it’s tempting to freak out about how tight my jeans are and dive into some sort of kale-juice-cleanse, but I know that all I really have to do is go back to eating like a normal human. Albeit maybe more like a normal 18th century Swiss mountaineer than a normal American in the 21st century.
  3. Using defensive pessimism in a healthy way. For all my talk about defensive pessimism, I still don’t really do it right. I mean, I use it, but I still get my goddamn hopes up. I prepare for the worst and hope for the best. So I go through all the stress and worry and agony leading up to an event, but then I’m still disappointed and all wallowy with misery if it doesn’t go ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. I’m quite a paradox, you see.
  4. Start using my “worry journal” again. Seriously, this is the next best thing to pouring out all of you anxieties to your therapist. Or your mom.
  5. Being more honest with myself and others. I tend to keep my cards pretty hidden. I don’t have a great poker face, but I have the kind of poker face where you might be like, Wait, does she look so crazed because she’s holding a royal flush or because she has a pair of twos? And now that I’m all out of poker metaphors, I’ll get to the point. I tend to repress my own thoughts and emotions because I don’t think they’re how I “should” feel or because I wish I didn’t feel a certain way. This, of course, leads to me keeping my true feelings away from friends, family, and the like. Which just makes everything worse in the long run. So I should stop doing it.

What are your “resolutions” for 2016? Or if you hate that term as much as me, just let me know how you plan to worry (or not worry!) this year!

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