Consoling the Urge to Flee

Thirty days have passed since I returned home from a week at college, and they have been some of the most repetitive days I’ve lived. Over the summer when I was in quarantine, I was free during the day to go on hikes or to socially distance see people, but the problem now is that I have no time to do any of that. I’m on the computer for school and work until about 8 o’clock at night during the week, and on weekends I’m doing school work or just trying to recharge a little before Monday ultimately hits again. Is this how a washing machine feels constantly going in circles? All of this repetition has been taking a toll on many different parts of my life, but the biggest one is the uptick in my urge to flee. 

By flee, I mean get the hell out of Dodge. I love my home and my family is usually alright, but the amount I daydream about packing a duffel and hitting the road has increased by a heavy margin—especially for someone that doesn’t have their own car. I have always been someone who wants to be doing something. Whether it be making a craft or going on a hike, I usually like to keep myself occupied. All this time cooped up inside living in a Groundhog Day-esque schedule has made me less bored and more anxious. 

Anxiety is something that has been a big part of my life, and while most of my anxiety comes from future worries, there is some that comes from the repetition of my daily schedule. When I would usually just be casual about looking for something to do, I am now fueled by anxiety to go do something or to just flee the space I’m in. 

I know that this is becoming more normal with the pandemic world that we’re living in, but it’s something that I have never personally dealt with. It unsettles me because it’s not like I have many options of places to go. Planes, trains, and automobiles are all a little out of reach, but staying completely still where I am is not an option. 

I've tried journaling, and while it works for a little bit, the anxiety does come back. Walks help, but it’s a similar, short term effect. Social distance hang outs are also good for a little distraction, but at a certain point, that urge to flee always comes back to root itself in the pit of my stomach. 

Mindfulness has been helpful in grounding myself in my life, and less in my anxiety. As cheesy as it sounds, guided meditation is very effective. There is calming music and a calming voice giving me affirmations, and while it may feel a little awkward doing it, it does make me aware enough of myself  to allow me to stop a possible spiral. 

The need to flee might not leave my system completely, especially not while we’re still in quarantine, but there are ways to stop it from controlling my days. Anxiety manifests itself in many ways, and while I would love to pack up my moms CR-V and hit the road, I also know that’s pretty impractical right now. Walks and guided meditation will have to do, but sometime soon I’ll sit in a cabin somewhere, drinking tea and remind myself that fleeing isn’t necessary. I’m allowed a break, and I’m allowed time to breathe. I just need to take it.