How to Survive the Sunday Scaries

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s 12:28am on Sunday, and despite being exhausted, I can’t sleep.

Either my muse has something important to say, or I’m publicly writing what should be kept in a private journal. Either way, I’m going for it.

Welcome to my Sunday Scaries.

I’m laying in an unfamiliar bed in London, and my mind won’t stop:

I need to write a book next year. What should it be about? Overcoming adversity? Is that a book? Can I even write a book in a year? Ryan Holiday writes a lot of books.

Hoping to curb the internal chatter, I turn from my left to my right side:

Shit. I’m leaving London tomorrow. Going to nine countries in three weeks was probably a bad idea. How will I get all of my work done? I’m already behind, but I need to keep going. I can’t let my team down.

I roll over to my stomach, and my mind continues its siege:

Fuck. I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow. I have so much to do. Should I start doing it now? Why do I have so much to do?

The intensity of hanging out in my mind is too much, so I remove my sleep mask, open my laptop, and start writing this piece.

I began writing 44 minutes ago, and while I’m still not convinced I have a point worth making, I’m feeling a bit better.

A comforting thought keeps coming to mind:

I am not these thoughts.

The restless river of thoughts flowing through my mind may be scary and overwhelming, but it’s just a series of thoughts. It’s up to me to decide how I relate to these thoughts.

One option is to trust and give weight to them. I can use my thoughts as an assessment of the state of my life. If I do this, fear and anxiety will consume me. I will have a sleepless night.

The second option is to question the validity of my thoughts. I can take a few deep breaths and begin observing them with curiosity, instead of blindly accepting them as the truth. This path allows me to separate from my thoughts and recognize that while they are overwhelming, they will pass.

I’m choosing the second path. It gives me the agency to choose how I relate to my thoughts. With this agency, I can prevent my thoughts from controlling my actions and emotional state.

And while this is a simple and perhaps trivial realization, it’s comforting. The heaviness of my Sunday ruminations is slowly lightening. My soul is starting to feel at ease.

I am not these thoughts.


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