14 Jul 2011, 1:35am
your beluga best friend


Dear Beluga Best Friend,

Sometimes I feel like I’m about to fly out of my head with anxiety. I want to build a presence for myself online but often I sit down with all the Tweets, e-mails, and Google Reader hits and just want to cry. How can I be relaxed and chill like you?

Love, Avory

Hi Avory! I am too familiar with the miseries of head-flying-out anxiety, believe it or not. And what helps me most of the time is just being, y’know, a beluga. I make lots of time for swimming, and for memorizing all the words to “The Rose of Tralee”, and for debating politics with puffins. I suppose you can file these things under practicing good self-care, which is important for everyone, you included!

My suggestion for you is to make small but measurable goals. Oh, I know this sounds obvious, and you’ve probably thought of it already, but actually doing it can make even big ideas (like, say, building a bigger online presence) seem manageable. Maybe start by aiming to respond to five different people on Twitter each week, or say you’re going to take care of three emails today, or you’re going to read your feeds for thirty minutes and that’s it. Sure, this may seem like a drop in the ocean, but the idea is to be more efficient with the time you DO spend on this stuff, instead of getting anxious and overwhelmed and thus avoidant. Setting and meeting even small goals can be a huge morale booster! Better to be methodical and diligent for the long haul, rather than working in explosive bursts that burn out fast —- that’s what I say.

Also? Accept that you can’t do everything, not at once and not as fast as you’d like. Remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as Getting Stuff Done, because doing the former will ultimately help you kick ass in the latter. It’s about balance, my friend.

Love, Your Beluga Best Friend.

Soothing blue and violet crayon BBF drawing by Ted, who Tumbls at http://lachrimaestro.tumblr.com/!

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