I‘m writing this as I sit in a coffee shop eating lunch alone – to some of you this may seem like an easy, everyday task but to me this is a big deal. Not only do I tend to stress about going anywhere alone, 6 months ago I would never be able to achieve this. But now I sit here and eat with not a care in the world. As some of you will know I am a very organised person – I like to have a plan for every moment of every day: what I am going to do, what I’m going to eat etc. I also like to have a plan for what is going to happen in the future, and my plan is I intend to complete my MSc and hopefully get on to a doctorate ((eventually)). Although this can sometimes be beneficial when it comes to studying and exams, it definitely has it downside. Over the past 12 months I have experienced anxiety, and not only did it appear suddenly, but it was something I had never before experienced at such an extreme. I am normally a pretty calm, confident person – I had my shit together – and so when anxiety reared its ugly head it did knock me for six. But since feeling anxious I have come to realise that my over planning everything could be what is making me feel this way. I’ve realised that spending too much time thinking about the future not only stresses you out, but is unnecessary – life changes and we adapt with it, so it is silly to feel the need to plan every second. I need to live in the moment! Because of this I’ve come to terms with not having a 10 year plan and even though I know that one day I will achieve my goals ((whatever they might be)) and may have that doctorate that is so desperately sought after, I also know that it doesn’t matter how long it takes. Life should not be measured by educational // work achievements, it should be measured by your happiness. As such I intend to do what makes me happy, whether its travelling, blogging, continuing education, or just generally running towards the things that scare me. I would never have done this before, and so, although my anxiety clearly has its downsides, it has led me to have a greater understanding of what is really important in life – happiness! Taking care of myself is something I have never really given much thought to in the past, but recently it’s something I’ve decided to focus on a little more. I now keep a mindfulness journal which I write in every night, and I’ve found the best way to get rid of your stress is to throw it onto paper and then never consider it again. I also make sure I have a little ‘me time’ everyday. Since starting this blog I have not only thrust myself out into the world which is something I find rather daunting, but I have given myself an outlet through which I intend to document the highs and lows of the next year / few years ((or however long this burst of inspiration lasts)). This is one of the reasons I decided to publish this post as a reminder to myself when I’m feeling anxious/ stressed, that what I’m worrying about is unnecessary and will probably be irrelevant in a few days anyway – like all things it will pass. As Buddha once said: “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment”.