High Functioning Anxiety While Teaching

The blog that I wrote this week for my friend’s private practice could not have come at a better time, it’s on high functioning anxiety. I’ll link it when it becomes live.

It’s relevant for me today because I taught my first class of the semester. Though I think I was repetitive and second guessed a lot of my content, I think it went a lot better than the first days of other classes have gone. But high functioning anxiety has many pesky symptoms that I experienced today, such as:

  • Losing time due to over planning and over thinking
  • Feeling like I’m worth less if I’m not constantly busy
  • Feeling the need to be/appear perfect as to not make waves or draw attention to myself
  • Feeling like an imposter and that I just shouldn’t do anything or try

 

That’s some real….real shhhhhittt right there. But I have noticed that these things become less and less intense for me as time goes on and I teach more. I know I have something to offer and I can be fun and entertaining along the way to help people engage in the material. It’s just hard when I know anxiety prevents me from being myself, which… most of the time, I actually think people will like who I am and learn something from me. Those days are hard when I know I could’ve done better if it weren’t for anxiety. Today wasn’t so bad as other “first days” so that is definitely encouraging. I’m going to try to do all of my prepping days in advance so I won’t lose time fretting on Mondays, I’ll just practice.

I was so anxious I actually did yoga on my office floor. I’m not sure if it actually helped, but, maybe it did. I didn’t dissociate at all throughout class, and I don’t think I fudged my words up too bad either for the most part. Maybe I need to slow down a bit and try not to repeat myself, but… I don’t think it was atrocious or completely annoying so that’s good. And I can always try again next week lol. I tell new instructors to over prepare but for me sometimes I still need to work on pacing, so if I over prepare I may feel rushed to try to do everything I prepared! I didn’t do that tonight, so that’s good too. I’ll just start with the activity next week that we didn’t get to tonight. Teaching at a master’s level is fun but hard. I’m hoping it’ll keep getting easier. I am also excited that it looks like I should be able to teach a course online this summer, so that’ll be a great experience! I think my main tip for people with high functioning anxiety, who look like and ARE overachievers but suffer silently, is simple… don’t quit.

 

But also…

 

fight the underlying belief that you likely have that you are worthless if you are not constantly busy. You don’t have to persuade people of your worth or “earn your keep” to take up space. You deserve to take up space just by virtue of being alive. And being you.

 

 

 

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