Anxiety Advice #2: Backpack

Autism or not, many of us dislike leaving our house unprepared. If you’re anything like me and you hate being in situations where you run into small problems that could have easily been prevented, then today I have some tips and tricks for you! These are going to be tips specifically for general anxiety. The things that creep in all the time. If you’re looking for advice on panic attacks, I will definitely provide that in a later post, but that’s for another day. As you’ve seen in the title of this post, today we’re talking about the good old backpack. Now let’s make one thing very clear. We don’t discriminate over here. If you’re a shoulder bag or handbag kind of person then don’t feel shunned, we accept you for who you are, despite your flawed bag usage. Today’s topic is not about the bags themselves, although I bought a nice new backpack for school and internship, so I can use my old one for work at the mail. Today’s topic is the things we put in that backpack, that can help us prevent and deal with anxiety. So let’s not waste either of our time and jump right into it.

  • Google maps. Most of us have our phone in our pockets and not our bag, but it’s crucial. Having access to maps, public transport planning apps and google in general can make your experience in an unfamiliar place so much more manageable. Bring a powerback or make sure your phone is properly charged and your data hasn’t run out.
  • Painkillers. I get a headache when I’m super anxious. Or stomach pains. Or other random pains. They’re rarely super invasive, although the stomach pains can get quite rough at times. Having painkillers on hand is always a good idea to get rid of an annoying distraction.
  • Bandaids. These can be more or less useful depending on either how clumsy you are or what you’re doing that could require them. As a mailman I somewhat regularly cut myself on a sharp edge of a mailbox. Not every other week of course, but it happens enough times that having bandaids on hand is nice.
  • Tissues. Do you have hayfever? Do you sweat a lot? Are you prone to nosebleeds? Any number of other reasons you could need tissues. It’s such a convenient item to have on you and it’s been useful to me more times than I can count.
  • Water bottle/sugar. I like having water with me on warm days so I always have access to something to drink. Sometimes you just get a bad taste in your mouth and having some water to deal with it is great. When I say sugar I mean bring some food that has some substance to it that you can easily and quickly eat. To give an example; I used to bring a mars bar to every exam I took because it would give me a little energy boost and avoid my nerves turning into hunger and my stomach rumbling during the exam.
  • Pen. Kore wa pen desu. Did anyone else ever see that logic on Japanese TV about how covid would spread less with their softer language compared to the harsh English? But having a pen on hand as well as a notebook of sorts can be really nice. In the modern day and age it’s not nearly as necessary with our phones and everything, but in my line of work being able to write something down on paper can still be really useful.
  • Anything else that you feel like you need. At the end of the day, us anxious people need to do what we can to prepare ourselves for the scary world. If you have tools that can help you with that then bring those with you at all times. Things like cash if your card gets declined, a public transport card with money on it if you live in a country that uses those often, a jacket, your keys, glasses wipes, deodorant, anything else you can think of.

Don’t overpack your backpack and log away a heavy bag for no reason, but most of the things I mentioned here are not too heavy and should be alright. You could put some in your pockets instead of a backpack, it’s about what works best for you. When you prepare yourself properly for the smaller things then you can focus your energy on the bigger things that come your way without distractions. 

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