Preparing for Trek | #siantreksamerica
It's not long now until I take on Trek America, and I would be lying if I said I was totally prepared for it. I am absolutely pooping my pants... Which is an indication that I am totally doing the right thing. I mentioned in my first #siantreksamerica post that certain thoughts and behaviours have slowly been creeping their way back in - the main one being procrastination due to anxiety.
Naturally when I'm anxious, I will avoid the task that is causing the anxiousness. Whilst this does offer a temporary release initially, it does no good for my wellbeing in the long run. At first I will feel calmer, but as time goes on, and as I become more aware of the lack of progress being made, my level of worry increases. I know this doesn't sound logical; I know it would make more sense to crack on with something right away in order to get it out of the way, but my self-defence mechanism is to cut myself off.
In this case, even though I am beyond excited for the trip, I don't think I'm allowing myself to fully understand how utterly terrified I am too. In an attempt to calm my nerves, I've lost myself in daydreams of how awesome it is going to be, rather than considering all the items I need to buy and when I need to buy them for, the paperwork I need to acquire or what I'd like to wear on each day. Just writing these aspects down makes me feel stressed and under pressure... My brain doesn't register these things as steps I need to take, but panic-inducing obstacles I would rather not face altogether. I start to worry I'll forget something, that my lack of preparedness will mean I'll inevitably make a fool of myself, and that I somehow won't be permitted to travel on the trek.
Catching onto this thought pattern early, as well as the consequent behaviours that come with it, has been vital in ensuring I am prepared for trek. Working to change a fight or flight response is difficult, as I'm attempting to change what has become a natural behaviour, but I'm getting there.
Starting off small has ultimately been key. Rather than allowing myself to be weighted down by the thought of everything, making a list of things I needed to have and do has been the perfect starting point. Turning the circling thoughts of things I didn't want to forget into a physical list meant avoiding keeping myself up at night, fretting that something had slipped my mind. Doing one thing a day then allowed me to build up momentum. By choosing to do or purchase one thing each day, I was able to make steady progress, and that allowed me to feel on top of things. And finally by making myself accountable, through sharing updates online and writing in my diary, I've felt more inclined to get on. No one likes the guilty feeling that comes with letting someone down - and I didn't want to let myself down either.
This weekend I'll be making my way to Heathrow, and spending a glorious long haul flight watching movies, reading and writing; otherwise known as my idea of heaven. I'm as prepared as I can be and now I just want to jump in head first. As posts going up on Sian Blogs over the next week or so will be scheduled ones I've put together for whilst I am on trek, I guess all that's left to say is: catch you on the other side!