Time and Anxiety

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.

Recently, it feels like time has perpetually changed its speed. At one point, it seems like time is passing faster than the speed of light. Then there are other points where it seems like time couldn’t possibly drag any slower. I can’t seem to ever notice it actually change speed, but when I see that it’s 4:30PM on a Monday but I can’t even recall waking up on Saturday, my mind is so confused that I lose the ability to focus on anything else. Time also seems to change speed when the people you live with leave town for a week or two. You don’t necessarily have them to keep you grounded in your perception of time, even though you have work and school to give you somewhat of a schedule.

With this seemingly endless change in the speed of time, it’s hard to have a grip on what is reality and what you just dreamed of. Like, did I actually go to my favorite restaurant to go on a date, or did I just have a dream about going on a date with someone who’s face I saw in passing?

It doesn’t help my anxiety when I can’t tell what’s actually happening in my life. I get anxious that I missed something or forgot about another thing. I panic without any second thought and I don’t give myself the opportunity to even consider that maybe I didn’t forget or miss anything. It’s unproductive to say the least.

But I’ve acknowledged my tendency to do that and even have learned to prevent it from happening! I have everything written out on a calendar, and all of my assignments organized in an Excel sheet to make sure I didn’t/don’t miss anything. My calendar always gives me alerts in the case that I do end up forgetting about an event. I always check and update those things, and that’s how I’m able to keep myself on track.

I hope time stops playing tricks on me. Or rather, I hope my perception of time normalizes itself again soon.

Has your child ever complained about time moving too quickly or slowly? Have a discussion with them about when this seems to happen. What kinds of organizational tools do you think would benefit your child?

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