In this episode, Allison and Chris tackle a place and topic which, by all accounts, shouldn’t be anxiety inducing. And yet, they’ve got a few things that set them off.
In this early episode of the show’s history, your hosts are finding their groove and rapport whilst avoiding those strong rays of the sun on the metaphorical beach. Yeah, we don’t know if that sentence holds up either, but let’s just roll with it.
I’m Anxious About The Beach Because…
- If you’re highly sensitive to touch, the feeling of the sand, sunscreen, and so forth can set you off. Especially if you have a tendency to fixate on the little things.
- The beach, typically, is a place “of relaxation” and sometimes it’s difficult to shift into that relaxation gear.
- You can’t always control who you’ll encounter on the beach and whether or not you’ll be left alone or will end up focused on the comings and goings.
3 Tips If You Have Anxiety About The Beach
- Remember that your experience somewhere will never be perfect, so we need to do our best to play whatever cards are dealt as opposed to wishing we had a different hand. Even if someone parks themselves besides you and plays loud music, you’re still at the beach having a nice time.
- Wear lots of sunscreen. Seriously, there’s nothing worse than dealing with the pain (and shame) or a sunburn. Sorry, we’re lame now, and that just needs to be our tip. We’ve both spent too many days flagellating ourselves for not practicing sun safety well enough.
- Use your visit to the beach as an excuse to relax and give yourself some grace. No matter who you are and where you are, you deserve a break. Practice some self-love as well when it comes to body image – we’re all unique in our own way, and it’s not about comparing to others, it’s about finding peace within ourselves.
IAA 3: I’m Anxious About The Beach
In this episode, Chris and Allison discuss their anxieties about the beach. From what to wear to the beach to picking the right beach reading (hint: probably not Kierkegaard) to sunburn trauma to how stressful it is to try to relax, Chris and Allison break down what most people would consider to be a peaceful day at the beach in verbose detail.
SPEAKERS: Christopher Mitchell and Allison Green
Hey everybody, thanks for tuning in to another episode of I’m Anxious About!
You’ll have your normal intro in a minute, but I just wanted to let you know and pop in here really quickly to let you know that for one reason or another the audio quality isn’t perfect on this episode, especially on my recording.
Just letting you know that we’re striving to get better each and every episode. You know, as you would know if you’ve been listening, we are nervous about this in the first place, but we’re trying our best here and and just letting you know that we’ve recorded a few episodes now and this is the only one that we kind of feel is a little iffy on the on the recording. So we apologize for that and we’ll do our best to make sure doesn’t happen again. Thanks so much for tuning into this episode. We appreciate it and hope you enjoy!
Christopher Mitchell 0:48
Hello, welcome to I’m Anxious About, a podcast where two friends commiserate about our respective anxieties on a new topic each week. I’m Christopher Mitchell.
Allison Green 1:00
And I’m Allison green.
Christopher Mitchell 1:02
And today we are anxious about the beach.
Allison Green 1:27
It’s funny that this is our topic because right now I would give just about anything to be on a beach right now currently, it looks like a big improvement over lockdown. But in general, in non-pandemic situations, I get a little bit anxious about going to the beach. And by that I don’t necessarily mean that I hate going to the beach. But yeah, sometimes I have some problems with the beach.
Christopher Mitchell 1:54
Yeah, I know.
I think it’s just kind of a little bit of a fun topic to talk about at this time. For a little behind the scenes action for people – we have a large list of topics that we know we’re going to cover in due time, but an alarming amount of them just tie a little too closely to the whole Coronavirus thing.
So we were looking to be one of those podcasts that provided a bit of a reprieve and doesn’t just talk about that the whole time. And so the beach seemed like a good topic where we could talk about some legitimate anxieties or things that both of us kind of have or feel towards the beach without only focusing on Coronavirus.
Allison Green 2:38
Yeah, we’re looking down our list of things and it’s like public transportation – “nope, can’t do that. Definitely afraid of that now.” So yeah, like we said, we are definitely probably similar to you – feeling overwhelmed by the sheer onslaught of pandemic news that comes out each day.
And I think that there is a balance, especially for people with anxiety, of staying informed and then being hyper plugged in and just like really, like ramping yourself up, going all crazy for no reason, because there’s actually nothing you can do to control what you’re what’s happening. So we are trying to be a reprieve from it. But also we’re acknowledging the realities of where we are right now, which I am currently on lockdown in Sofia, Bulgaria and Chris, you’re in Toronto.
Christopher Mitchell 3:36
Mm hmm. I sure am. Yeah, and my feeling is, we’re gonna remain in those respective lockdown positions for quite some time. But, you know, to your point, I guess I can speak for myself when I mention that I’m an avid podcast listener. And at this point, I’m just looking at any episode which doesn’t cover Coronavirus right now, and I’m listening to them. I’m consuming that material. Because otherwise, it’s just a little too much to handle.
So, I think you know, in the spirit of, trying to be a podcast that’s lifting people up a little bit, hopefully providing a smile or two and keeping things pretty fun, right? I don’t think we need to go down the rabbit hole that all of us are already at the bottom of.
Allison Green 4:31
So speaking of bottom, on a scale of one to falling apart at the seams, how are you feeling today?
Christopher Mitchell 4:38
It’s a good question. I think it changes by the minute and hour but at this moment, feeling pretty good because I have been excited all day to record this podcast, to be honest. So I feel pretty good about that.
On a more broad scale, I think I’m just kind of regularly playing with the the scales of my of my natural person as far as like, I like to be a positive person, I like to be optimistic. But I also need to accept that this is a little bit of a struggle for me because I like to be out. I like to be moving. I don’t like to be restricted. So I think it’s probably fair to say that – I would say, if we’re going with one to falling apart of the seams, I’m probably about a four.
I don’t feel like I’m close to falling apart, but at the same time I don’t think I’m my number one best self. But I will say I’m meditating a lot. I have my longest meditation streak I’ve ever had going right now.
Allison Green 5:32
I’m actually anxious about meditation. So let’s put that on the docket for a future episode.
Christopher Mitchell 5:37
A future episode that I’m adding to our list right now. But I think for me, I guess the way I would, what I would put it as is that I’m, under the circumstances, I think I’m doing fairly well. So I’m going to say for the seams are in intact, How about yourself?
Allison Green 5:57
So I think about the same for me, I had my heart set on a four because you know, anxious people need to prepare before everything. So like I had already sort of looked over, our format, and I’m like, “Okay, my number today is four, and then I was like getting ready to give you an update about how potty training our dog is going because that was stressing me out a little bit last week. And then literally, five minutes before we get on this call, he pees all over the bathroom floor. So first accident in a week. So good timing for that.
And now I’m like, “hmm, am I still a four? Do I have to have to pick a new number now.” And now I’m getting a little anxious about picking any number, but I think I’m actually still a four. It didn’t set me back that far. It was slightly stressful because we were really proud of how we were all doing, but at the same time got to be realistic that he is an eight year old dog who’s never had a home. So he’s doing quite well. So I’m happy about that.
And yeah, overall, tons of ups and downs. Yesterday was like a super down day, just like no energy, no motivation. I felt like I was asleep half the day – several nap fake outs where you like go, and you’re so tired, and you think you need to nap. But then you just like lie there, then you just can’t sleep and you just fake yourself out. And I had several of those yesterday, which was a frustrating experience. And today, I feel more at ease more chill. So I’m gonna do a four as well today.
Christopher Mitchell 7:34
Yeah, I think four is is is good stuff. And I’m pretty excited about our topic today, which is the beach because I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun to talk about. And I have my own feelings about it. And those feelings have changed over time, too. So I want to talk about the the evolution of the way that I relate to the beach and all of this fun stuff. But before we get started, we always just like to mention that, you know, if you’re coming here to commiserate with us, fantastic. But we are not doctors, we are not anything more than really people who like to talk a fair bit to each other. And hope that resonates with people. Fair to say?
Allison Green 8:18
Yes, yeah, we aren’t here to help. We’re just here to commiserate. So we wish we could help you. But we’re learning how to help ourselves one day at a time. And so this is just a chat between friends. And that’s all, yeah.
Christopher Mitchell 8:35
If it helps, okay, great. So let’s dive in.
Allison Green 8:48
Do you have your little list of segues? Or did that just pop into your head?
Christopher Mitchell 8:55
It came to me, it rose to the surface that. We are on a roll. Yeah, I actually didn’t write that one down. I do have a list of things to write down because as with you the preparation thing is real. Yeah, started to get, I would say heavily stressed around 12:30 that I didn’t have everything in order. So then I created that little list on the Google Doc which I pointed to before, which I’m sure is both helping us now. Yeah. And yeah, so I didn’t have it written down. Those things came to me naturally. But I’m still proud of myself.
Allison Green 9:35
Well tell yourself off Chris. I don’t think that actually worked right there. But I just that came to me and then I’ve had to use it. So
Christopher Mitchell 9:46
So let’s get rolling on this. So you have you have some anxieties about the beach, I do to How are you feeling about it? How does it make you feel, generally?
Allison Green 10:00
Okay, so there are several factors. One being that I am ghastly pale, and the threat of the sun is real. I am “melanin challenged,” as I like to say. And the there’s just a constant battle of putting sunscreen on constantly and not forgetting and not missing a spot. And like reapplying at the perfect time.
Like, you can’t reapply after you’ve just come out of the water because you’re too wet, then you have to dry off a little bit and then reapply. But then you don’t want to go back in the water right away, right? Because then when you come back out, gotta reapply all over again. And so just the whole sunscreen aspect of applying reapplying. And then l travel alone quite a bit. And then it’s like, well, if I’m traveling alone, like how am I going to get sunscreen on my back, you know? And then that becomes a big issue. And I’m not going to ask someone so I’m just going to suffer like third degree burns on my back, I guess. I know it sounds like really small. But it is something that has always given me a bit of anxiety about the beach, because ever since I was young, I mean blame my parents, they were not very good at reapplying sunscreen, and I have several terrifying lobster photos of my youth to prove it.
I don’t know, there have been times where just like for like two weeks I was baked red like a lobster. Like this one time in Colombia, I was bright red for weeks. And I get such severe tan lines from those burns that it’s like I become two different people. Almost like I have like, a half brown me and then a pale me and sometimes those weird zebra stripes. Although they aren’t really zebra stripes, because there’s just like whole slabs of body that will be just like different colors for like, an entire season or more. And so the stress of managing sun protection is real. It’s real.
Christopher Mitchell 12:07
Yeah, I actually had underlined sunscreen, because I have a thing about things feel. Like when I was a kid before I would go off to school and my parents would have like five to six pairs of socks out just in case one of them was not alright. So I have a thing with how things feel. I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s a good common childhood ADHD thing. I’m not really sure.
Allison Green 12:34
Honestly,I have that now, I can’t wear tights. Like I refuse to wear tights. They feel horrible. I don’t like tags. I have a thing about hings being really close on my neck. Totally activates my anxiety and I feel like I can’t breathe. And there a couple other things like that. I think a lot of people with anxiety are very attune to their senses because like at any minute we’re prepared for alarm bells go off psychologically. And so I totally relate to the hypersensitivity to clothing and, and that sort of thing.
Christopher Mitchell 13:13
The other thing, too, is when I was a teenager, I had a pimple or two in my life. And we all know that sunscreens not great for the for the acne situation. So I think I got a little freaked out with that situation as well. So I always had this disdain for sunscreen, but then I met Bri. We’re in Episode Two, I think I’ve mentioned it before, but, if I haven’t She’s my wife, and she’s great with sun safety.
So I’d become better at understanding that actually, the downside of anything that could happen because I was wearing too much sunscreen is not as bad as whatever could happen if I wasn’t wearing the appropriate amount of sunscreen. So that’s what that’s the way I’ve come to terms with things that ultimately the wearing of the sunscreen, you know, it’s gonna be better in the end with with the sunscreen, you know?
Allison Green 14:06
Yeah, exactly. I don’t mind the feeling of sunscreen, I just hate the like the mental scheduling of applications and subsequent applications because that was really when I used to think if I go to the beach, I’m gonna get burned and there’s just no way around it, and then I’m just going to be miserable for a week. And then I learned about how often you actually have to reapply – after coming out of the water and towelling off and all that even, if it says “water resistant.”
And so I learned about that, but then I became hyper vigilant about constantly reapplying and reapplying. And it just takes a little bit of the fun out of it if you practically have to put a timer on your phone to be like “in 90 minutes, I must reapply before the burning commences.” But then I also discovered that paying for umbrellas and beach chairs is a fabulous investment as well, and helped sincerely. That has helped dramatically with avoiding sunburns.
Christopher Mitchell 15:16
This is the moment where we are going to be able to help with these little tidbits along the way. You need to underline and circle mentally the chairs and umbrella, because it totally changes the experienc. When I was a kid, the reason I didn’t love the beach was because I didn’t know what to do on the beach, I couldn’t like carve out my place on the beach. But it turns out if you go with a group of friends, perhaps a couple beers, you know, a little bit of food, you have a cooler, you have like a couple of umbrellas and chairs, then you you’re kind of building your own little village there. And if you have coverage from the sun – like that’s a game changer.
Allison Green 16:04
It is a game changer. And I think going to the beach with friends definitely makes it a lot more enjoyable. A lot of my anxieties come from being a frequent solo beach goer. So I have different experiences affect different facets of the anxiety differently – quite a few anxieties about the beach. Like one thing that really sucks about going to the beach alone, besides like lack of sunscreen, it’s like, well, what do you do with your stuff?
You know, like, there’s no one there to watch it. And you just kind of have to like, either bring nothing except like your key, I suppose. Or, like, bring a lot of stuff and just keep an eye on it. And just hope for the best or like, bury it. I don’t really know, you know, just there’s not really a great answer to what you’re supposed to do. I mean, maybe if more beaches had lockers, that would be a good solution. But not a lot of places have that. So when I have gone to the beach alone, it’s always like, “Okay, let me bring absolutely nothing.” And then I’ll go into the water for 20 or 30 minutes. And then I’m like, “Well, I don’t have my phone with me. So I’m bored now.”
And that’s a problem. Because I cannot sit still with my thoughts and just be bored somewhere pretty, no, then it’s like, oh, time to go to where the phone is.
Christopher Mitchell 17:27
That is my central anxiety of the beach is I’m terrified of boredom…and stillness. And the thought of just like, lying there in the waves of my own thoughts can be a little anxiety inducing. Even music doesn’t even really cut it for me, I have to be listening to podcasts. And generally I try to make sure that like they’re not like productivity podcasts, so that I can at least pretend I’m relaxing. But the struggle is real. It’s like I have this grave tug of war in my mind of like – everything with me is very mapped out. So like in my head. If I’m not being productive and listening to productivity podcasts, I’m listening to podcasts which aren’t productive so that I can relax and be productive later. But it’s all part of it’s all part of a grand scheme. So it is because I’m intentionally relaxing that it’s not all that relaxing. Um, yeah, so that’s so there’s that.
Allison Green 18:45
Yeah, I really hardcore to the boredom aspect of the beach, and not knowing what to do with myself there. Like, I will bring a book and that’ll keep me entertained for a bit. But then inevitably, like, you know, you don’t want to read the book for a while or you go into the water and then you don’t want to get the pages wet. Or like, if you have like a Kindle, the thing is too bright and you can’t get the right brightness for the light. So then eventually, reading becomes difficult.
And then yeah, listening to music doesn’t do it for me, either. Podcasts in cars can distract me enough because I just feel like I’m eavesdropping on someone’s conversation and I enjoy that immensely. So I can sit there listening to a couple of podcasts for a while. But then I do also feel like if I’m not there with a group of people who are like, I don’t know, organizing activities, I don’t even know what beach activities one would organize because I can never amass a crew to go to the beach
But like I don’t know, if there are activities going on. I’m sure I would be enjoying beach volleyball or something because I’m competitive and get into that kind of stuff. But you know if it’s just like me and a friend sitting on the beach relaxing. Um, yeah, I can relax for about 15 minutes and then I’m like, “Okay, my mind needs something to do. “Okay. Books time Oh, book times over. Okay, now I need to either nap or drink or leave. Yep.
Christopher Mitchell 20:15
Yeah. And I can’t nap. So for me, it’s like drink or leave. However, I mean, I think I got to put a few positive check marks in the drinking at the beach category.
Allison Green 20:27
That’s a game changer.
Christopher Mitchell 20:28
Super, super fun, super fun. And I don’t know if someone’s got the right music on you kind of feel like you’re part of like a really good sitcom for a few minutes. You know, it’s like the music is going in the sunshine and you’re like, “there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.” Now I have learned in my older age that you will pay for this. Four hours later when you arrive back in the dim place that you’re staying, and you’re pretty fatigued. But I would still say worth it.
Allison Green 20:54
Yeah, I’m gonna heartily disagree with you on other people’s music at the beach, though your own..
Christopher Mitchell 21:01
…music HAS to be your own.
Allison Green 21:02
Okay, okay. So your own music. Yes. Other people’s music is a hard path. For me. It’s extremely rare that I enjoy other people’s tastes and music. And I don’t think I’m like particularly snobby about music, or even particularly particular. But apparently, when I’m on the beach, I’m a real snob. I’m like, “no, that’s not the right tune for this moment.”
Christopher Mitchell 21:26
“Turn it off.” But I mean, there is a certain beach culture, right? Where it’s like, people will play it loud. Like it’s not even for them anymore. It’s like the loudest possible volume. And it somehow always comes back to Sean Paul. And then you go down that rabbit hole. And that can be difficult – sometimes I’ll be like trying to read some book and it’s like Kierkegaard or something like that. And I’m like, I can’t do this.
Allison Green 22:04
I think I solved your problem. You’re reading Kierkegaard at the beach? No!
So like, I feel you because I was a literature major. So at one point in my life, I had a list of like, what all the classic books were, and I was like, “I need to make it through this list.” And I would, you know, download on my Kindle, like War and Peace and all these things that I knew that I had to, as an English studying person. And I pretty much stopped reading for several years because the pressure of these books that I knew I had to read that I didn’t really want to read.
Like, I’m not really interested in very many books that happened pre 1800s. And so I was like, “You know what, I want to read more this year, and I’m going to give myself permission to read total filth” And so I started with like Gone Girl – you know, like thrillers, psychological thrillers.
I will just read anything. It’s like, oh, there’s a dead husband – gotta read it. A woman’s in a mysterious coma, perfect for the beach. So I think you just need some dumber reading for the beach.
You need like some light psychological thrillers.
Christopher Mitchell 23:29
I will never venture into filth or filth light. Just because I have an anxiety inducing reading list. It doesn’t have to be Kierkegaard, but there’s plenty of things which are, I guess my own version of filth light that I can contend with that are more beach appropriate. I think the last time I was at the beach was in Mexico in March. Of course, I’m cherishing that memory now because I can’t go anywhere.
Allison Green 23:54
Yeah, real humblebrag there.
Christopher Mitchell 23:58
And I was reading a book called “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.”
Allison Green 24:05
That sounds fun! I actually want to read that book.
Christopher Mitchell 24:08
It is good. I’m actually enjoying it quite a bit because it takes a lot of the, like pompous sort of elevated nature out of meditation and just makes it more about your own experience.
Just kind of looking in, and then actually enjoyed it a lot. So I’ll read something like that. Bri makes fun of me, but I’ll bring three to five books to the beach because I never know where I’m gonna end up mentally and what I want to read. But I’ll have one book in there that’s not you know – I’ll make sure it’s not Kierkegaard. I’ll maybe have like a Vonnegut and a few other things going on, but like to put it in perspective, the library, the Toronto Public Library is closed, and I can’t even remember if I mentioned this last episode, but the Toronto Public Library closed and I was fortunate to have 17 books out that I don’t know when I have to return, so that’s some perspective.
I try to read about 70 books a year. But like I’m a little bit of a cheater in that. Like, for example, I was just reading a collection of short stories by John Updike. I read like four or five stories from the collection. And then I was like, I think I’m good. I’ll add that on Goodreads, but I’ll put it…I have a folder called “not quite cover to cover.” So that gives you the depth of…
Allison Green 25:28
Christopher Mitchell 25:32
I have like folders for books I’ve read, for my favorites. Yeah, it’s pretty extensive.
Allison Green 25:40
Yeah, I would like to see like a YouTube video of like, all your folders and organizational systems…it would be like a bit of psychological warfare on you.
Christopher Mitchell 25:56
it’s very likely that that tangent probably caused someone to be like, “Listening to you. Telling me about the way you approach reading, makes me anxious.” You could have been like, yeah, “Chris, you should really read some filth. I could have said like, “Yeah, totally.” But instead, I took a lap. And I was like, let me tell you about reading.
Let me tell you about my folders. So yeah, so that’s kind of where I was reading.
I’m getting better with all that – I read more, more widely now in it, but in all actuality, reading is my happy place. So I think part of the reason I do like the beach is because it’s like I read kind of every night before I go to sleep and I haven’t really figured out that many other places that can fit reading into other than traveling or being in the process of traveling. So I can appreciate a place like the beach where reading is one of the activities which is like in the top three. You know what I mean?
Well, I’m happy we went down that rabbit hole. So that’s one thing that I love about the beach. The other thing that I’m kind of all about is like I love playing in the waves – there’s something about being in the water for me where I feel like a kid again. It’s extremely rejuvenating I every time I go in the water, I get bounced around the waves and I come back and Bri makes fun of me for being a manchild, which is partially true on the beach. I’m unapologetically like basically like a dolphin. I just kind of jump into the waves and play in the water for inexplicable amounts of time.
How do you feel about in the water playing in the water or me being a manchild in the waves?
Allison Green 27:52
I wish I can be a child in the waves. I was gonna say “manchild in the waves.”
I wish I liked playing in the waves, but there’s just always something that goes wrong usually in the form of like water in the nose, which is probably like top 10 least favorite sensations, or swallowing.
Swallowing salt water and salt water in the nose. Like when the salt water just like goes up, like it hits you in the face and some goes in your nose or like you dive in and then you come back up and then there’s salt water in your nose.
And I had one experience when I was eight years old where like I swallowed way, way way too much seawater and I vomited up like the most bright orange vomit you could ever imagine. What scarred me it makes me feel like the saltwater is that much worse. Like obviously I know you’re not supposed to drink it. I guess it feels more harrowing when I get hit by a wave and there’s like saltwater in my nose and stuff. I really don’t like it. Other things I don’t like I don’t like the seaweed. If there’s seaweed and it’s like wrapping around my legs, it freaks me out.
And rocks – If like there has to be a decent rock situation, not too many rocks. I prefer some sand and not too strong of waves. And also, I only really want to be out there for about 15 minutes at a time because then I get bored
Christopher Mitchell 29:28
Okay, I think 15 minutes is about my threshold for the manchild plan. But it’s a thrilling 15 minutes.
I actually love putting myself in positions where I can’t access my phone or I can’t be distracted. I have to be like fully immersed in situations. So that’s why I love sports. I love playing hockey, for example. Because there is no point craving being somewhere else doing something else checking my phone or whatever. I like that 15 minute escape where it’s like, no matter how much I might want to, like, I just can’t and then I, I kind of get like a nice separation – that feeling that nobody could reach me even if they wanted to. And there’s like an exhilaration in that.
Allison Green 30:28
yeah, that is kind of nice. I have some slight feeling of panic, also associated with not being near my phone. But it is, overall a nice feeling when you realize, wow, like, I’ve been managing to do things without my phone for a long time. And that’s why I’ve been getting more into exercising and other things during this quarantine time – because otherwise, it’s either big internet or tiny internet.
You know, phone or laptop. But I don’t know, I just get kind of bored. I don’t really know what I’m supposed to do. Like, am I supposed to? What am I supposed to do with my hands? Am I supposed to go under like, you know? I just sort of feel like I don’t really know what all the options are. And the other thing is like I’m a total baby about the water temperature. I don’t like water that’s too cold.
And as a Canadian, you’re probably like, “as long as it’s not ice it’s fine. But I really don’t want to go into water unless it’s basically tropical. Or it’s over 100 Fahrenheit out and I’m burning so much that I just need to be in the water. And then I’ll get in the water no matter what. But I am not all about that sort of like middle of the road water. I just won’t get in. I’ll just dip my toes in and then depart.
Christopher Mitchell 32:02
I mean, that’s terrible too, right? when it’s like scorching. And you’re like, “Oh, that’s sweet, refreshing water. Oh, and it’s a bath.”
Allison Green 32:15
It’s never like that all the way though. You know what I mean? iI can be like that at the very start of the shore, but if you go far enough out, it’s never like total bath water everywhere.
Christopher Mitchell 32:27
I will take a cold Lake over anything.
Allison Green 32:33
Christopher Mitchell 32:35
Is our partnership over, do you think?
Allison Green 32:38
It might be? It might be, I mean, next thing you say you’re gonna be like, “I love to show up at the cold lake with a cooler full of bananas and play some Nickelback with all my friends.”
Christopher Mitchell 32:52
Well, I think I mean, for me that just kind of goes without saying every time you jump into cold water, you need a cooler full of bananas, right? Because of the lack of potassium, that the water or cold lake water seeps out of you. That’s a thing. That’s definitely a thing.
Do you know what though? It’s been a tradition since I was a young man to have the cooler of bananas. And then we’ll jump into the cold lake water. And then of course, dangle our feet into the seaweed. And then we cheer for the respective bananas for Allison.
Allison Green 33:40
So earlier, I was psychologically tormenting you by forcing you to do a YouTube video about your pop your folders and I’m now sensing that this is your revenge on me.
Christopher Mitchell 33:53
I couldn’t resist. But actually, I do like cold water because I feel like it kind of snaps me out of whatever is bothering me. So if I’m a little bit anxious., and a little bit out of it, I feel like, for me, cold water is the refresh button.
Allison Green 34:09
Are you a cold shower person?
Christopher Mitchell 34:11
No, I’m not a cold shower person. But I’m starting to experiment with the idea of it.
I’m into meditation now and this kind of stuff. And people are talking about like the whole mind control aspect and like being able to control your emotion in the cold showers and stuff. But now it gets starting. If I ventured too far in that direction, it could get a little bit like weird and preachy and I don’t want to become that podcaster that’s like, “oh, you can only take cold showers,” you know? like,
So we’re venturing on territory here where now I’m exploring the appropriate mindfulness, but I’m not imposing it. But if like if I started to get into the cold showers and that sort of thing to that depth, I wonder if I’m playing with dangerous territory, you know?
Allison Green 35:00
I will snap you out of it if you start taking cold showers.
Christopher Mitchell 35:03
At the same time, I love putting everything aside and taking a hot shower. I find like, it sounds so freaking cliche but like I love the space it affords me to think. However, there is a possibility that like one third of the way in the shower an idea comes to my mind that I’m panicked about losing.
So I will just repeat over and over in my head for the 66% of the shower that’s left, which can ruin the shower. And that’s like my primary thing with meditation, too. Like you’re supposed to like acknowledge your thoughts and let them pass. But sometimes I have a thought come to my mind that I really want to hold onto it. And I’m desperate to write it down. But like it’s like guided meditation, it’s like that the thoughts run past it in my head. And I have regular problem my life of not being able to discern, actually how important the thought is.
Allison Green 36:04
I’m like my grandma, I’m very forgetful. My grandma used to always say something when I would forget what I wanted to say something. And I would go, “it was important.” She goes “if you forgot it, it must not have been very important,” and my blood would boil.
Like, it was the most important thing in the world, Grandma, it was gonna change your life.
Christopher Mitchell 36:26
But you know what, it’s funny. It’s funny. Like, that’s not even an exaggeration.
When I forget something I picture… like I reverse catastrophize where it’s like, well, there goes my Emmy. There goes the Nobel Prize I would have for that project.
Even though I’m not even sure it was related to anything. It could have been related to wanting to eat yogurt in the morning or something. But maybe the yogurt would have given me that that real spur of energy I needed to create the Nobel Prize idea.
Allison Green 36:58
It very well might have a very well, who? Who can tell?
Allison Green 37:02
Just to be safe eat two yogurts tomorrow.
Christopher Mitchell 37:05
Exactly. I think that’s the that’s the main thing.
I’m sure there’s a lot of people who aren’t necessarily comfortable in their own skin. And it’s a difficult thing to want to go to the beach. I mean, I personally don’t suffer too much from that.
I’ve accepted that I’m not gonna have sculpted abs, but I try to make up for it with my boisterous and humorous personality. And, and I’ve accepted that on the beach, I’m not going to be the guy like, when I went to Sydney, Australia, just looked at all the people running at lunch with the rock hard abs, I just knew that that couldn’t be me ever.
So I’ve more or less just accepted it. I think Bri has a little bit more, she doesn’t always feel great. I think she always looks great. She doesn’t always feel great. And so I don’t have any really anxieties around my body at the beach. But I also recognize that that’s probably a big thing for a lot of people. I don’t know how, like, if you’re just like, “I’m good to go, whatever.”
But I personally don’t have a huge challenge – I did when I was a little younger, but I thought we should at least bring it up. Because I’m sure there are some people that like the moment we mentioned anxiety about the beach, they were like, Well, obviously it’s gonna be body related, but we haven’t really talked about it.
Allison Green 38:28
Yeah, for me, that’s a major thing. It’s something that I’ve made a lot of progress on. But I had an eating disorder in my teenage years. And so sort of recovering from the body dysmorphia.
And just like accepting what is the true size of my body has been sort of like a challenge. I don’t know, I just feel very disconnected from what my body actually looks like as a result of having an eating disorder and recovering from it. And so for a while I would wear like, like very like almost like Mormon approved bathing suits, you know?
And I was looking at a photo of myself, and I was wearing like swim shorts. It looks almost like a black censorship bar. And that was just sort of like an aha moment that was like, you know, you’re in your 20s…
And people of any size should wear whatever the hell they want. But me talking to myself, I’m like, you’re a perfectly like reasonable human size, people would look at you and say she looks healthy.
And I was covering myself up so much to the point where I was looking at myself and being like, “why aren’t you wearing so much?!” And so, ever since then I’ve challenged myself to wear slightly more, you know, age appropriate things. Not like going into like the Instagram girl thong territory, but like…
Yeah, I’ve retired the censorship bar boy shorts, those are long gone. But for me another thing that gives me anxiety is like, just about summer in general, this is not necessarily beach specific. I’ve mostly recovered from, you know, my body image issues, and I’m pretty happy with how I look. But I have major chub rub which is like when your thighs like rub together, if you’re not wearing like pants or something, if you’re, you know, just wearing like a dress or a bathing suit or whatever.
And you can get like huge like chafing and rash. And every summer long, that’s just something I struggle with. And it gives me so much anxiety and just like becauseI have a lot of sensory awareness. And I just feel the sensation of like my legs just like against each other, chafing all day when I’m walking around, if I’m not wearing something you know, protect my legs from each other. And like all the different Vaselines – nothing works as well as just wearing pants, which is just miserable in the summer. So that’s another thing that’s sort of beach adjacent, but that gives me some anxiety. Like when summer rolls around. I’m like, “Oh, god, it’s chub rub season…better unpack all my bicycle shorts for the summer, because that’s what gets me through.”
Christopher Mitchell 41:42
Yeah, I realize Bri has a similar sort of frustration in that regard. And she’s, she’s always currently got baby powder on the go.
Yeah, well, I mean, first and foremost, I think that’s, it’s great you shared some of those anxieties, I’m sure people are going to relate to that.
Everyone has their own sort of issues with themselves, but I’m thankful that for the most part, I’ve just come to terms with you know, what I look like what I look like, but that took some time as well. And we all have our own challenges in that. And it’s a fine balance, you just more want to be comfortable with yourself. It’s not the other side of the beach culture, of course – that 28% of the beach not only came to terms with themselves, but they think they’re, you know, God’s gift to the earth and, and are definitely portraying that – and that’s the one thing that I think it can make me anxious is the beach culture. Be very Bro-y and and very embarrassing when I was younger. I think I tried to fit into that and like would drink a whole bunch and be like, all bananas. But I couldn’t exactly discuss cure guy.
Allison Green 43:04
Yeah. Hey, muscle man, have you have you heard about this? I don’t know what Kierkegaard’s philosophies are. So you’re gonna have to finish the joke for me here.
Christopher Mitchell 43:14
All right, Soren Kierkegaard. Well, actually, he kind of crosses the boundaries into everything. He was a philosopher, but also this and that, and this and that. I guess he’s known as the he’s like the king of existentialism.
And to a certain extent, like he, just with some success and some failure, tried to really analyze or like take apart some parts of the Christian faith and prop other parts up and so you know, that never goes terribly well. But, but anyways, he’s, he’s also he’s actually one of those guys, that’s philosopher plus 1000 other things.
Allison Green 44:11
Doesn’t that kind of piss you off, though? It’s like, can’t you just be good at like one or two things like the rest of us? Like when I hear about, like, how Leonardo da Vinci was like a painter, and a scientist and inventor, I’m just like, come on, dude, lower the bar.
Christopher Mitchell 44:24
I think I’m actually a pretty eclectic person, not in any way comparing myself to Soren Kierkegaard because that would be bananas. I probably shouldn’t use that term around you but…
Allison Green 44:49
yeah, this is the second time Chris, you’re skating on thin ice with me. But I guess we like that because you like frozen lakes. So whatever, Canadian.
Christopher Mitchell 44:59
I’m happy to be a lot of different things but, you know, not to go on too much about this, this can be for another episode, but I also at the same time – I’m in awe of somebody that can be all of those things but be amazing at all of them.
I feel like for me, somebody who battles some demons or ADHD, I think actually for the most part of ADHD – I kind of feel like it’s kind of like a superpower in some respects for me, but it can give you a propensity to do 10 things at once. And not necessarily any of them great. So it takes a lot of discipline to make sure you’re actually starting things and finishing them. It’s all too common for people who have ADHD to have like 15 things on the go, but none of them really going at the same time in any cohesive way. So back to the original point, I mean, somebody who started things that not only finished them but like rose to the top of 85 disciplines. You just think they’re a son of a bitch.
Allison Green 45:57
Yeah, not fair. Not fair.
Christopher Mitchell 46:00
Not fair at all.
Allison Green 46:02
Let me throw a historical spit wad, nerd.
Christopher Mitchell 46:07
I love it.
So I’m, I’m thrilled with this podcast. We stay loosely on track but go so far off track as well – It’s just it’s my favorite part of it all.
Allison Green 46:17
Yeah, we’ve really ran all over this metaphorical beach.
Christopher Mitchell 46:21
I think so. Running on the beach. I was gonna say why are we gonna talk about this?
Allison Green 46:28
Christopher Mitchell 46:31
Maybe it’s good for the muscles. You know, it’s a little bit more difficult. I personally don’t run on the beach. I’m a big fan of the shoeless long walk on the beach with podcast. If the beach is not too soft, if the beach is too soft, then I feel like it’s a challenge given by Satan himself.
Allison Green 46:57
Really, I’m in favor of soft beaches.
Christopher Mitchell 47:00
I’m looking for medium but I’m talking about like soft beaches where like you sink. Here’s the thing. 210 pounds in the beach does not sink gracefully.
If you know anything about me is I’m not exactly soft on my feet. Like my downstairs neighbors at my apartment must hate me with every ounce of themselves. And so the beach for me presents challenges when it’s too soft, because I just sink in, and the recovery is difficult.
Allison Green 47:35
I see. Okay, I can get that. The thing that really gets me about running on the beach, sand in your shoes. Why would you…Why would you do that to yourself? Do you hate yourself? Like, why? Why would you put yourself through that?
And that’s another thing that makes me really anxious about the beach as well – the inevitable presence of sand everywhere for weeks, years to come. Who knows? Who knows? And just the inescapability of sand and having to deal with that. Not a fan. And I will say I’m actually quite a fan.
I spent a couple of months, a few years ago on the Albanian Riviera and Montenegro – that whole area where it’s all mostly like pebble beaches. And as long as you have some water shoes, that’s actually kind of my ideal beach if you can get like a chair and stuff because you don’t deal with the sand. And it’s not like the best for like walking necessarily. So it’s not like a long walk on the beach kind of beach. But like if you just want a drink in a chair, and like really gorgeous water and no sand, I love it. I love it. Sign me up.
Christopher Mitchell 48:59
Sign me up. One caveat is the sun. Sometimes if the stones are too dark in nature, they get obscenely hot.
Allison Green 49:07
That’s true as well. That is also true.
Christopher Mitchell 49:10
Yeah. Well, the balance the fine balance but I do see your point. I do see your point.
Allison Green 49:19
Pebble versus sand beaches.
Christopher Mitchell 49:21
I’m happy we got stopped talking about a philosopher and then started talking about philosophy of beaches. And I agree with the sand everywhere thing. It used to drive me absolutely bananas. Particular. I’ll stop saying I’m sorry. It used to drive me absolutely grapes. And I I never noticed that phrase. It’s kind of alarming. So as I was trying to say before I got turned around three to four times, I think the amount of sand in the shoes drives me nuts and by I’ve come to terms with it over the years that it’s just a part of it.
But whenever I visit friends in places where they’re near the beach, like their house is just, it’s just an inescapable amount of sand in the house. And, and that’s just the thing. That’s just the thing you deal with, I guess…
I think for the most part, we’ve covered a lot of the things that I that I had written down to talk about with the old beach thing. You know, I had a few things, underlined, mainly philosophy and such to do. Did you have any other big talking points for for being anxious about the beach?
Allison Green 50:36
I know, I think I will say that I have grown less anxious about the beach over time, I still actually do like the beach, even though I’m anxious about it. And I think that’s something that’s kind of like, you know, important to highlight here is like, a lot of these topics aren’t necessarily things that like we hate.
There are things that you can like that you can also be anxious about. And so for me, I do like going to the beach. But then there are aspects of being at the beach, that I’m just like, “Oh, God, I forgot about this part.”
Right now, though, I would love to be at the beach – like my dream is being at the Black Sea, spending like a week there this summer. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed, that, you know, the pandemic situation will ease up a little bit enough to the point where we can travel around domestically, soon enough. And I feel like if I don’t get to dip my toes in the Black Sea, by the end of the summer, I will be a very sad person.
Christopher Mitchell 51:48
Sure, I think that’s a really good point, actually bringing it up that I actually like the beach too. And I should say, I didn’t really used to like the beach, but I’ve grown to like the beach. And now I kind of relish the chance to actually separate. I think, in a sense, we’re both just having a little fun with the idea of the idea that we’re anxious about the beach, but the podcast isn’t called I hate the beach. You know, or like, I hate that whatever.
It’s mostly just…I think it’s like a large part of this podcast is really just thinking about things you might actually really like or love, but you still are anxious about certain aspects of it. And, and I think, in a lot of ways, that’s the fun of it, because you’re, you’re almost, you take something as whole and then sort of split it apart and talk about why why you might be a little bit anxious and, and probably people will realize after a certain amount of time that if you have anxiety, you know, generally speaking it’s going to extend to everything you do a little bit.
And that can be in an obsessive way. Like the way you approach it. It might not even be anything to do with “Oh, I’m nervous about going to the beach.” It just might be something about it makes you feel. I don’t know, a little uppity, you know, like, and that’s and that’s okay, too…
Allison Green 53:07
Yeah, just like a physical sensation of like some mild trepidation.
Christopher Mitchell 53:25
Yeah, the commitment you’re like, I think, I think so. It’s the same thing with movies for me sometimes.
Allison Green 53:40
..problem with movies is because of the commitment. Like, it’s weird. It’s like, I can easily watch like four episodes of a television show in a row. But then I have a much harder time committing to watch a movie, which is much shorter attention time. But just because like I know, I have to pay attention the whole way through, it’s a lot of pressure.
Christopher Mitchell 54:07
And stop..you’re only committing to 15 minutes or whatever for a show, but two hours for movie. And if it gets paused, you might never watch the second half of it.
Yeah, so I think I think we’ve covered beaches pretty well. And I think we can we can say that we’re both a little anxious about the beach, but we both got some love for it as well. So that’s pretty good.
And, and I think we came to a place where we talked about a few things a few ways we felt good about the beach and, and I think we can pat ourselves on the back back for that, which leads to our segment at the end, which is something else that we can pat ourselves on the back for.
So this little segment at the end is just our way of ending things on a positive note. Because we can all use a little bit of positivity. And we spend most of this podcast just like riffing on things and and, and so it’s fun to end on a little bit of positive note. So we don’t have any restrictions…could be anything that you’re patting yourself on the back…could have happened eight minutes ago while we were talking, or it could have happened three days ago, a year ago, whatever. But do you want to talk about anything you’re patting yourself on the back for that happened?
Allison Green 55:30
I have been keeping up with an exercise routine fairly well, while I’m in home isolation. And exercise has always been something that I have struggled with because lI used to use exercise as sort of like a punishment or like weight management control tool when I had anorexia. And so for me, exercise has always been sort of like coded as like something that you do to punish yourself when you’ve been bad.
And it’s been really hard, like overriding that and thinking of exercise as something that I do because I love myself and want to take care of my body. And it’s actually been really challenging for me to develop any sort of consistency with exercise. But I’d say about five days out of the last week, I stuck to doing Pilates and some yoga. And I’m feeling really proud of myself that I am sort of overcoming my own issues with exercise and starting to view it in a more healthy, or at least more neutral light, where it’s not punishment. It’s just something that makes me feel good. And if I miss a day, that’s fine. But yeah, just happy about that – happy about incorporating some exercise and how it’s been making me feel a little better in terms of my mood and my sleep. Especially my sleep. It’s really helping me sleep better.
Christopher Mitchell 57:11
For sure. I think exercise can have that effect. I think that’s wonderful. By the way.
I think for probably a lot of people who who would, you know, say like, “Oh, I have to exercise now“…Because I ate too much, or so on and so forth. When really, in a lot of ways, I think the way you frame that is really powerful.
Actually just you’re exercising because you love yourself and want to take care of yourself, not because you’re punishing yourself for something that’s already happened, right? Like, I guess that’s a big thing with anxiety for me is just trying to trying to make sure I’m living in the present, you know?
And it’s so easy with anxiety to either chastise yourself further for something that happened in the past, or catastrophize on something that hasn’t even happened and won’t happen in all likelihood. So just like living in the present and being and just saying like, I’m going to exercise because it makes me feel good right now. And I’m taking care of myself right now. Like I think that’s a really wonderful sentiment. So firstly, just awesome, for sure. Awesome that you share that with everybody. So thank you for that.
Allison Green 58:20
What about yourself, Chris, what are you patting yourself on the back for this week?
Christopher Mitchell 58:24
So I’m patting myself on the back for realizing that despite the fact that I’m working from home and the optics look relatively similar to what my normal schedule looks like that I’ve adapted my schedule – because I know that I don’t have access to the outside is in the ways I did before.
And that means that I have to just treat the day a little bit differently. So really, what that looks like for me is that I’m waking up in the morning, and I’m easing into the day a little bit more. Before I do anything, I’m writing down my intentions for the day, and what I’m hoping to do and what a successful day would look like.
And then I kind of do a brief sweep of my phone and just really not to get too deep anything but just to make sure…I’m giving myself a quick look over over things so that I know I can move into relaxation mode, and I know that there’s nothing gonna be looming that doesn’t exist. And so I’ll do a quick sweep of that.
And then I get up, eat some breakfast, have some tea, and then I’m doing some meditation and some stretching. I’m realizing I just need to alter my schedule a bit. And I’m now taking the time every morning to meditate for at least 10 minutes and to stretch for around 10 minutes. And then I know that no matter what, whatever else happens, I’ve kind of set myself up for a little bit of a better day. I have a little bit of my energy out there.
I think a big problem for me right now is I can feel trapped sometimes and sometimes feel overwhelmed – it ci be a little overwhelming. Physically almost, I feel like I need to go and run the treadmill for five hours. It’ll be a terrible day, but I’ll still decide I need to bike 20 kilometers, and I’ll come back like a frayed animal. Why did you do this, you know, and so I’m trying to be more proactive in just realizing that, like, for me, meditation is not the easiest for me, it’s not one of those things that doesn’t come naturally to me.
But I’m enjoying the challenge of waking up every morning and entertaining the idea that I could be somebody who meditates and I am finding it’s paying some dividends for, you know, things, which I think probably could set me off a little bit more.
It’s enabling me to keep things around that four or five level when it could be in the past that somebody would go from zero to 10 so quickly, or zero to 15.
Yeah. So I’m patting myself on the back for understanding that if I really want to, like I might not be having full, quote unquote, productive days where I used to work from, you know, whatever, nine to five whenever it was…but like, now, I’m just grateful that I’ve provided myself an opportunity to get some hours of productivity and while accepting that, like, I won’t be able to do anything if I don’t have my mental health, you know?
Allison Green 1:01:21
Christopher Mitchell 1:01:22
So that’s where I’m at.
Allison Green 1:01:25
Yeah, it’s always hard because we think so much about our days in terms of productivity, you know, and I think that that can be a real trap for people with anxiety, because sometimes it’s just too all encompassing.
It’s sort of this balancing act that I always have to play, at least with my own productivity, to sort of capture the moments where I’m super capable. And I feel really on top of things like mentally, and giving myself the space to have a down day when the anxiety is just overwhelming. So productivity has always been a bit of a challenge.
But that’s really great that you are finding a routine that is enabling you to feel productive and feel sane, during these times when it can be quite challenging when you don’t have your freedom of movement, in the same way that you’re used to.
Christopher Mitchell 1:02:23
Yeah, like it’s just the other thing to just be for listeners in general, just, I would just consider redefining productivity, you know, I didn’t put meditation or stretching into the quote, unquote, productive category. But it’s kind of undeniable that that’s part of what’s helping me be productive. I need to make sure that I widen my understanding of what’s productive, right?
Allison Green 1:02:52
Christopher Mitchell 1:02:53
So that’s something something else too. And I think that that about wraps up this segment, and I’m, I’m happy to say I think this was another great episode – whether people enjoy listening, who can tell?
And that being said, if people do decide, you know what, I just love that banter. I want to get more of these guys in their life. Where can people find you?
Allison Green 1:03:18
So you can find me on social media on all the channels. I’m at Eternal Arrival, which is the name of my primary travel blog, which is on a little bit of a hiatus, we should say. I also blog at Sofia Adventures, about my life here in Bulgaria, as well as traveling around the rest of the Balkans. And I have started a food blog, because apparently three businesses is not enough. And I have been posting on that semi regularly, food from around the world and documenting my attempts to create food from around the world and my Bulgarian kitchen. So that’s thepassportkitchen.com. And so those are my projects at the moment.
Christopher Mitchell 1:04:13
Fantastic. So if they go and find you, and they decide, hey, I want a little Chris in my life, you can find me at www.travelingmitch.com, which is not necessarily on a hiatus, but certainly on a little bit of a pivot.
As far as what I’m writing about. I think I’m just feeling a little bit more comfortable writing from the heart. So I’m writing about some of the things that are helping me right now, like how I’m building on schedules and uplifting podcasts I’m listening to and so on and so forth. So people can find those there.
One thing which is a little bit on hiatus, but we’re really going to be ramping up soon because I think you mentioned this before, but I think probably local travel or regional travel is going to happen before international travel, So that’s ultimateontario.com if you’re coming to the province of Ontario, which includes Toronto and Ottawa, and so forth. That’s a place where you’ll find that and we’re we’re kind of ramping up our social channels around that as well.
And beyond that, I kind of just always say if you’re based in Toronto and a content creator, the Toronto Bloggers Collective has your back right now -we’re doing all sorts of stuff there. But I guess the other big thing that we’re doing right now is this and that’s exciting enough for me, we’re going to be continuing to record episodes and trying to come at you consistently once a week because I can’t think of anything worse for anxiety than podcasts which doesn’t come out on schedule.
Allison Green 1:05:35
No, no, that’s horrible. How do you know what day of the week it is?
Christopher Mitchell 1:05:39
I don’t know what day of the week it is.
Allison Green 1:05:41
Yeah, what are the days of the week? I just see like a blur where sometimes it’s dark and sometimes it’s light.
Christopher Mitchell 1:05:49
It’s just a construct…
Allison Green 1:05:51
sSmeone referred to a day as “Blursday” and I was like oh, that’s genius. I don’t remember where I saw that but..
Okay, okay, I was a little nervous the joke wouldn’t translate so well without it being written down but Blursday is the only day of the week I know right now.
Christopher Mitchell 1:06:19
Yeah. So from from all of us, ie the two of us,We wish you a happy Blursday.
Thanks for checking out the show notes of this episode. Remember that you can always join us in our Facebook Group, “We’re Anxious About.”