UNITED STATES—I wish I had a switch on my brain that I could turn off at times because I feel like my brain never and I mean never allows me to sleep. Why? Well I suffer from anxiety, and I always have since I was a kid, it seemed to get worse as I got older because for reasons I cannot fathom, I tend to worry about everything and I mean everything. What’s worse? I don’t want to be an excessive worrier, but it is what it is. However, I am starting to learn there are ways to control that stress and anxiety that is constantly on my brain nonstop.

When it comes to work, I have simply started a cutoff time. What does that mean? Before I would work all types of hours during the day, but the realization hit me: dude you have more than one job, if you’re always working, you’re not living life and you’re not ensuring that you have any time for yourself as a result. Now, I’ve gotten to a point where I shut my phone off after a certain time frame, I stop checking emails and messages. Why? There is always going to be something that you have to do or that someone wants you to do.

Someone once told me what is there today will be there tomorrow. Didn’t realize what that meant, but it ultimately hit me, you can only do so much in a 24 hour day. Why kill yourself trying to do more than your body (physically and mentally) can handle. I used to believe that mental work was worse than physical labor, but in my opinion it is not. Physical labor can be taxing on the body and a lot of the time physical labor is intertwined with mental stress.

You have to deal with co-workers that you do not want to deal with, you have a boss from hell or a list of other things in addition to the actual physical labor that your job requires of you. After a long day of work, and trust me it tends to be long when you juggle two jobs 16-18 hours on average 6 days a week, I need an hour or two to myself. Don’t bug me, don’t text me, don’t ask me for anything. Let me have a moment to breathe. There is nothing I find more annoying than when work is texting or calling you when your shift has ended. Text or call me when you know I’m working, not when you know I’m not working.

I don’t believe work should be one’s life, I never have and it never will for me. Why? If you’re always working how can you possibly enjoy or be living your life. The answer is simple: you’re not. You have to cut off people. So for me I just have moments of silence. I sit in my basement, lights off with a fan going and just try to clear my mind as much as possible. It is not easy, but once you start to train your brain (specifically and your mind to relax) it becomes easier.

Another thing I’ve started to do to relax myself is exercise. Trust me there are so many days that I don’t want to do it, but I realize once I start doing it and completely stop thinking about that thing that was worrying me and I focus on completing that exercise giving me a relaxed mind people. People say music, for me music depends on the situation. If I’m in the mood to hear music it works, if I’m NOT in the mood for music it begins to annoy me more people.

I have talked about this before, but for some reason if I do gaming (which is very and I mean very rare because of my chaotic schedule) anything that was in my brain disappears completely. I don’t know what it is about a videogame that can completely take you out of that element and immerse you into a world where the game becomes your full focus so anything that was stressing or worrying you dissipates as a result.

Finding a calm peace of mind is NO EASY task America. You are going to have good days you’re going to have bad days, but the key is you have to be willing to let some things go. Do not let them because such a stressor in your life that you cannot sleep at night. There is nothing great about tossing and turning about something in the middle of the night that is still going to be there when you wake up. Find a way to calm yourself and redirect your energy and thoughts into something that brings you absolute joy. It may not be easy, but it is indeed possible.