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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

Holiday Underwear

How many pairs of underwear do you take with you for two days away? 3? 5?

Why when we’re away from home do we imagine that we’ll have multiple underwear malfunctions?

Perhaps we know we won’t be able to help ourselves like we would at home, in a compromising situation such as that. So we provide ourselves with multiple backups so we have the means necessary to ensure our comfort when away from home. The over-packing of underwear is a comfort mechanism - ensuring we can control mitigating circumstances. Many of us laugh about this, but at its core, it is a way to help ease anxiety when we’re out of the house.

There is something that we can take from this, other ways we can help mitigate anxiety we have when we are in circumstances we don’t have full control over.

I openly admit that I am an extremely anxious person. It is in every part of my being. It manifests itself in plenty of ways; fear, guilt, existential dread, and vice-like panic attacks. I live with it, my eternal lodger in my brain that doesn't pay rent, but I have found some ways to mitigate the angst I feel out of my comfort zone.

Packing Makeup

I spend a lot of time on stage, leading workshops, being in front of a camera, and as such I like to wear a full face of makeup. Makeup provides me with confidence. However, when it comes to packing it, I always imagine I will forget key parts of the routine. So to ensure that I won’t, I sit at my vanity and go through the process of putting makeup on in my head and pack it step by step. That way I know I have a full face of makeup with me. It’s not foolproof - I remember doing a panel for Facebook, and not having my brow pomade, so I used clear mascara mixed with copper eyeshadow - but it reduces mistakes.

Conversation Research

If I am seeing someone that I don’t see regularly, I worry about what we will talk about, I want them to know I read their messages and care. So before I go, I will go through my WhatsApp and look at the key events and experiences they have shared with me. This way I am across the recent few months of their life, I have questions I can ask, and have context for conversations we may have. I use this to feel less deer in the headlights when it comes to socialising.

Route Planning

I am very good at getting lost. I also think getting lost is also not professional if you have clients waiting. Yes, we all have maps on our phones, but what if there is no signal, what if I am late and don’t have time to check the route? So I will always ensure before I leave for anywhere, I have the route planned in my head, screenshot the transport, have the address written down, and clearly know how I am going to get to where I need to be. It soothes my mind - and reduces my anxiety a little.

So if you find anxiety playing a role in your life, and you want to take back a little control, try to find ways to create comfort mechanisms for yourself - ensuring you can control mitigating circumstances!


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