Chilli Finds a Way to Cope with Her Anxiety


I have suffered from anxiety for most of my adult life. It's not always bad. I can usually manage my racing thoughts thanks to therapy. However, the pandemic added a new layer of stress that made the anxiety overwhelming. Working from home, dealing with virtual school, staying away from friends and family (we have been quarantine since March 2020)...has been just too much. I needed to get extra help.

I started taking medication for my anxiety a few months ago, and it has really helped quiet my mind. That doesn't mean I don't get triggered...it just means I'm triggered less often and my "attacks" don't last as long. The toughest part of my day starts after I'm done doing the morning show. I go upstairs and sit next to my first-grade son while he's in virtual class. He needs someone to keep him focused and on task. That someone is either me or my husband...and because my husband has regular business hours...it ends up being me.

The stress and struggle of dealing with Donato was really starting to impact my mental health. I needed an outlet. I needed something to stop by racing thoughts. I decided to try paint-by-numbers. I figured painting would give me something "fun" and "mindless" to do while I sat in class with him. I had no idea just how much I was going to LOVE it!

I went on Amazon and ordered paintings that "spoke" to me or had special meaning. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I decided the paintings would hang on the empty walls in our basement and would represent my newfound passion during the pandemic. Here are few of the paint-by-numbers I've already completed...

I found myself without something to paint over the weekend and I was having serious withdrawals. I tracked my order for my next batch of paintings and I saw that it was going to be a few more days before they arrived. So...I grabbed an empty canvas from our arts/crafts closet and looked up an easy painting tutorial. I didn't have any expectations. I was just happy to be painting. Before I knew it, I had completed my first REAL painting.

Tree at night

Tree at night

I'm amazed at how much peace of mind painting gives me. I can't believe it took me this long to find a passion that helps heal me. I have no idea where this new hobby will lead, but I'm really enjoying the ride while it lasts. The lesson here is that you're never too old to learn something new about yourself.