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Getting Up Before Martin Does: Circadian Rhythm as Anxiety Killer

·320 words·2 mins
Mental Health Writing

If you’re anything like me, you run into times where you struggle with self-doubt. Especially when solving problems with ambiguous solutions. Or doing something creative.

And when you’re struggling, you’ll catch yourself midsentence saying something like, “No, no, that’s not right. That’s stupid.”

Redlining your own work over and over again for hours with little to show for your effort.

If this seems familiar, you just may have a problem with brain weasel infestation.

I’ve named my brain weasel: Martin, the pine marten. He is basically a disaster. The thief of joy. A nibbler of power cords.

Sure, the little guy is kind of cute — but he wreaks a lot of havoc.

And it’s a full-time job wrangling him.

Getting Up Before Martin Does

One of my secrets?

I have a much harder time feeling anxious in the morning. So if I have work to do that feels especially difficult, I’ll often do it then, right when I get up. Sure, I’m a bit fuzzy, but it’s a good time to draft things up. Set them aside. And let the anxious brain weasel tackle them later. Because while Martin is a real buzzkill during the initial creative process, he’s not a bad editor.


Your Martin is gonna have a different rhythm than mine — maybe he wants you to work  the graveyard shift and sleep in the middle of the day. Or maybe he’s yanking you all over the place with what seems like very little rhyme or reason.

What’s key is knowing this and doing your very best to time that bravery around your circadian rhythm. (Or arrhythmia, if it’s especially chaotic.)

Curious about your own circadian rhythm? Here’s an auto-scoring Ostberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire.

19 questions, not the most fun to take, but the report at the end is very detailed and cool.


My book is out!

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory


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