Biking to Beat Anxiety

The Socially Anxious Butterfly

I’d like to start by saying that I’m not an obviously, you know, antsy person. Many of my friends will attest to the fact that I can appear aloof, bitchy, superior and to my utter horror I’ve even been described as a social butterfly. What many people fail to realise is that feeling acutely uncomfortable and self-conscious often looks like bitchiness. The social butterfly thing, well, who knows – I was most probably drunk.

What I’m trying to say is, I’ve gotten pretty good at dealing with my anxiety. So much so that I’d even go as far as saying that The Mexican probably doesn’t even know I suffer with it. It’s not that I hide it from him. It’s just that my anxiety is only a facet of my personality and not something I feel the need to declare. He’ll probably figure it out the same way he figured out that I have a special facial expression reserved solely for ice cream.

But anyway. Despite having worked on my anxiety for over a decade,  I still often feel the agoraphobia creeping in. Especially when in a new place. I’m often torn between itching to get out there and explore  EVERYTHING…and itching because I feel like I’m developing anxiety induced hives. I am aware this isn’t good. That going outside is kind of important for life. And I really want to! But sometimes it’s just hard. 

The Best Anxiety Busting Investment I’ve Made in Mexico

I have made one, HUGE investment while in Mexico and it has done wonders for my little agoraphobic outbursts. Ok, when I say huge is was roughly 2000 Mexican pesos, which is about £80. It was……. A BICYCLE. Yes. A bicycle. I’d like to add that I even got a matching basket.

Welcome to Tulum!
This is a a visual representation of how I generally feel about things that make me do exercise.

Why was it so good? Where I live is a beautiful little suburb of Playa Del Carmen. The downside is that it’s kind of far to walk anywhere. This is GREAT news for anyone that doesn’t want to leave the house. A 50 minute walk in 30 degree heat? Naahhh, no one expects you to do that! Ok, The Mexican did but I felt justified in telling him where to shove it.

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Seriously, you should see some of the contraptions the locals have come up with.

However! When you have a bicycle, everything is ten minutes away so you really have no excuse. I mentioned I had slightly masochistic tendencies, right? And the best bit is everybody bikes here so you blend in. Bonus points! 

The Downside: You arrive at your destination thoroughly sweaty. But then again, I was already sweaty leaving the house.

The Upside: Pushing the peddles gives you a chance to work off some nervous energy before you arrive at your social situation. So apparently exercise is good for your mental health, who knew? 

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Finding a bike space if harder than finding a car parking space here in Playa!
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