the cut on tuesdays

Hello, Do You Have Anxiety?

Photo-Illustration: by Stevie Remsberg

The Cut on Tuesdays

A weekly podcast from the Cut and Gimlet Media, with host Molly Fischer.

This week’s episode of The Cut on Tuesdays is all about anxiety. We heard from our friends and co-workers about what’s going through their heads when they freak out, and talked to women like comedian Aparna Nancherla, artist Jenny Odell, and writer Sarah Wilson about how to understand anxiety better.

We also asked our listeners to tell us about their private coping strategies — the stuff that’s not therapy or medication, but still scratches that mental itch. Here’s some of what they had to say.

“This is a little embarrassing, but I tend to physically just go to the container store. I can’t really explain it, but there’s something about seeing something where everything has a place, and there’s organization for things you’ve never thought of. I feel like when I walk in there, I have somewhat of a spiritual experience and end up blacking out and coming out with things like battery organizers.” 

“I make chicken soup. Peeling carrots really does it for me.”

“I like to consume a lot of caffeine when I am really anxious, which a lot of times makes me more anxious. But I feel like that justifies the anxiety. And like, ‘Oh, this isn’t a mental disorder. I’ve just had too much caffeine. It’s fine.’” 

“So, I’m a first-time mom. I have a 9-month-old daughter. And … when I am anxious about myself, I do something for her. Like, I have so much laundry to do, but I’ll do hers first. And I will organize her stuff. If she’s set, that means I can also take care of myself.”

“The way I self-soothe is by watching pimple-popping videos. But they have to be ones like from a doctor’s office with good lighting. I don’t really like the sketchy home ones. So, like Dr Pimple Popper. I don’t know if it’s like the pent-up anxiety is similar to a pimple and then the release when you pop it is like it’s going away. I’m not sure.” 

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Hello, Do You Have Anxiety?