While I don't mind the odd lazy day, staying at home and writing or even whipping up tasty things ready for dinner - sometimes I like to pretend that I'm a 1950s housewife - I do get a bit bored. I used to be quite reluctant to go out on my own at the weekends, as most places I wanted to go would be fairly busy, which isn't great when you have anxiety that is set off by crowds.
However, I've been trying to go out a lot more by myself at the weekends - although I haven't made the same mistake of going to Trinity on a Saturday this close to Christmas again - so I thought I would tackle two things that really stress me: travel and people. I balanced this out by going to one of my favourite places, as I figured this would make it more bearable, so I hopped on a train to York one Sunday morning.
Heading off early - my train was at 9.25am - also meant that I got to York in time to go to a service at York Minster. I haven't been to a church service since my friends' wedding last August and I haven't actually been inside York Minster before - it's not exactly cheap - so I thought it would be a nice opportunity to do both.
York Minster is just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside, which makes it a really wonderful setting for a church service. The full choir, amazing acoustics and really beautiful service actually helped me relax a lot, although it also made me a bit emotional. Everyone was really lovely and welcoming too, which put me at ease and set me up for a nice day by myself.
I ended up just picking random streets and heading down them, which ultimately led to me walking over six miles as well as in a lot of circles. Usually, I hate getting lost and will turn on my Google Maps to help me get somewhere I recognise, but this time round, I just went with it.
Not only did this mean I got to see more of York and end up with wet feet - my boots stopped being waterproof shortly after arriving in York - I found some really great little places that I was able to make a note of for future visits. There are some great looking hidden shops and cafes, as well as green areas that are stunning. I also found some great residential areas that just cemented my longing to move to York.
I didn't even care that it rained for a lot of the day as it was just nice to get to walk around without having to worry about anyone else. Even though my feet hurt - especially my injured one - I was cold, wet and tired by the time I got home, I also felt really relaxed. I wasn't plagued by anxiety at all throughout the day, even when I was in really crowded areas, which is a big step for me.
It may not seem like much to other people, but it helped me to feel a lot like my old self before anxiety became such a big part of my daily life. I'm someone who went travelling to the other side of the world on their own at 18 and yet more recently, even going into Leeds city centre on a Saturday was too much. I'm already planning more days out by myself - although I'm never averse to company - and I can't wait to pass my driving test so I can go for drives to explore places.