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How do you not flip the fuck out when alone in the house?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by LumiLapin, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. LumiLapin

    LumiLapin Bad Bad Bun

    I am house and pet sitting for my gfs family for the next 11 days! Unfortunately, I am also 80% anxiety by volume and wouldnt ya know one of my biggest fears is home invasion and especially serial killers. There is a doggo who would definitrly bark if someone tried to break in, but she also barks at basicslly everything. How do I sleep?
     
  2. Aondeug

    Aondeug Ferdinand von Aegir

    Have you tried some sort of white noise? I really like cicadas and rain sounds. Alternatively I'll put on a video I know super well that's about an hour or so, since that is about how long it takes for me to fall asleep. This noise helps keep my brain distracted a bit which can help a lot with OH GOD anxiety at night. Other thing that helps I feel like is exhausting yourself physically during the day. It's harder for me to be too anxious to sleep if I go on a big walk that tuckers me out some in the day.

    For like being awake...I generally always keep some form of noise on. Even if I'm not actively following it the noise keeps the panic brain focused on something that isn't panicking about serial killers being weirdly big in my home state. That and distracting activities like playing games or writing or something can help keep me off stuff. Cleaning does too. Really distraction and keeping busy is the name of the game for me and my anxiety when I'm alone.
     
  3. dobedobedo

    dobedobedo Member

    yeah, noise and distraction are key
    there's nothing wrong with hiding under the bedclothes and playing games on your phone until you exhaust yourself enough to fall asleep if it means you actually get some sleep instead of lying awake panicking all night
    i find that noise from the tv and noise from videos on the computer have different, like, qualities: noise from the tv is more diffused and general and noise from the computer (well, assuming it's a laptop and not a desktop) is more up close and personal. It's worth trying a few noisemaking things to see which one works best for your state of mind at the time.
    there is also nothing wrong with making yourself a small nest where you feel safer, if the house feels too big. Also, leaving some lights on will probably make you feel safer and also discourage any home invaders since it'll look like there's more people in there.
    The dog may bark at a lot of things, but dogs also tend to have a very noticeable kind of 'i am actually angry and not just excited because there's a fox in the garden' bark that they'll use if they actually feel like someone is getting into their territory. It'll be growlysnarly, probably. In any case, the vast majority of home invaders would rather not invade any home with a barky dog, because people pay attention to barky dogs, even if it's just to try and get them to shut up.
     
    • Agree x 2
  4. KingStarscream

    KingStarscream watch_dogs walking advertisement

    TV on in the background is something I do a lot if I’m housesitting—especially on channels like HGTV or Lifetime, it’s a fairly low key sound that’s mostly people talking and isn’t necessarily engaging enough to be caught by while I’m doing other things. Having the perception of being around other people can do a lot to quell anxietybrain, and like bushwah said about the lights, leaves a much firmer impression that people are home.
     
    • Informative x 1
  5. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    Hey! I am currently house/petsitting and dealing with anxiety! The best thing to help me fall asleep has been watching YouTube on my phone (specifically, music overlaying footage of handspinning videos, ymmv). I also put on, up on the big screen, one of those "15 hrs of music for anxious dogs" videos during the day sometimes, and I'm not sure how much it helps the dogs but it actually helps me.
     
  6. bushwah

    bushwah a known rule consequentialist

    I’m not offended just confused: wasn’t the person with the lights comment dobedobedo?

    (My recommendation would be to sort out how likely it actually is that it’ll happen, then decide what precautions you’re willing to go to the trouble of taking, and then acknowledge that the anxiety is no longer useful, thank it for its service, and leave it by the door. Personally I’d then use medication to help it along if it was having trouble letting go, but that depends on your philosophy and access to safe, effective medication.)
     
    • Like x 1
  7. KingStarscream

    KingStarscream watch_dogs walking advertisement

    I AM SO SORRY... this is what I get for trying to brain right after waking up.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. LumiLapin

    LumiLapin Bad Bad Bun

    Thank you everyone...I was reluctant to do things like leave lights or tv on because I didn't wanna run up their energy bill. How much of an effect is that likely to have?
     
  9. dobedobedo

    dobedobedo Member

    honestly, not all that much. not for eleven days only. in any case, if they want an effective housesitter, it'd be worth it.
     
    • Agree x 4
  10. Wingyl

    Wingyl Allegedly Magic

    yeah, dogs have a very distinctive "someone is HERE and I DON'T LIKE IT" bark, and they will bark continously until the problem is solved

    so continous growly barks = there is an INTRUDER (intruder may not be human, humans will generally say things when confronted with clearly upset dogs barking at them, so if you can ONLY hear barking it is likely to be like, a lost cat or something, esp if you threaten to call the police on the target of the barking and nothing happens)
     
    • Like x 2
  11. LumiLapin

    LumiLapin Bad Bad Bun

    ok. current plan is: leave a couple lights on in the other rooms at night. leave door open so puppy can come in n cuddle with me if she wants. watch netflix on gf's ps4 until I can no longer keep my eyes open. lots of animal crossing.
     
    • Like x 4
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