I often find myself simmering over boiling waters, riddled with feelings that make me fall into a rut, a depressive state. Ultimately, I end up in a place that makes me feel like a failure. It makes me put things off, and I stop moving forward when I hit get into these situations.
For now, I’m fine. But, I want to figure out what causes them and put a stop to them once and for all.
If I can write one thing about myself it would be that I reflect on my past way too much.
1. Stop self-reflecting everyday: I mean, don’t forget, but don’t look at your past every time you get five minutes to yourself, and don’t let past events hinder the way you look towards the future. I’m absolutely terrible for this. For as long as I can remember I have kept the past inside my mind like a little tic-tac grenade of information. I’ve packed so much into it eventually it will explode.
This is my own fault. When I started to meditate, and figure things out for me, I did so for spiritual purposes, and to understand why I did the things I did. It should have been just to deal with my emotion, and not to look at everything I’ve done, and see how I could have done them better.
I mean, who really spends so much time looking at their faults as much as me? For those of you that do. You’re damaging your self-esteem, over-thinking and I’m pretty sure it’s absolutely exhausting. I know it is for me! It keeps me up at night. It makes me look at experiences in the past and how they are my fault. Even the things that would’ve happened without me. Over-thinking and long period of self-reflection are a big no-no.
2. Stop the distractions/comfort blankets: whether it be comfort food, Facebook, and other social sites you find yourself typically clinging to, when you’re bored. When you’re alone in the evenings, or whether you have time to kill. Do something productive, plan ahead and work things out.
I do most of my thinking in the evenings, and waste hours on Facebook, scrolling through the same garbage or embarrassingly trying to talk to people who are quite possibly fed up of me talking to them about boring garbage. I just end up making myself feel worse, as when they are busy it makes me feel like I’m being ignored, when I’m not. I am usually well aware I’m not being ignored but for those couple of hours a couple of hours feel like a couple of days.
3. Remember, you’re only human: Don’t forget, you’re not perfect, and you don’t have to reach perfect targets, and compare yourself to machines. You don’t have to compare yourself to other people as we’re all good at different things. Remember, to be you. And even you need a break.
I am terrible at this concept. I always compete, stupidly. Even when I play games, I don’t stop until I reach a target I feel comfortable with, and these days I don’t have the time to play games as much as I did when I was younger so I end up feeling defeated, and feeling like I’m getting worse. But, if I stopped to think about the situation I’m in now, I would quickly realise that I do not have 2/3rds of a day to play video games, and shouldn’t normally be able to keep up with someone who would have. Though I do pretty well for someone who plays for small amounts of time. The point is, that when you set yourself a target, remember your environment, and choose a goal you can accomplish. Don’t be too hard on yourself from the get go as you’ll lose motivation.
4. Exercise: Don’t forget to exercise. I know, I said it. Those heart-crushing words. I’m serious. Your body works when it exercises, it helps to refresh itself, clear your paws, flow a healthy amount of hormones and it helps your brain. it will also leave you refreshed for the start of your day.
Once again, another thing I forget to. I get really sluggish, tired, and get periods of low moods. When I used to exercise, I never had these up and down moods and the sluggishness. I found that it cured most of my negative moods, and fixed many of my problems. It made me feel good about myself, and pumped me for my day. I used to jog two miles to work every morning. Now, I’m lucky if I jog at all. I do notice the difference, and as soon as my exams/projects are over, I will be back jogging every day.
5. Eat healthily: Another, “Oh god, he said it.” I know, I know. Food. Food, food, food. Fuck, where was I going with this? Oh right, yes. If you can change your chocolate to fruit, your crisps to carrots, and your pop to preferably water, or squash. The additives in Diet pepsi can slow your metabolism down and give you that lovely lingering feeling of sluggishness.
Something I’ve not been so good with lately. Munching on food around my birthday giving the excuse that it is my birthday… Eating chocolate now and then because “I can”, and generally putting my middle finger up to dieting because “Who cares”. It’s just wrong, the wrong attitude all together. And in result, I’ve put on a few KG I lost before Christmas, and I feel terrible again. It’s not whether other people think you’re overweight. It’s whether I feel that I am, and when I see myself in the mirror and have plenty of fat to lose – that’s when you make decisions like dieting. I would advise always to record when you first start, and take a weekly check. Slimming world worked for me, helped me eat much better. You just need the time to prepare the meals, which isn’t that bad, actually.
6. DON’T RUN AWAY: We all have problems, right? Tell you what you don’t do with your problems… you don’t pretend they don’t exist. You don’t walk away from them and avoid them, and you certainly don’t tell yourself they aren’t worth talking about. It creates a bad aura around you, sort of like a darkness. It lowers your mood because it makes you insecure, and you set off into a vicious circle when you end up putting yourself down, because you feel that if you can’t talk about your feelings, then you’re not worth talking about.
I’ve been through it. For as long as I can remember I’ve been an absolute doughnut. I’ve pretended to be made out of iron in front of everyone, and crumbled to myself, on my own. Me asking for help was my blog posts, and if it wasn’t the blog posts, I would ask someone if they wanted to hang out. That was as far as it stretched. You gotta find someone you can trust and comfortably talk about your problems. Not to complain about them, or for them to validate your problems. You need some outside help sometimes, and someone to talk to – to tell you that is is okay to have these problem, and offer advice on how to fix them. You are never too strong to accept help. you are never too tough to seek advice. Don’t pretend to be! For it will eat you up on the inside, and make you numb.
7. Be yourself: When you’re feeling low, the worst thing you can do is to pretend to be someone else for the people around you. Everyone is around you, your friends are there, for you. Those who aren’t, well – fuck them. This is about you. Don’t act like someone else, or put on a show to your friends when you need help.
Don’t think you’re a burden, and don’t feel you’re a pain in the ass. Never, feel it is a suitable time to pretend to be someone else. I act tough, sometimes, in front of people and pretend I know everything. I don’t do it purposely, I do it as a defence mechanism to stop people from getting close enough to notice that I’m not doing okay. You’ll find me using words like, “I’m always fine, trust me.” and I shouldn’t, it’s like pretending to be some warrior when I’m not. Don’t do it, as the friends around you will never see you as a burden, if you are giving and taking, and doing the same for them, then that’s what friends are there for. To help each other.
8. Smile: Smiling will relieve some of your stress. So try to remember that you are still alive, and try and change your attitude. Tell yourself that you are worth something more than whatever you’re feeling right at that moment. Look at yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself that today is the day that your smile won’t break.
I thought this idea was stupid, until I got so fed up of things, when I was exercising, I looked into the mirror and felt good for the first time in a long time. I smiled. Something unexpected, and rare. The same day, I went out and carried on smiling, and I had people say good morning to me, talk to me as if I was someone else. They had walked past me a hundred times before, but I wasn’t smiling. They just liked the fact I was, and found it approachable. One of the reasons you may feel people do not approach you is because you may have ‘resting bitch face’ like myself, ha-ha. But this is something you can work out for yourself, just by remembering something happy, and smiling.
9. Plan: Plan out your day, and I know it sounds silly, but make a routine for yourself. Keep yourself on target. Plan your food, your exercise, your study times, your idle time, and when that timer beeps, or that schedule falls into the next section… move on.
Give yourself time to settle, but give yourself some time to be you. Keeping to a schedule helps me so much as I have a tendency to become lazy and say “In a minute, in a minute”. 6 hours later, I’m drooling, forgetting where I’ve been still browsing facebook or the web and realising my regime went out the window, or I’ve been playing on a game for far too long and forgot to do some reading.
Well, stop it! Work to your routine.
10. Do it: You look at yourself in the mirror, every morning. Instead of slugging through. Look at yourself in the eyes and tell yourself you can do it. Because you can do it. It all begins with one step, and even if you feel shit, or are tired. Open your eyes, slap yourself in the face if you have to, look at yourself in the mirror, smile. Tell yourself that this is the day you’ll overcome this shadow lingering over you. This is the day, you’ll beat your demons.
I had a shadow lingering over me when I wasn’t allowed to see my daughter when she was born due to the mother disagreeing with me. I’ll spare you the details. I was heartbroken and grew recluse. It got to the point where people just left me alone… when I looked in the mirror and was unhappy with what I was becoming, I told that person, myself to fuck off. To get a grip, and pushed myself to try a little harder. That person pops up now and then, and every time he does, I sit down, close my eyes. Imagine him like a separate person, and imagine fighting him, chasing him off. It’s ridiculous, I know. But try it. you’ll be surprised with what you can do when you put some thought into it!
That’s it for today’s thoughts. I’ll be planning my regime this week, and getting myself back on track with my diet. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, and it doesn’t matter who tells you that you can’t do it. We make our own demons, and really, all of our decisions are down to us, and us alone. This may sound direct, and may be difficult for some people to apprehend due to the idea that mental illness pushes you down, and I know it hits harder for some more than others… but I’ve always hit everything head on, and when I read the Poetic Edda in Norse mythology, and it talked about how every God had weaknesses, and it wasn’t the fact they were perfect, or omniscient… it was the fact that they gave it their all to tear down their weakness, and that is what strength it. You don’t have to be the best, the fastest, or the bulkiest, the fittest or the one with the most endurance. You just have to be the one, who gets back up when they get knocked down, and keeps getting up, and getting up, until there’s no weakness left. It doesn’t matter how strong your demons are, when you push yourself into a mind frame of never giving up, you always come through, and even in our weakest moment, we are the strongest we can ever be.