A little intro about my mind and how it works and why not fighting your mind it is a dysfunctional way of approaching things you need handled.
I need to stand still when I write. Not necessarily physically still, but my mind needs to be in just one still place. Not thinking about college, not thinking about you, not thinking about myself, but just focusing on the idea that I want to expand. I need to find my words. And I don’t find them every time, I am not perfect, I am not always inspired. I don’t always have something to talk about. Today’s article is about those silent days. Those silent days and how to manage them. Those days when crying and chocolate sound like a good solution, always. Those days when I only want to sleep or do nothing. Not even binge a show (and I am a huge binge-watcher). If there’s one thing that I can do in those days, that is writing. About nothing. Nothing deep, nothing helpful, just superficial sketches of a scary feeling I may or may not be having at that moment. I need to stand still when I write. The world mustn’t move. Nothing moves on my watch. No leaf that falls from a tree, no time that passes by, no music that plays in the background of my up-in-the-clouds mind. Ok, maybe the music. The music can stay. Everything else must go. Go. But where do they all go? Do I have an alter-ego with it’s sole mind that catches all my other thoughts? Or maybe I am in control of them. Maybe I am good at controlling my thoughts. Never thought that I could ever be good at that. Or maybe that other mind is just wandering around, catching feelings like a bitch, leaving me alone for a few hours to write my thing down and then throwing them back at me, heavier than before? Why doesn’t my mind leave my other mind alone? Could it be that I’ve gone mad? Nothing moves on my watch… If you let them free, everything will move. Thoughts will flow, and ideas will come, and you’ll go for a walk, but what do you do when you hold onto them so bad that they can’t move because they feel smothered? What do you do when you’re crying, and your mom comes into your room to hug you and you can’t even let her hug go because it feels just so good to feel another human being’s warmth? What do you do when you can’t do anything? When you have no energy to move, eat or even think? Why is not fighting your thoughts such a bad idea? They said to let it flow… Well, letting them flow only lets you sit on the couch and do nothing (personal experience).
Here’s how I deal with everyday’s GAD and MDD and how I fight and trick my mind into thinking for the better. Disclaimer: I am not and I will never be ashamed of talking about mental health, either my own mental health or the subject in general. In fact, it is the reason why this blog is up and alive. Sometimes, even if I am out of bed and full of energy, I forget to take my medication. That’s going to be a day…Because life’s a bitch, and I still need to keep up with my daily routine like going to college, seeking help in order to pass my exams, maybe eating, maybe sleeping, I managed to make a list of things that keep me from laying in bed all day and force me to get the fuck up and run my errands, and I hope that you can adapt it to your lifestyle and have it figured out before it puts you down.
1. Make plans and stick to them. I, personally, am embarrassed of myself if I am late somewhere – I absolutely hate being late or make a promise that I can’t keep when it comes to being somewhere. So, I make a lot of plans that force me to be somewhere at a certain hour – like taking a new class, going to my appointment – even if it’s a doctor’s appointment or one at my favourite hairdresser. Educate yourself to hate being late and to hate having to postpone things. Force yourself to do it now. If you don’t feel like getting out of bed, take a sip of water, because I am sure you have a bottle next to your bed, scroll in between apps and find cute outfits or whatever motivates you, do your hair, paint your nails before, groom your eyebrows – anything that will make you want to show up looking presentable.
2. Find places you enjoy going. Need to study? Why go to college when you have no class? Pick a nice, quiet place downtown and go there. Grab a friend and study together. It will be much easier, trust me. Your mind will be much, much more at rest when you will be in a familiar (or not) place that you enjoy admiring, where you enjoy drinking coffee or a mango & passion fruit lemonade, take a nice instastory pic or whatever puts your mind at peace. You can also go visit a park, your grandparents or whatever place keeps your mind still and able to gain new information.
3. Have a routine. My morning routine could be pretty much summed up like this: I wake up, go boil some water for my coffee, brush my teeth, stare in the mirror, scroll between apps, actually have coffee, smoke a cigarette and pick my outfit. I sometimes pick 10 outfits. Whatever helps me feel good about myself, I will do it, especially in the morning (I hate mornings). Picking outfits is one thing that helps me cope with morning anxiety. Not because I think that everything looks great on me, because it doesn’t, but because it reminds me that variety exists, that I do really dress according to my mood, and this way I track down how I feel every day. I had months when I only wore black. Not surprisingly, rare were the days when I would wear black without a black reason inside my mind. By tracking down your mood, you get some sense of control. By having some control, you gain more and more control over your feelings. This one’s a good start, especially if you note it down. And try sticking to your routine, no matter how hard it is to wake up, no matter how hard it is to get up and have that coffee. At the end of the day, you may actually feel proud of yourself, that you managed your ass outta bed, and therefore that will make you feel pretty great.
4. Have something handy to relieve the anxiety you have in the course of a day. Anything like a book, iPod or chocolate will do. Just find something you can hang onto. Something you can replace a cave with. Someplace your mind must go when it must go. For me, reading will almost always do. It keeps my mind busy with something else and it doesn’t put any kind of pressure on me. Also, reading makes you smarter. If you don’t enjoy reading, try listening to an audiobook. Those are also very helpful at keeping your mind busy. When reading or audiobooks don’t do it for me because I am too distracted, I call a girlfriend, or I try to focus on what I have to study etc. If you’re at home, you can take a short nap with the promise to get up after. You’d be surprised by the power of a 20-minute nap in the middle of the day.
5. Don’t forget to take your medication, if you take any. I can’t stress this enough! No further explanation needed, I hope.
Nevertheless, whatever keeps you going, you do you. This is just what I do. Sometimes I feel so low, these don’t work for me either. That’s when I know it’s time to take a break from everything and keep myself out of focus for a few days. Then, I come back freshened up and face the day. So, heads up and keep going. Fight your mind like you would fight your ex, because you’re stronger than that. I know it may sound like, bitch, my mind is stronger than my mind?! But try to see your mind like the Yin & Yang of your well-being. Divided into two sections, you’ll have much more control over anything that tries to disturb your progress.