Have you ever felt that ‘no one could possibly relate to what I am going through’?
We have all fallen prey to that thought one time or another. We are all united in treading the path of life; yet we all face unique combinations of challenges through our journey.
None of those challenges are comparable. None of our lives can be weighed against each other. None of our experiences are exactly same ones. Nor are our ways of celebrating and overcoming troubles.
One person could lament over a paper cut, while another may smile through the loss of a limb. One could stubbornly pick herself up after a fall, while another may breakdown at a slight stumble. It does not make the latter any weaker or stronger than the former.
Our life experiences make us who we are. Sometimes we soar with joy, sometimes we drown in our sorrows. Other times it is smooth sailing. Yet there are times when it could be a treacherous trail uphill.
We all experience life struggles in a different manner, and we all deal with them in distinct ways. Everyone has their own methods of dealing with the pitfalls of life, and the ensuing emotional tornadoes left in the wake of disasters.
When it all gets to be a bit too much there is a few things to make dealing with the gloom of unexpected events easier:
Try something new
Or a variation of something old
When you are stuck in a rut after an emotional incident, trying out something new could give you a much-needed spark. It does not even have to be an entirely new thing, just try doing something you usually do in a different manner.
I have experienced this in the form of tea. After years of relying on chai and green tea, I experimented with several flavors and ended up with a fondness for beetroot tea.
A little deviation from the routine, without causing a drastic change felt soothing. Another unexpected benefit appeared as a significant boost in my HB level.
A silver lining!
Develop a hobby
Give yourself a little break. Distract yourself from the darkness you seem to be drowning in; be it emotional, mental or physical. Take your mind off whatever is eating at your soul.
It does not have to be a life changing interest. Find something that draws you towards itself. It could be anything from taking up crossword puzzles, to doodling, learning a new word every day, learning a new language or a game, photography, reading or writing poetry, trying out exotic cuisine, a musical instrument.
There are endless things one could take up as a hobby.
No matter how drained or lethargic you feel, get up, set up, and workout.
The physical stimulation would give your body a jolt; the feeling of your blood pumping, pulse racing, heart pounding might just be what you need to break out of the melancholy.
Or go for the other end of the spectrum and sink into deep relaxing yoga. Align yourself with the universe and feel the essence of every breath you take.
Meditate and focus on just being.
Let go of everything else.
Find one good thing everyday
It is so difficult!
When you are being crushed under pain and grief and fear and any number of negative emotions, it is not at all easy to see anything in a positive light. Where do you find something good when it looks like there is nothing good left in the world?
Start easy; start small.
· You found the energy to get out of bed. Consider it a personal victory.
· You did not spill your coffee. It is an extremely positive thing. You will need that caffeine and positivity to get through the day.
Look at the mess of your life and find something to appreciate.
The definition of art therapy includes a lot of medical jargon that boils down to the fact that a creative expression of your self promotes healing and mental well-being.
For those of an artistic ability, it might mean a big canvas and a myriad of shades. Do not worry about that. Just grab a pen and paper and start doodling. It does not need to be the second coming of the Mona Lisa. If you express yourself, be it through symbols, scrawls, squiggles or even if it is blackening the paper in rage.
Get creative. Your medium of expression does not matter as much as the feeling of letting go.
Get a punching bag
Ever get the feeling of being crushed under the pressure and that you would feel a lot better if you could just rant and scream and punch something? Let out the storm brewing inside you physically? That you would get a reprieve if you could just let it all out?
When you bottle everything up, chances are you will explode. A punching bag is a good way of letting out frustration.
It is a cliché!
But the fact remains; there is no better confidante than your journal.
Get into the habit of writing. Pick up a new journal if you need the pretty motivation or reuse an old notebook if a blank canvas intimidates you.
Write about what you did throughout the day, to start with. Write what you are feeling.
Write about the things you liked; a friend you had a conversation with, a song on the subway; a stray you passed; a shop you walked by; a verse of poetry you read; name of a song you liked.
Slip in doodles, emoticons, stick in pictures or tickets and other memorabilia. Create lists. Make a daily planner. Scribble pros and cons of a decision you need to make.
The possibilities are endless…
Beverage of choice
A steaming cup of tea or a mug of cold coffee can be extremely therapeutic.
Grab a drink to your taste, pair it up with some music, books or good company.
Do not read too many self-help books
The stories of self-healing and getting over struggles of life are certainly inspirational. But on reaching a certain threshold, reading those just gets even more depressing for various reasons.
Sometimes it is your slow progress that irritates you. Other times your own problems seem insignificant compared to some iconic figure who overcame their seemingly worse issues.
This life is yours; this struggle is yours. Let the path and speed at which you go, be yours too.
It gets better!
Maybe not today, not tomorrow; maybe not even the next week or month.
But it does get better.
Explore and experiment to your heart's content; once you find something that makes you feel better, stick with it.