This is a mental health related post, I haven’t published any in a while but felt this one was really important to me and could eventually help other people.
I went from being on top of the world to feeling very low around the month of march. Who could blame me? I had spent the previous 6 months traveling, meeting amazing people, partying, eating, drinking. And then when I came home reality hit me: I had to start he hard work again, life was not just about having fun anymore and I was 10 kilos heavier and did not feel good about my body. My relationships had changed very much and I wasn’t sure who were my friends anymore. I was fully aware of these changes and so I became extremely serious and stressed. Going out made me anxious, men made me feel insecure, my fear of failure was more exacerbated than ever, I couldn’t relax, I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t have fun.
I had also quit all medication while abroad and was having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I would probably need it again.
I went from one extreme to the opposite and I felt so detached from myself, I thought I had changed forever and couldn’t go back to my witty self. Looking back, it was actually during my “high” period that I think I matured enough to know the answer and I’m thankful for the whole process.
Instead of being reckless like I’ve been so many times to forget about all of it, I’m extremely proud that I worked really hard on developing strategies that would make me feel better and I will proceed to share them with you.
As fun as it was, I was harming my body. The skin on my face felt coarse and was very red due to overall inflammation, I felt lethargic and had gained a lot of weight. The result of too much alcohol, cigarettes occasionally and the worst eating habits I had ever had.
What I did:
- Never smoked again
- Limited alcohol consumption
- Started exercising again – this algo goes for mental health – it just lifts up your mood, I go inside the gym and imagining myself smashing the anxiety with each push
- Started eating extremely healthy focusing on healthy proteins and foods high in fibre
- Put in the time to actually care for my body (moisturising, massaging my feet, using sunscreen, deep conditioning my hair)
- Started drinking lots of water
What I got:
It was extremely rewarding once I saw my body changing. I have a lot of energy, my skin feels soft again and I’ve started shedding the weight. Most importantly, I feel better in every aspect possible.
These were hard times. Before this whole thing, I’d take my pills and sleep like a baby and anxiety would completely subside but I was very numb. This time, I was face to face with my anxiety and fears and put a great effort into managing it.
What I did:
- Lavender oil everywhere! On my feet, on my temples, on my pillow, mixed in candle was, taking a bath – it is very relaxing
- Hot, calming infusions (linden, mostly)
- Mindful breathing – this helps calming you down in the moment
- Shutting off technologies a couple of hours before bed – the blue light can disrupt your sleep
- Started reading again – it’s way more relaxing than TV and makes you smarter
- Tried to be productive everyday and made sure I set goals to guide me through the day
- Regular visits to my therapist
- Gave in to meds, for now – though just one single pill a day and in a lower dose than ever before (obviously prescribed by a doctor)
- Slowed down my life in general. I didn’t force my old habits and just let it flow. Took it one day at time. – “It is no bad thing celebrating a simple life.” (JRR Tolkien)
What I got:
It’s been a very long time since my anxiety levels were this low and I barely feel depressed anymore. I spent a lot of time by myself, thinking, and everything started to fall back into place and to make a lot more sense. I’m no longer fearful of being alone, I don’t get lonely as easily. This is where I realize the most that I’ve matured: my escape is not some reckless behaviour anymore. Instead, I make the active choice of doing something I can benefit from. I can sit down at my desk and focus on the work before me without my mind being clouded by negative thoughts and debilitating anxiety. I’m feeling very connected and I’ve accepted change and I will embrace what’s to come. And I’m thankful for everything that brought me here.