I sometimes contemplate whether I should write about this or not. Today I will take that risk.
There is only one rule, you won’t stop reading.
We all know the signs and symptoms of imbalanced mental health. One gets affected overall because its our brain that has taken the sick day and not our body.
There are things I would like you to do for 30 days straight, no questions asked.
- Wake up when you are waking up.
- Wash your face and brush your teeth.
- Take a bath and groom your hair.
- Select something out of your closet that makes you feel the best. It can be anything wear sweats if you like, as long as it makes you feel better.
- After wearing those dazzling clothes, get something to eat. If you have no energy to cook, go get yourself an omelette or eat a cereal.
- After you are done eating, go for a walk. If you see someone walking too, talk to them. Ask them how was their day. Get to know them.
- If you didn’t find anyone. Go to the supermarket, get fruits and vegetables. Talk to that person who is available, ask them how long have they been working there. After you are done buying groceries.
- If you are broke and have no money. Go to your friend, whoever it is. It can be your childhood friend or an acquaintance. Sit there with them, you can just talk about things which you enjoy.
Talking is free! Talk about everything apart from your sadness or current situation. I know people say that talking about it helps but in a long run I have found that it keeps us with same thoughts. So talking about it just feels pointless. Talk about the current weather or the game you watched. Bond over something that will cheer you too. Whenever I travelled I would always have people around me who were as ready to chat as I was. Most times they were elder people. I get to learn about their culture, about their experiences and somewhere along they got to learn something new from me.
- So go chat with your next door neighbour. Get to know them.
If you feel like the person you are talking to is bringing your emotions down in any way. You can always stop, greet them goodbye and part your way.
- Go home. And don’t look at your phone or TV.
Look around, if the room is not in the best shape. Well, Clean it. Start by taking out what you don’t need. Keep the ones you need in the closet. If your clothes are lying around pick them up. Whatever trash is lying around which you have missed picking, clear it out.
Now that you have a clean space to work with. Take out your phone and pick out a yoga beginners video on youtube. Nothing too extreme just give 20 mins of your time to it.
Let whatever you’re feeling come in and let go with each breath taken and exhale. If you feel overwhelmed cry if you like.
Take a notebook which you have and write down what you are feeling. After you are done.
It is lunch time, go eat! You can eat a mango or any fruits you like. I love mangoes! Eat a proper meal, if you are not getting it. Go to someone who makes a wholesome meal. Obviously it can be someone you know.
Don’t eat any chocolate or ice cream or any junk food present in the room. Eat whatever your heart feels like, the things you ate as a child. The feeling better comes when you eat the right food. There is a proverb, you eat what you are. What it means is the healthier food you pick, you can see your mood change.
If you see any book lying around. Take that book and start reading. If you get exhausted, it’s okay close it. Take a quick nap if you want.
When you wake up, before getting up look at the surroundings. Make your bed and do what you want to do.
When I feel overwhelmed and depressed. I found few things that I actually wanted to do. I brought home some seeds and I sowed them. I made a habit of watering them everyday twice at the same time. I started small and in one year I had a huge terrace garden.
For you, you can pick whatever you like doing. It can be playing squash or basket ball. Or just go look at todays newspaper. Solve a crossword puzzle. Look at the ads for a class. It can be dance or music. Take the free trial.
Open your book again. This time I want you to write honestly what you want and what difficulties you are facing. We all want something, it can be wanting to ride a bike or going surfing. Sky is the limit.
Go to a park or garden nearby, watch the sunset. Everyday find a different spot to watch sunset in your city. Somedays you will notice that the sky has orangish hue while some days its purple. The sky around it never looks the same. Observe the clouds, the wind ;feel the breeze and watch sun meeting the horizon. In just few mins, everything changes so beautifully.
If you feel like you have more energy inside you. Go for a walk again and then go home and have your dinner. When the day has come to an end. Make a list of things which are doable for you. It can be going to gym or watering a plant. It can be anything you want. Keeping a consistent doable routine gives your mind a task to accomplish. In doing this everyday you are training your mind of discipline.
The day has ended, without opening your phone or tv. Now turn the lights off. Breathe with awareness of yourself for 10 mins. And slowly you will eventually drift off into sleep.
For those who feel like they can’t sleep. Choose the same book you were reading before. Read it until you fall asleep. When I was in college, I would read textbooks and as funny as it sounds I would fall asleep in no time.
Next day, Repeat.
The only different thing you have to do is going to the class. Changing what you did yesterday and bake a cake if you wish. Eat the piece and feel the joy that you have created it. If you mess up, its okay. I had once baked a cake every other day. Not gonna lie, every day of trying to master to making a sponge cake. My mom would say if you don’t finish it, I will put it in your nose. I learned to burn cakes and make a new one immediately. I even made a friend who would entertain my baking and we would enjoy baking together and eating whole entire cake
The most important things is to learn something new. Don’t think of what is going around or what people close to you are saying or doing. Don’t pay attention to anything that can likely hurt you. Go on youtube, listen to that song you would listen in your childhood the party songs, dance to them.
There are more than a million things one can do. Learning to draw, to code, to learn a new language, make a new friend, learning to act, learning a new yoga pose.
I won’t lie and tell you “this is a phase you are going through.” Because its not a phase. Things have been hard for you. Blown out of proportion maybe. And who knows how long it will last. After a certain point, you will be suffering from same situations but you will be taking care of yourself, showing up to places and doing your best. You don’t need to tell others of your struggles and how hard you are working but do it and remember to have gratitude that you are doing your best.
Did you know that JK Rowling was once living as a single mother, broke and suicidal. She wrote books and no one would publish them. She now has given us a Wizarding World and a boy that lived whom we love so much.
I read about a person whose entire family was tortured in concentration camps, Viktor Frankl.(I may be writing something inaccurate or leaving out something but) . He suffered day and night. he wondered how happy he would be to see his wife. This hope kept him alive. He didn’t dream that the pain and suffering would be over and he would be free one day. He just kept thinking about his wife. He survived the Holocaust. I won’t compare anyone’s miseries to this but what he went through was hell for sure. The book he wrote was Man’s search for meaning. And he wrote several books and also made it his life’s work to help out people who suffer with different approach even after suffering through it. The tragedy with him was that his whole entire family including his wife was already dead.
Hope is the best thing. I watched ted talks one after another. Interviews after interviews and realised that we are our own answer. We humans have the tenacity for resilience. Even if we don’t know it we have it. Our life is ours, it cannot be of anyone else.
Our mind is so amazing that even the things that give us pain or the things we hate can seem trivial after a given time. No matter who you are or how you are Keep on going.
If you continue doing this for 30 days and continue to be consistent in doing what I mentioned. It may not be making your life situations better or improve your surroundings but I hope one day when everything becomes alright. You look in the mirror and smile about how far you have made it.
Our brain is definitely unique and beautiful. I would notice at times a scab formed in places without me realising I had an injury. When I would visibly get injured it would pain. And thats when I know we can trick our mind into feeling less pain or no pain at all. Our body can heal faster, so can our mind. Its our will that gives us strength in the sad times.
Its the most difficult choice to carry forward and keep going but you know what. It is beautiful, this life you are given. For every moment, you got to smell the beautiful ground after it rained, you got to taste the sweetest dessert and feel thirst getting satisfied after you drink water. When you sweat entirely and sit down in glee that you had fun exercising or playing a good badminton match. When you look at that friend who helped you up when you fell or just laughed at the silly situation. These moments we live may be very tiny. They are everything. We can create them, if we haven’t already.
We can work harder and may hear comments which neither help us or motivate us. but all your hard work you put in yourself will be working for you whether you believe it or not. All of your hard work on yourself will be coming to you in 10 folds. This is a faith that is stronger than anything. Even hoping that when you no longer face the harsh sun or hard rainy days. You will get through it and rejoice that you have made it.
I feel pain and sadness many times everyday. When I fell in the worst of the times. I saw people who even pulled me down further for their own amusement. I realised how awful people can be. How they can take advantage of miseries and problems. The bad people never stops doing that. Thats why I decided then and there that I won’t give up. The world needs hope. Whether you got it or not it needs to be voiced and brought out. It is needed to those who have lost and fallen down. A single honest kindness without any selfish reason can go further than money has ever gone. That is when I started writing. Healing is not a one day package deal. You would have to try everyday. If you fail and feel lost. Don’t worry, you can try again. Don’t let anyone bring you down including you yourself. Keep doing what I wrote today. Only you can change the course of your life. It wont be easy. But it will work.
Everyday my dog, my best friend spills water from his bowl. Everyday I tried to control him, yell at him or smack him. This time I just said in a calm voice with a pat on his back. To just drink the water. Even with me gone out of the room he had not spilled after I said it. I don’t know if he will listen to me the next time. But I feel gratitude that he heard me for this time.
If you try to control others, the circumstances or life events. You will be left frustrated. Things you can balance is within oneself. Which no matter how much outside tries to help. It won’t get through. You must decide, to help yourself. And be patient. Here are the things that can be balanced and focused on.
I hope wherever you are, you know that this isn’t the end. Your life is far more valuable and will always be valuable. I am saying this because I know what you are going through. But don’t look for answers from places which have disappointed you. Don’t expect at all from anyone, not even yourself.
Expecting too much is the culprit to feeling overwhelmed because its never going to be met. Practicing to reduce them that is the hardest part. Have gratitude as you do your Yoga.
There is an asana in yoga, we were taught as kids. It’s called Surya Namaskar. It means you are welcoming the sun. Try doing that if you wake up before the sunrise. And let me know if you feel better. If I helped you in anyway. That in itself is a blessing for me to carry forward writing and giving hope.
Keep hoping. May god bless you.
And thank you for reading.
Have a good day.