World Mental Health Day is celebrated every Oct. 10 for mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. Let this be a reminder to prioritize one’s mental health during these trying times.
A much-needed timeout
From the perspective of a twentysomething undergrad一college is for self-discovery, not burnout. A year into online classes, I realized that I might have taken up a course majoring in overthinking and exhaustion. Is this truly for the sake of character development? I beg to differ.
Though I haven’t sought professional help in the past, I’ve found the start of the lockdown very challenging to say the least. Lost in the wilderness of our minds must we seek clarity and refuge from whatever we’re going through. From my experiences, it truly is difficult to get back on track after going through a battle against one’s own thoughts.
We may encounter constant sadness, pain, stress, and loneliness. But no matter how hard we try to stay focused and relaxed in our isolated new normal life, there’s going to be a time when everything hits you all at once.
But fret not, you can always take a break and cool off with your deliverables for a moment. Just remember to go back to them once you’re re-energized and ready to take on the battle. I may have learned it the hard way.
Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. After getting back on track, I preoccupied myself with academic and org work. Though being stuck inside a loop of exhaustion and sadness can be a very dangerous thing—you begin to crave doing something more and forget the little things that truly matter.
You begin to miss the things you should enjoy and be dreaded with your own existence. You slowly lack the motivation to do the things you love. That inner film buff, music enthusiast, and hardcore gamer in you is nowhere to be found. It’s hard to stay in the sunken place of negativity, sadness, and loss of hope.
But the key is to just feel whatever you’re feeling at the moment. Let yourself go through the emotions and just take in whatever comes your way. Whatever you’re feeling isn’t always final.
A change of pace
On the other hand, remember that you can always spice up your routine and try out something new. You’ll get to know a little more about yourself when you widen your horizons amidst quarantine.
Turn your frustrations and anger into realizations. A plethora of “what ifs” and rewinding everything that has already happened isn’t going to help. But why be stuck in an even darker and harder place to get out of? Everything may seem hopeless and that’s the feeling at first. Know that there’s always a bit of light at the end of a dark tunnel.
Moreover, this may not be an easy task, but turn those mistakes into something better and brighter—sometimes you just have to let out these pent-up emotions and talk things through. It’s better to address the elephant in the room than let them stay undiscussed. Though your friends and loved ones won’t always be available, writing helps.
Write your thoughts and emotions as a screenplay, a short story, a haiku, a song, or even poetry. That will eventually make your heart heal and learn from the mistakes you’ve made in the past. After all, with a handful of failures come a ton of successes along the way. You just have to move at your own pace and you will definitely cross the bridge when you get there.
We can only accept the things we can’t change in the past. But we have the power to change what we can control in the present.
If you or someone you know is in need of professional help, check out some mobile applications and hotline directory that could address one’s own needs here.