I’m supposed to be doing my homework. Nothing’s easy about college, especially when you’ve loaded your schedule with sixteen credit hours, a commitment towards four organizations, have a cat to feed, all while trying to make sure familial issues do not get too out of hand. Despite the end to Daylight Saving Time and an hour more that I’ve received to wrap up my work, it’s been difficult for me to focus. The clock right now reads 4:26 p.m., and if I don’t submit my work by 11:59 PM tonight, guess who’s bringing home a big, huge F?
But it’s become increasingly difficult for me to go on with life pretending like everything’s okay, like everything’s normal.
“Normal.” Ever wondered about what normal was for you? By definition, it means “conforming to a standard.” Other phrases it can be substituted with are: the usual, the typical, the expected – which is a funny way to describe life because life’s full of interruptions, no? It’s full of twists and turns at every point, so is there really a point for sulking over the way things used to be?
Let’s pause right there today. Let’s talk about this. Let’s talk about depression and some coping skills that I’ve picked up along the way to get you by with some smiles, okay?
Rule #1: With time, everything changes.
Do you hear me? Carve this well into your heart and mind. Everything changes, for better or for worse, and time’s the best teacher of them all. You, your surroundings, your social circles, your relationships, even your dreams – they’re susceptible to change. The sooner you realize this, the quicker you move on to the next best thing in store for you.
Rule #2: Acknowledge the pain.
Some out-of-the-blue events really shook me up, disturbed me, even hurt me. It became hard to breathe at home and even harder to get out of bed. All I wanted to do was sleep, sleep, sleep. If I wasn’t sleeping, I was keeping myself distracted, buried in my studies or photography. Or food.
The first two days, I was in shock and denial. The next four days I was sad, but because I had accepted reality, I was able to be optimistic in regards to the future. More than a week has passed now and I’m doing much better. This is how it works-
You deny the existence of something that clearly exists, you’ll always find yourself at a dead end. But when you acknowledge what is for what it is, you’re able to come to terms with it and find another, if not the same, pathway.
The past becomes a lesson.
Rule #3: Make time.
This one’s super important and super tricky. People can’t seem to find time for themselves! It is so necessary to set aside time investing in your self, creating a happiness that’s independent of others.
Anytime you’re feeling down, try something new. Find a hobby. As I mentioned in a brief previous post of mine, there are those who’ll pick up a paintbrush or a brow brush when dealing with something similar. That becomes their way of coping with the negativity. In the beginning, you may fail. But with practice and patience, symbols of your resolve, your attempts will certainly lead you to success.
Rule #4: Be YOUR best
It’s not about following in someone else’s footsteps or trying to be somebody you’re not. It’s about unleashing your best version of yourself. Bruce Lee once said, “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
That’s the secret to happiness: self-love.
Self-love is genuinely caring for yourself, giving back to yourself, being yourself. It’s taking a break, however that looks, from all conventional matters and putting everything on hold for some me time, time that’s a natural born right, just like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
If you’ve experienced hitting rock-bottom at least once in your lifetime, you’re aware of the sentiments that come with it- feeling of confusion, anxiety, fear, a drop in self-esteem, and god knows what other awful thoughts.