The world is such a cruel place. I had never known to which degree until I turned into an adult. It feels like adulthood is just all about problems of insecurities, and the endless battle of stress and depression due to the pressure and demands of our daily lives. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Adulthood is when we start evaluating ourselves based on someone else. It’s the age of “you’re on your own”, and “you got bills to pay”. It’s difficult, but it’s something we need to deal with for the rest of our lives. And while physical health is vital to keep us from fighting these challenges, our state of mental health is also an essential factor for survival. A healthy mind drives us to our ambition and keeps us more productive.
Today, I will be sharing you my story, and give you tips on how to deal with your mental health, and win a fight against the ferocity of the world.
Dealing with mental health
Keeping our mental health healthy is essential to drive us forward. An unhealthy mental state will hinder ambitions and lower our quality of life. It’s just as important as physical health. Here are the tips to look after your mental health as per the Mental Health Foundation.
- Talk about your feelings – talking about your feelings is not a sign of weakness. It’s courageous because it shows how you care about your well-being. It’s okay to let your feelings out, then keeping it inside. If you’re close with your family, sit down and talk with them about your feelings. If you’re not comfortable revealing yourself and emotion to them, your closest friends can help. Going to a psychiatrist is also a great idea! Don’t be shy, it’s as normal as going to a physician for a check-up!
- Keep Active – regular exercise can not only boost your physical strength but also increase your self-esteem and help you with concentration. It’s not necessarily going to the gym, but simple things like running in place for 30-60 minutes, washing clothes, or even weeding or transplanting plants. Keeping yourself active distracts you away from stress.
- Eat well – a healthy body is a sign of a healthy mind. Eat nutritious foods, and stop eating junk foods such as burger, and chips. Or at least, control what you eat. Keep your organs healthy, so they stay functional. Drink lots of water a day to replace the loss. Practice a healthy diet. Consult a dietician for specific dietary advice.
- Drink Sensibly – control your alcohol habit! While sometimes alcohol certainly helps us forget our problems just for a day, or a couple of hours, it’s never an answer or solution to our problems. Sometimes, drinking alcohol only aggravates the problem. If you want to drink alcohol, make sure you don’t have any responsibilities the next day. Hangover makes you unproductive! Instead of alcohol, you could drink coffee. How does coffee affect mental health? Coffee is induced with antioxidants; drinking coffee regularly makes you feel positive. There is a side effect of drinking coffee as well, but the positives outweigh the negatives.
- Keep in touch – socialize! Let go of stressful social media, and try to have real-world conversations with your friends! If you want to be alone, it’s okay. Keeping in touch with yourself is also fine! Dinner in a fancy restaurant alone? Sounds great! Remember that being alone is not indicative of how sad and boring your life is. We have our way of dealing with things. But of course, at the end of the day, it’s also great to have someone to talk to. Invite friends if you can to Netflix and chill.
- Ask for help – don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness. You’re asking for help because you know to yourself you can’t handle it alone. There’s no wrong with that. After all, we’re not superhuman. Family and friends will be able to help you, but if you’re not comfortable, you can also pay a visit to professionals.
- Take a break – working 8-12 hours a day? Take a break. Turn off your phone, have dinner with family or friends. But most importantly, don’t bring the stress of your job to your house. When you leave the office, you leave everything behind. Don’t stress yourself too much. Even a 5-minute break to de-stress yourself is good. Make the most out of your available time. Get a coffee, or listen to a song.
- Do something that you’re good at – what are your hobbies? If you have time, try to do the things you love. Collecting plants? Or surfing? Always try to find time to do the things you love. Not only does it inspire you to do better in work, but also make you realize what you’re working for. And that’s to enjoy your life.
- Accept who you are – we are all unique and different. I’m more of an antisocial, so I spend my time reading books or being alone. Sometimes, chatting with people that matters to me. Or writing stories I don’t even bother finishing. But that’s me, and I accept who I am. People call me weird for that, but I choose to be alone, eat alone. I’m not lonely or sad. I enjoy it. I always have a great time with myself than with other people. If you’re the one who likes meeting new friends, go ahead and have a night out. Discover yourself. It’s easy to accept yourself if you know who you are.
- Care for others – helping other people gives an excellent feeling of satisfaction. But it also applies to the environment. Care for nature, for your pet, and being respectful to everything around you. Have free time and extra money? Randomly buy homeless people some foods, or give donations to the donation boxes on some department store counters. It may just be the satisfaction you needed.
Bonus TIP: Not knowing what to do with your life?
Ten years ago, it’ll be easy for me to answer if my teacher asks me how do I see myself ten years from now. I would say, “I want to become a filmmaker”. But well, ten years after, it didn’t happen. But it’s the only job I know that I’ll be willing to do for the rest of my life. When I failed my goal, I got depressive and suicidal. I lost direction, and I didn’t know where I’m heading or what I am going to do with my life. It’s the only thing I know! I thought it was already a dead-end for me.
Then in 2017, I started writing a technology-related blog on WordPress as part of a requirement for a major English subject in a University. I’ve been writing short stories since I was a sophomore in high school, but I lost interest to it when I was introduced to filmmaking. Technology blogging is new to me though, and it was very different from creative writing. I didn’t even know I was so into technology before I started writing for my blog. Blogging has revived my passion for writing, and merge it with my new found interest, technology. Months after that, I saw an ad on a technology blog which was looking for writers. I applied and got hired. I’ve been working since then (although it’s not always smooth sailing).
What about my filmmaking dream? Well, I will continue pursuing that dream. But for now, I’m happy with the job I have. I’m too young to stop dreaming. And yes, blogging also helps me buy things I will need for my future filmmaking journey.
Just know that there is no dead-end to anything. It’s just a matter of trying to figure out your interests and innovating yourself. My interest in both writing and technology gave way to a job I didn’t see myself doing ten years ago. I can’t call myself successful (I’m far from that), but I’m proud that I didn’t stop finding myself a way out of the dead-end.
If you both love business and books, try to sell books online. That’s how Jeff Bezos found Amazon. Quentin Tarantino also once worked in a video store to fund his feature films. It’s just a matter of finding your remaining interest, and using that to your advantage to pursue your dreams, and dreams to come.
But in the case of not knowing what you want to do with your life. Here’s a simple answer, not knowing what to do with your life is way better than knowing what to do with your life, and not achieve it. At least, you still got hope. Know that interest is sometimes stored in your subconscious mind. You don’t know you have it, until you tried. It calls for an adventure. Discover yourself.