9 ways to get through tough times. I know it doesn’t seem to be my case but to tell you frankly, I have not published anything that I have written in the last three months. I didn’t just hit burn out, the pandemic shook a relationship I held so dear in my heart and the last three months have been dark and my emotions have been fluctuating if not erratic.
I am navigating a very dark season of this new life I am living and this post will teach you 9 ways to get through tough times.
I couldn’t be the writer that I have dreamed of and promised to be. I could not be more thankful that Karen has saved me by contributing her insightful article about her own mental health journey and tips for bouncing back from burn out.
Read also: 4 Simple yet Powerful Ways to Beat Burnout
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading this blog.
Oh how long have I prayed for, worked my as* off and waited for this moment to say that “thanks for this blog, I can follow whatever my heart and soul have been telling me to do.”
I have lost count of how long I have been secretly daydreaming and fantasizing since I read my favourite travel blogger’s article that credits her own blog for allowing her to do what she does for a living.
I lost count of many sleepless nights I stared at the ceiling wishing I could write just like her, think just like her and if I could borrow her brain for even just one brief moment.
If you’re reading this blog, thank you. You made my dream come true.
If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll see my many posts but in reality, since May, I couldn’t seem to take my brain with me and you will probably do me a favour to tell me go seek professional help. And mind you, a follower did which I just shrugged off because I believe I still got a little sense to help regulate myself and quiet my overthinking brain and console my overfeeling heart.
I appreciate the concern and the suggestion but a question I refused to ask, “Why do you think I am writing?”
It’s clear to me that to be emotional is not for this culture and maybe not for this circle of people. I needed some time to accept that I couldn’t be my own life coach despite my certificate and the countless self-help books I have been devouring.
None of my old tricks worked no matter how much I tried to convince myself that they are effective. I realized that different situations and life stages require different coping techniques.
Here are the things I am doing differently this time:
Corona Virus made me stay at home without even being aware that I have already been a full time content creator. Instead of using the time to heal every wound I had, I saw the pause as the time to hustle even more despite the fact that I have been hustling harder for the last few years even in the middle of feeling lost.
With the threat of global recession came the fear that I might lose everything I have worked hard for. I was too scared to be broke again. I was scared that after the pandemic and the world has recovered, I’d be left with nothing. I was so scared to hit rock bottom again.
So even if I was suffering from constant anxiety attacks and has been running on empty, I still drove and aimed to drive even faster ignoring the fact that I have been emotionally eating, overwhelmed and overworked.
Read also: SOLID #Girlboss TIPS ON GETTING THINGS DONE
Some aspects of my life, I am winning and on the other, I am losing. I couldn’t seem to find the balance and maybe I was not after the balance. I have not been taking care of myself the way I promised to.
Read also:Mind, Body, and Soul: The Divine Balance
Since I couldn’t make my heart stop aching and nothing that I was working on made sense, I hit pause harder than I thought I ever could in this lifetime.
I am learning not to feel guilty and ashamed of myself for wanting to truly recover and to not treat the time I am using to rest as wasted time.
I literally put everything on hold because the thing with you being your own boss and your work is highly dependent on what your higher self tells you and this higher self refuses to show up, you’re effed.
No matter how disciplined you are, it’s hard to follow a routine. It’s so hard to stay focused when you feel like your chest was cut open and it feels like blood is gushing out of it. A part of my heart died and I must allow it to grieve. So I had a plan.
I planned on not doing anything even if that made me somehow think that life is passing me by. Let life pass me by. My wellness is my new priority and I know that if I started feeling well again, I am capable of doing more and better.
My emotions are valid so I stopped repressing and suppressing them. Instead, I am welcoming all of them even at my most confused and angriest state.
I am allowing myself to cry my tears dry. Crying always does wonders for me. I always sleep and feel better after a good crying session.
I acknowledge that I was mad even if I don’t want to be mad.
I acknowledge that I was mad at anger because I couldn’t bear that heavy feeling.
I acknowledged that I was mad because I couldn’t seem to forgive yet I was mad because I know I need to forgive and I must learn to force forgive myself for even accomodating that mad feeling.
I acknowledged the fact that I was mad because I couldn’t write without writing the specifics of my rage. I couldn’t write with rationality and fairness and I realize that the only time I start to truly calm down is when my other negative emotions have voiced out their concerns.
I couldn’t and wouldn’t stop raving about this childhood hobby and how many times it has saved and still been saving my sanity and giving me clarity. I couldn’t even stop raving how this childhood hobby has lead me to meet my true self, has shown me my purpose and has given me a whole new career when I thought I reached the end of me.
Read also:How Journaling Cured my Depression
Maybe I couldn’t say that I have not been writing in the last three months because I have been writing more. I am journaling even on the notepad of my smartphone. I am writing as I think and what I feel no matter how ugly they are and I am learning to not judge myself for whatever kind of words are being written.
I am learning how to listen to my fears, guilt, doubts and my inner child without actually believing them. Intense journaling has also been inviting my higher self to make peace with all the other not so good ones.
This seemingly innocent, corny or simple act purges out everything out of my system and makes my burden to seem lighter especially if I don’t filter my words and write as I think and as I feel. I don’t correct myself nor attempt to remind myself that it is not right nor fair because after all, my journal is just for my personal consumption.
Reconnect with Friends
Since the day I started questioning myself, where this life is bringing me and how can I be happier, I have been isolating myself to give myself enough time to ponder on what truly matters to me and how I see myself spending the rest of my life especially in the last two years.
Read also: 31 Self-Discovery Journal Prompts
I know that I might not be a daughter every parent wished to have, I was the type of friend a person would not wish to have and I have found myself feeling alone or even literally alone in a lot of situations but this time, I reached out to some of my friends whom I lost contact with.
I feel guilty yet grateful that they still wanted me around even if a point in my life came and made me realize that having one friend is indeed enough if this one friend offers you deep connection and doesn’t judge you with your life choices.
I was slapped by the reality that indeed “no man is an island.”
I didn’t know what I was thinking when I jokingly posted on Facebook that I am accepting orders for my favorite Filipino dessert. I was under the impression that since my personal Facebook friends are mostly in the Philippines but I was swamped with orders.
I knew I couldn’t do this alone, I reached out further to my other friends who live nearby and this lead us to have a little weekend bakery with overwhelming orders. I found myself baking even amidst the hot and humid weather, scouting packaging, new baking tools and shopping for bulk baking.
My wee-hours-of-the-morning-sob-party was replaced by fits of laughters and witty banters with my friends while baking and meticulously glazing and packing our dessert. It’s funny how I once wanted to learn how to bake to have his family and friends try Filipino desserts and now, a new door has opened which is actually helping me cope.
Hiking and Road trips
Somewhere in between this baking bonding with my friends in our weekend bakery, hiking and road trips were also being cooked.
I turned down a lot of travel invites yet during this dark season despite beautiful summer heat, I am not turning down any. This might be the darkest and coldest summer I have yet it is the best and longest summer I know I will ever have here.
Suddenly I am being reminded of the slow and laid back life in our village void of the worries of adulthood. I suddenly feel like reliving my uni summer days spent under our mango trees while chitchatting with my cousins and childhood friends about nothing that actually made sense.
Changed my Wardrobe
July came and I stared at my half full closet, uninspired. I couldn’t bear to wear whatever I still have just to stick to my minimalist self.
I went down the kitchen to get a garbage bag. With a hand in my hip, I started looking at every piece. Defeated, I dropped the garbage bag on the floor and started taking one item after the other. I have started asking myself if that piece makes me feel like my higher self.
The closet grew emptier. I felt victorious or a bit proud yet that ache to go shopping and the guilt to stay a minimalist.
I hesitated for a minute. Maybe I should lose a bit more weight before I start shopping but I dismissed the thought. I want to look and feel better now whether I lost weight or not. I don’t want to wait until later. I need to feel good again.
I know that a new chapter is waiting for me to show up and I am showing up with new set of dresses and make up kit.
I feel incredibly proud of my body for being able to survive rough and steep hiking trails even if I have slacked off and put working out aside for a very long time just to save time and be productive.
I also feel guilty for letting myself go and not taking care of how I looked. I was complacent and sure about his love that I just wore ratty shirts, leggings and jeans which totally killed my confidence (maybe one of the reasons why I am single now).
My shopping craze has expanded not just to new dresses and make up but also to workout stuff to make workout more fun. I just couldn’t bear to workout at the gym right now. I just couldn’t do it with a mask on so I am taking advantage of the nearby river to run and walk and our garden to do bodyweight workout.
And if I start feeling heavy, I just lace up and start my little nature time.
I am amazed by how this heartbreak has affected me that I couldn’t read nor meditate at all.
None of my huge pile of books has lured me to stay at home and read. I owe my new mindset to books yet this time, I just know that I had to let reading go after struggling to finish a book for a month.
Like an addiction I couldn’t give up, I still went and visited my favourite book store. However, my attention has been shifted to fiction books I’ve been eyeing before. Reading is engraved in my system so to go for a day without reading something doesn’t make me feel like myself so I still bought books so that I will not lose faith in love and humanity.
I am still healing and might on hiatus for a little bit longer, FYI but my questions are now different. They now evolved to “What is this situation trying to teach me?” and made me look at the fact that maybe I was the toxic one. Maybe I was the selfish one.
I might have allowed my depression and trauma to make me blind and only focus on how I was feeling that I forgot to check what the other was feeling.
I am not the only one battling with my emotions and I am not the only one with suppressed and repressed emotions and traumas that didn’t heal so it is manifesting itself by means of unintentionally hurting each other.
Oh how I wish I could tear hearts and brains open to find something clearer in there.
I forgot that not everyone has enough words to express emotions. I was so centred on naming my own that I somehow neglected and ignored the other’s needs.
I couldn’t realize earlier that not everyone is willing to break their hearts open to make space for proper healing. I thought my mission is everyone’s mission too.
I must learn to accept that this defeat is intending to teach me lessons and letting the chapter end so I could slide into a new and promising one.