“The mystery of human existence, lies not just in staying alive but in finding something to live for”
Life is never easy, but I am finding it particularly tough at the moment. I am on a year out from university and am currently looking for a job. Trying to fill my time is proving incredibly hard. So my days are filled with going to the gym or helping out at my local church. But more and more I find myself thinking I am useless and my life has started to feel empty.
Feeling like we have little purpose is a common thought that we all get from time to time, but left to fester it can cause more complicated problems. So what can we do to prevent these thoughts? Or at the very least challenge them? In times of transition or when we are ‘in between’ things, these thoughts can become more prominent and keeping them in check becomes increasingly paramount to our mental well-being.
For me it is important to spend time with people. I find myself at my worst when I am on my own. I begin to feel detached and it becomes easier and easier to isolate myself. When you spend time with people your brain is forced to engage, you are able to feel a wider range of positive emotions and most importantly you feel valued. As humans we yearn for acceptance by our peers and recognising we have this acceptance keeps our minds mentally well. Feeling connected and participating in social interaction feeds our need for strong, safe relationships. All this elevates our mood and allows us to function in our day to day lives.
One thing I have learnt from fighting my way out of depressive episodes is that routine is so important. A lack of routine leads to a chaotic existence which is difficult to make sense of. Make sure you have one thing to do each day. Even if it is going for a walk outside or tidying a room in your house. Plan your day the night before so you know in advance what you are going to do. Go to bed at a decent time, get up at a decent time. Get dressed every day, wash your hair, do your make up, shave etc. Do anything that makes you feel good and boosts your confidence.
Do not skimp on self care. You matter. I promise you that. Whoever you are, whatever you’re doing right now – you are important. When we are feeling low we often neglect looking after ourselves. Remember to eat well and avoid eating fast or processed food as this will not make your body happy. Stodgy carbs can also make us feel lethargic and less motivated. Do things you enjoy, and focus on what you can do, not what you cannot.
Lastly, stay positive. In whatever direction your life might be heading go with it, do not fight against it. Make good of whatever situation you find yourself in and most importantly – take control. In many ways we make our own happiness. Life is too short to be stuck doing things we do not want to do. You alone have the power to change and guess what? Change is good (and yes it has taken me 21 years to finally admit that). Embrace the fact that you are at a crossroads in your life and take the opportunity to make a change. It might not be so easy later on.
Anyway that’s all from me. Thanks for reading.