Conquering Mental Illness

Fighting against mental illness can be really though sometimes. It has the capability to cloud everything so much that we don’t see a way out anymore. I hate that at times my anxiety takes over, that I start believing the lies it tells me because that’s what it helps me to focus on in communication with others. That sometimes it means going to bed right after dinner and still having trouble getting up the next morning, that socialising can become difficult because its exhausting dealing with the sensory overload inside your head and pretending that everything is okay. These things come and go, sometimes I’m doing great and other times I get my stress tics and can’t seem to figure out what’s causing them but at the end of the day I am utterly exhausted and everything bothers me. However I do believe that we can try to fight this, try to conquer our illnesses and try to live the best life that we can. That’s why I’m writing this blog post to you, with some tips that have been helping me along the way.

  1. Write hard and clear about what hurts.
    For myself I notice that so often I’m overthinking and I get caught in this whirlwind because everything stays in my head and I don’t get the opportunity to take a step back out of the situation to rationalise everything going on. Talking to people doesn’t help me in this case but what has helped is writing it all down. At first I don’t think about what I write I just write whatever comes up in my head which is usually a lot. I usually have a lot of frustrations that come out because during the day I keep it in from people. Once I’ve gotten everything on paper I can start to process it and think about how it works in my head and how I can best deal with it. Sometimes it’s just a relief to have it on paper instead of whirling around my mind. When it’s out, my head quiets down for a bit and I can get some rest.
  2. MOVE!
    I noticed a lot of my anxiety and frustration came from sitting still too much. I work a desk job for most of the day, drive home, and head to my room to relax after a mentally draining day. I barely move and that results in all the natural energy I have for the day including for exercise just gets pent up inside my body and goes to my head creating restlessness. I hate actually going to exercise, but I always realise that when I’m in the middle of it I enjoy it and afterwards I’m proud of myself that I did it. Especially since it can be hard to get motivation for anything at times especially purposefully exerting extra energy you’re not always aware that you have. It can be simple things you do, take a walk (especially if you have a pet this helps cause of the accountability!), take some time apart to do pilates or yoga exercises (*I’m not actually a fan of yoga but I think that the workout is good), or even housework is considered working out. Have you ever had to vacuum or mop a lot of ground? Trust me it’s a work out.
  3. Grounding
    I’m still trying to figure out how this one works, but I’m really actively trying to use it in my everyday life. I have the tendency to tap out mentally and go on autopilot through my day everyday. Later I realise I didn’t actually experience anything cause I’m in a way just hovering through life without being there at the moment. It causes me to lose touch with myself, not be aware of my emotions or what my body is trying to tell me. That results in me usually feeling really empty and somber for ‘no apparent reason’. There’s plenty of grounding techniques and tips you can find online to work with this and find out what style suits you the best. My goal in this is that I want to become aware of what’s going on around me, fully experience what is going on in those moments so that I don’t look back later and think that life passed me by.
  4. A friend
    My last tip or advice for now is find someone to share your struggles with. It can be a person it can be a group of people whatever you feel comfortable with, you don’t need to do this alone and often times people understand us more than we think. We are not made to carry this weight alone, we share the weight of our burdens with loved ones as we do the same for them, because the more we keep it to ourselves the more we isolate ourselves. We don’t need to fight alone.

I hope at least one of the points noted here stuck out to you and helps you to do something that helps. It’s not an easy battle fighting on the inside, people don’t see it and have the tendency to invalidate it because they don’t know what you feel or are going through, because they can’t relate. Don’t let that stop you cause you’re growing and learning and I’m proud of you for still fighting.

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