When the doctor prescribed my daily dose of anxiety drugs, I chuckled. I hated tablets and this short bearded man is telling me that I need to take these for two consecutive weeks. A small part of me screamed silently.
It was at this point I realized that I had reached rock bottom – taking pills to stay calm and focused (no one knew – I suffered in silence and masked my face with a smile daily) but the sobs came during the nights. My anxiety was really taking a toll on me.
Life is like a big ocean where humans dive in, start swimming to reach ashore but, only the fittest survive.
Don’t you wish it was this simple? Sadly, it is not – life throws bullets at you during unexpected times and we either miss it or get hit. The moment you get hit, you start feeling like you’re dying. But if you can move fast enough you will survive.
Have you ever felt stuck, at a point where nothing matters and you have lost the urge to do anything? You are just bothered and depressed. Perhaps it was triggered by disappointing situations, change in circumstances and numerous losses which made you doubt your self-worth and your ability to thrive.
The majority of us have had a phase where we wish we would just do nothing, hide from people and live in exile. Longing to be in your own solitude without any distractions. It usually exerts as negative attitude and character on our part. It is normal to experience a period of sluggishness in your life. What is not acceptable is staying there, in this downward self-pity. You have to get unstuck and start acknowledging your worth.
I was at a point in my life where I was comparing myself to others who seemed to have it all figured out. My life took a turn and I began to feel severely depressed – even contemplating my decisions and existence. I started to worry about not achieving my goals by a certain age and this was really affecting me. I was too ashamed to speak to anyone about it – not even my closest friends.
The self-pressure triggered my anxiety and I was always jittery, irritated and constantly in a bad mood. I would go through the motions – work, home, church, sleep and, repeat. I was not interested in anything else. I lost focus on things I once enjoyed and began to make irrational decisions even accepted things which I once thought was foul.
What I realized is that I was causing more harm to myself by overthinking everything. I was placing too much unnecessary pressure on myself to conform to the demands of this world and society.
I found some alone time and decided to document my “feeling stuck” thoughts. I did a self-evaluation of what I was not happy with. I literally wrote a list of things that I needed to do to fix myself. Here is a pic of what I wrote on my iPad one night, in my “fixing me” period:
Then I began to write the things I have accomplished thus far. My level of motivation also started to increase. I then curated a plan of action on how I ought to get unstuck. I marked off those I accomplished as time went by.
The following day, I quit my job. It was one of the BRAVEST yet RISKIEST thing I did. My job was a contributing factor to my state and I knew I had to make that change now.
In my quest to get unstuck, I created strategies that needed to be done to improve myself. They worked (and still working) for me. If you are experiencing a period stagnation and feeling depressed, I am encouraging you to implement these steps to get unstuck.
Start today and become a better you by participating in these six (6) items:
1. Practice Gratitude: Give thanks! Journal things you are grateful for. Keep track of which emotions surfaced by certain situations and how it impacted your life. Look at the simple things like, peace of mind, a warm home, a job, friends, and think of how they have enhanced your life. I applied gratitude to the simplest things such as waking up by a sound alarm, walking into my kitchen to drink coffee, smelling fresh air, being able to stretch (because my bones are normal) and having a tasty breakfast (because I can afford it). These things made me realize how much I get from my morning routine. Some do not know what to expect daily. Some are ill and not sure if they will get better or worse. Practice gratitude in the little things and you will certainly feel more alive each day.
2. Evaluate yourself and improve: This involved analysis of my thought pattern – more positive thinking and more intentional use of time. One of the things I was able to realize was my strengths and weaknesses. I decide to go where I will thrive. According to Charles Darwin’s natural selection theory – you survive and thrive when you can adapt to your environment best. My environment was killing me so I had to move to an environment that was better suited for me. My weakness was complaining when things were not going as planned – I am learning to eliminate this – a work in progress. I learned to accept that things will sometimes go wrong, people will be malicious, disappoint you, places will be uncomfortable but I just have to adapt and react accordingly. Reducing my expectations by learning not to expect too much from people otherwise I will be disappointed if it does not fall through was one important lesson learnt.
3. Purge: Eliminate bad eggs in your life – less pessimism, less toxic people, less empty conversations and introduce more meaningful friendships, more constructive reading, and healthier diet. If you have people whom you cannot tolerate for too long, please resolve this. They are draining you more than adding value. It is time to start identifying them and eliminate them. They are not helping you. They simply making you feel worse. A complete wipe out of all the variables which you think could have contributed to your demise and state of imbalance can improve your mood significantly.
4. Commit to the project you have been putting off for so long. I always liked writing but could not continue. It was one of the things that soothed me. I knew I had to start back but I had a lot going on. I simply gave myself a timeline and then worked towards it. Try incorporating an exercise regime (my daily struggle) – which help produces positive neurons to improve brain function. Challenge yourself and learn a new skill, something you always wanted to do but never found the time.
5. Focus on the now: What you want in near future – how do you intend to get there? What are you doing now to accomplish your goals? Perhaps if you do not know what you want, it is likely that you will feel stuck. You will get involved in activities that does not align with your goal. Every BIG goal requires baby steps. It is important to know what you want to give you a sense of direction and motivation to work towards it (more specific than something).
6. Unwind and Chill: Of course, life is not all work. You should take a break, go out with friends, spend time with relatives and go on adventures. Try new experiences – take a solo trip to get your mind into perspective.
As a young people, we will all reach our point of self-actualization at different stages. Any time you begin to compare, you will welcome delay and frustration. We see people smiling everyday but there is so much more on the inside. Opportunities are not the same for all. Also, if you want something badly, you have to work for it – dedicate time and effort towards anything you want to accomplish. Being stuck is not a good place and I hope these tips can help you if you are drowning.
If you have alternatives, please let me know your thoughts. Share in the comments below.
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