There often come times where I go from super motivated and excited about life to being lazy and low energy, with this deep sense of sadness coming from within. These periods come and go and I tend to expect them to creep up at some point, sooner or later. Whilst I realize, that most likely many people experience this and it is completely normal, it doesn't take away the difficulty of functioning whilst in that state of mind. The first few were hard to go through, but I managed to get myself out of them and subsequent ones seem way more manageable and I have faith in my ability to continue chugging on. Since whilst writing this post I am in one of those (a quite tame one comparatively) I thought why not share my discoveries.
A super important part is maintenance. One thing that I try to do (sometimes unsuccessfully) is to keep up with the habits that I find important to me. Maintaining what was there during good periods ensures that when coming out of a bad mental state I can easily hop back to where I left off. These habits can be continuing to go to the gym (though perhaps not giving 100% effort), keeping my hygiene, maintaining my workflow and in general trying to be productive at work, and forcing me , to go to social events and activities. To ensure that a sad period doesn't turn into a depressive one I try to catch myself slipping and execute measures that work for me, like mindfulness meditation, walking or any type of new method I find. Maintaining what is there and what is good for me ensures that I can recover quickly and have minimal damage done to my day-to-day. That is why I try to create a basic productivity system so that when these harder times come I do not crumble. Therefore I believe that you need to maintain what was there and ride out the harder period.
A big reason why I started this journey of self-discovery is to understand why I feel a certain way, why I do what I do and how I can change my toxic thought or self-destructing behaviors. In order to do that I try to really look at and analyze myself. That is why I write. Probably the biggest help when I feel I am having a mental breakdown is journaling. It helps me get all the rushing thoughts onto something physical so that I can control the storm in my brain and see what it is I am manic about. Often times this helps me calm down and realize that these thoughts are unimportant, or plain and simple - dumb. Sometimes I realize something new, discover a new part of me or decide to try something different. I am a huge proponent of journaling and writing during tougher periods of life helps me get through them more smoothly and more quickly.
During this month's mental distress I have made a quite pleasant discovery - I seem to be able to manage it quite well. Not only is it a bit shorter but the periods when I am alone or when I need to focus come more easily and naturally, and when I do feel this surge of anxiety and sadness come through, the techniques that I found and tried do work. I breath, try to be present, try to talk to myself, exercise write and do anything else that comes to mind. And it all does work for me. These emotions no longer control me as they once did. And I think that is all I can do - try making things, myself, better. During larger life's crises, these small tricks won't solve what it is you are going through, but in addition to the professional help, they can alleviate some of the sufferings and help heal faster, well, at least that is what I believe.
So, this is what I do when difficult times come. I try to catch myself at the very beginning, do what I know works for me, write and think, and most importantly - I experiment, change things up, and put into practice new or true and tested techniques to survive and continue functioning. It is important for me to learn how to keep up with my responsibilities even when hard times come, and they most likely will, so that I am not caught off guard and completely break down. This way I can keep progressing, learning, producing, and perhaps in doing so - find the meaning in it all.