Photo by Nery Montenegro on Unsplash

How to drink tequila when life gives you lemons

Okay, the title is obviously a metaphor, and I am more of a wine girl myself, but you get the gist. Life is a mess. Make the most of it.

As a 20 something years old, life honestly feels like that. And yes, everyone tells you that your twenties are supposed to be like this. You need to learn. You need to grow. You need to figure yourself out.

What they don’t tell you is how to do that. I guess you have to figure that one out as well. But how are you supposed to do that when your life is crashing and burning all around you and you feel overwhelmed like you can’t move forward anymore?

I’ve been dealing with this a lot lately and I’m sure I’m not the only one. So here are a few things that helped me along the way, and maybe they will help you too.

Therapy

I was a bit skeptical about it at first. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever done. It really helped, and still helps me a lot. It teaches you how to see things more objectively rather than keep having irrational thoughts, that inevitably make you go into a spiral of negativity. So if you are feeling skeptical about it, just give it a try. It can’t hurt.

Friends

This one might seem a bit cliché, but it really does help. I am the kind the person that always keeps to herself, trying not to bother anyone with my problems (again, probably not the only one), but that doesn’t always work. When you’re feeling down or overwhelmed, talking to your friends can help. They can offer you their perspective on things and maybe you’ll even find out they go through the same thing and you’ll feel a sense of relief that you’re not alone.

Going out

This one kind of goes hand in hand with the previous thing on the list. Going out with friends to events, the movies, or simply in a pub for a drink can do a lot. I would say it kind of forces you to get out of your head, interact with others and (forcefully) enjoy yourself.

Doing something you like

Okay, this one is a bit ambiguous, but there’s a reason why. My therapist explained to me how depression works. Here’s what she told me. Basically, your brain is so overwhelmed with negative thoughts that it blocks the neurotransmitters that secrete serotonin, which is associated with happiness and feeling good. When these neurotransmitters are blocked what you need to do is force yourself to do things you like and enjoy doing. Now, this is no easy task, especially if you’re already in the situation when nothing makes you feel good anymore. This is where “forcing yourself” comes into place.

What I did was make a list of all the things I enjoyed doing before feeling like this. This can be anything, from eating pasta, listening to music, writing, reading, literally anything you can think of. Once you have the list, it’s time to act and do at least one of these things on the daily. Maybe today you’re feeling like eating your favorite dish at your favorite restaurant. And maybe tomorrow you’ll feel like listening to that one album you haven’t listened to in a while. It’s all up to you.

What do you do to deal with depression, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed?

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