As a teenager continuing to struggle through anxiety, I know how lost someone suffering from anxiety, depression, or anything else along those lines can feel. People who have never experienced these themselves, or perhaps never heard of them ever can easily tell you that you have control, you are who you are, you are not lost, and of course, that line, “just feel better.” But it’s not that easy, we really can feel lost, especially us, teenagers, and when we do feel lost, it may be quite difficult to even find hope of finding ourselves. We often forget about who we are, what we’re supposed to do, and what’s best for ourselves.
As such, we can allow ourselves to alleviate some pressure and overwhelming weight on our chest through some reminders that we can keep in mind through our daily routines. A lot of these may seem of commonsense, but believe it or not, we do forget about some of these once in a while. And just remembering them and reviewing them once in a while can provide ourselves with a more optimistic mental outlook and when we feel like we’ve hit rockbottom. Here are the most significant ones I constantly remind myself, and I hope they could be helpful to you as well.
1. You are not alone.
A lot of other people around the world may be feeling exactly the way you’re feeling. Don’t think that you’re an alien to our society. You are human. We all go through some rough patches and indecisiveness, regardless of how personal they may be. Don’t think you’re abnormal. You are perfectly normal, and you are beautiful that way.
2. There is nothing wrong with getting help.
I understand that through these times, you may feel like nobody will understand you, and therefore, nobody can help you. But based on a couple of my friends’ experiences and even my own, just talking to people and welcoming their aid can help a lot. There will be people, family, friends, who will be glad to to talk to you and try understanding you, don’t be afraid to give them a chance. Needing help isn’t a sign of weakness. Just like #1, it makes you human. As cliché as it may sound, no man is truly an island.
3. There is also nothing wrong with pushing others away.
Just as there may be people who can help you, there could also be others who may just make it worse. Believe me, I understand. And it doesn’t matter who they are, how long you’ve known each other, just remember that you’re just doing what’s best for yourself. And there is nothing wrong with that. You don’t always have to be heroic, sacrificing yourself for others, because one day, your sacrifices can catch up to you, (in case they still haven’t) and that’s a lot harder to deal with. Just let things pass, if you want to confront them about it, feel free to do so. Just remember yourself.
4. You don’t have to do things others do or people tell you to do.
This is especially true, if you really don’t feel like doing that particular activity. Don’t let peer pressure get to you. You don’t always have to go along with being mainstream. Always remember that you need not force yourself to be someone else you aren’t. People may not understand you at first, but what’s important is you’re doing what you really want to do, and you’re not doing what you really don’t want to do. And really, doing otherwise won’t really help, especially if you’re one of those who feel lost.
5. Never blame yourself for the people who seem to have left you behind.
There will be people who we want to turn to. We want them to help us out, talk to us. At times, we may think that nobody else can replace them in your life. And when they seem to have walked away, created distance, it becomes second nature to blame ourselves. But please, I ask of you, don’t. It is not your fault. Never blame yourself for holding on to someone too much. Never blame yourself for needing help (refer to #2). Don’t ever think that you ruined their lives. If you look at #3, they have that right too. But when you play that right on someone, it isn’t their fault right? In the same way, when someone uses that right on you, it doesn’t make it your fault either. There are tons, and I mean tons of reasons that these people need space, but never think for a second that it’s who you are. Some of you may choose to blame them, and I will understand if you do. But just try to understand them as well. These important people in our lives can technically never be there forever, but try to be optimistic, that you will always find your way back to each other, somehow.
6. In life, you can not win every battle, but you can definitely win the war.
This is one of my personal favorites. If you look at each day as a battle, and our whole life as a war, from all the sufferings and pain that it may bring, it’s realistic to not win all those battles. There will be times when we will lose, when we will fall to the ground, lose our momentum even. But remember that it doesn’t end there. Forcing yourself to win through every day of your life is a rigorous task. Instead, it may help to just remember that there will be battles that will torment you, but that doesn’t make you lose the war. Never lose hope, there is always another day, and as long as there is, always look forward to that day. Just imagine how you can forge your own future.
7. You are in control.
This is a bit related to #5, but I’d like to give it its own emphasis, precisely because of how much we forget about it. No matter what happens, you make your own decisions. It is your body, it is your life. I know that at times it may feel like fate is just overpowering you, but remember that you do have control. You can steer your own life and your own future to the direction of your dreams and aspirations. Just think about all the decisions you’ve made that led you to where you are now. Without those decisions you made yourself, you may be somewhere else, someone else. In the same way, your decisions can lead you to who you want to be in the future.
8. You still need the rest.
Many of us forget how important and how helpful getting rest is. We become overthinkers, unfamiliar to what resting is and what it can do. We get stressed and in reference to #5, we end up making ourselves lose, before the battle even begins. You need the rest every single day. You need it for yourself, for the next battle, for the war ahead of you. When you think you can call it a day, throw yourself on a nice and comfy mattress, and give yourself the rest you deserve. When you get tired during the day, feel free to sit down, grab a cup of coffee, bite on a sandwich or any other snack. You may also spend some time with a friend you’re comfortable with. These little activities, as negligible as they may seem, can actually influence our mental health significantly. We are not superheroes, we do need the break once in a while, just like everyone else.
9. You can pray, someone will listen.
I think this is the one that will not be applicable to all, but I figured to put it here anyway for those who may find it useful. If you believe in any god, anyone up there, feel free to talk to them, to ask them questions. A lot of people may be believers, but many forget how powerful praying is. Praying is also a way of reflecting. Praying also provides you with someone to talk to when you think nobody else is there. Personally, I’m a Christian, and I believe in how He will always be there, and how He always gives me the strength to get through the challenges I face, in order for me to come out stronger. For those who may not be the religious type, if ever you get interested in devoting yourself to a religion, I highly encourage you to do so, how prayer works, to me, is quite inexplicable.
10. Loving is amazing.
Some of you may be like me, who after a long and tiring series of all sorts of relationships throughout the years of my life, especially as a teen, finds it harder to love and trust people. All you may remember are the bitter goodbyes, improper endings, and hurtful memories. I will understand if you find it hard for yourself to love. But if you can, try to remember all the good memories that came with loving. Remember the small talks, shared laughter, private jokes, experiences, and so much more. The world is a beautiful place, and all human beings are wonderful. We all carry a story, some heavier than others, but we are all capable of loving. And that, ultimately, unites us all. Loving allows ourselves to fulfill our gregarious nature. Loving is an amazing way of sharing your beauty to the world. To love is to be with others. Loving easily comes with smiles and happiness, and all that can truly help you.
11. But never ever ever forget to love yourself as well.
People who find it easier to do #9 often do so, avoiding this. They choose to shower the love they have on others, because they find it difficult to reward themselves of it. But let me tell you now, you do deserve the love. You too, are amazing. You are beautiful and there is nobody else in this whole universe like you. You may make mistakes, but these don’t define who you are. Who you are, is who you are from all possible perspectives, regardless whether positive or negative. This also kind of sums up everything as well. Trust me, you are loved, you are wonderful. You are exactly where you’re meant to be, even if you may feel completely lost. You are a wonder of this world, and never forget how important you are to the people around you. (Yes, you are very very important to them, to all of us. :)