I had always been the kind of person to avoid conflict at all costs. I was so keen on making sure everyone around me was happy that I often ignored my own emotions and needs. The result was that I felt exhausted and overwhelmed by life’s little stresses without ever being able to fully articulate why.
It wasn’t until recently that I finally took the time to really listen to what my body was telling me, and how much of it had to do with various mental stressors. Whether it was anxieties linked to past trauma, current doubts about life choices or even simple worries about day-to-day tasks, these stressors were negatively impacting my quality of life in more ways than one.
The first step in taking control of my mental health came from recognizing how external factors were adversely affecting me and learning some new coping tools; journaling came in particularly handy as a way for me to track my reactions to different circumstances and gradually understand them better.
Self-care also became increasingly important; whether it meant giving myself permission for an hour or two of rest in the afternoon, forcing myself out for a morning walk despite feeling low or even just sitting down for five deep breaths throughout the day, this small yet impactful break from whatever daily challenge presented itself did wonders for my overall wellbeing.
Although these changes weren’t immediate by any means, I have managed make noticeable steps forward in terms of better understanding and managing my mental stressors. And while things don’t feel less difficult all the time now – because they just don’t – there is a newfound confidence within me that gives me strength when dealing with those emotional challenges, no matter how hard they may seem.