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EVOLVERE

Losing Focus On You

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

Mental health. Our well-being. These are things that we can easily forget about when we have our lives wreaking havoc in front of us. When twists and turns grapple for our attention, we often lose sight of what is really important, which is making sure that we are okay. My life was going pretty well until I headed into high school. I had to leave behind all of my childhood friends and establish who I was all over again, but the thing is, I didn’t know who I was anymore. For so long I had an image of myself, but as my life started straying from what I had once known, this image clouded up more and more every single day. For a long time, I didn't have to make an effort to make myself known because I always just, well, was. But in a new school, with new people, in a completely foreign environment, I felt invisible. I didn’t feel like I was important anymore. I didn’t feel like I was even there.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

We all have anxious thoughts. Not necessarily anxiety per se, but things that give us the jitters to a point where we do not feel in control anymore. For me, those anxious thoughts became more than I could handle. It started to become a heavy feeling weighing down on my whole body any time I stepped foot into this new world that did not feel like my own. On top of this, I found myself becoming very down. I started questioning my purpose. I started questioning if I was really important anymore, because I sure did not feel that way. I found myself crying silently every night because I felt so alone. My anxious thoughts combined with these feelings made me think things like “your old friends will forget about you now” or “you are not that much now are you?”. It hurt because it was not anybody else making me feel this way, it was just me. So, I lost sight of myself and let me beat myself down. I pretended everything was fine even though it was not, and I really wish I had not done this, because forgetting about ourselves can significantly harm our mental well-being. If we stop caring about ourselves and let what we are going through overcome the need to take care of ourselves, it can be hard to reach the destination of accepting who we are and move forward to become who we are meant to become.



Why Is Self-Care Important?


What I have realized over these last few years, is that in order to accept new people and new things into your life you have to accept yourself. Maybe you went through what I had to go through, or maybe you are just in a situation that makes you feel terrible inside. Before I began accepting myself, I would look into the mirror and wonder who that girl was. She did not care about herself, she cared about what others had made her think she was. The outgoing girl. The klutz. The one you could lean on and count on for a good laugh. The thing is, the only thing I made myself do was cry. I had focused so much on others, that when it came to me, I wanted people to just like an idea of me so that I could feel like I belonged. That mindset made me feel self-conscious, which can make your anxious thoughts spiral. It is hard to stray from that mindset, but self-acceptance is a beautiful thing. I hate that it took me so long to realize that, and I am hoping that I can help you understand this sooner than I did. You have to start doing stuff for you. You have to live for yourself rather than others who you think your life depends on. I focused so much on my old friends’ thoughts and the thoughts of the people around me in my new school, that I did not let myself venture off and get into things that would make me feel happy. I realized that I was not feeling sad because of other people, but because of what I let myself imagine other people thought of me. You can be your own worst enemy, and self-care is important because it helps you demolish the bully that you can be to yourself, so that you can finally stand up and say that you have won because you feel good about yourself.

How Do I Live For Me?

1. Take every opportunity you get to live for yourself, because you will wish that you had put yourself out there in the long run. Joining a sports team practically saved me, because it prompted me to start working out, helped me feel good about myself, and allowed me to surround myself with people who had common interests with me and acted as a second family that made me feel welcome and happy.


2. Do not have regrets. This may sound kind of silly, but it is a statement that I have learned to live by. You have to live in the moment, not the past or the future. The unknown is out of your hands, and all that you have control over is right now. So, live in the now and do not look back or think about what could have been, because right now you are who you are supposed to be.


3. Have chill days. Whether it is on the weekend or after you get out of school or work, let yourself take a breather. Take a second to soak up everything that you have experienced and just be one with yourself. Meditation can help with this, because not only does it have physiological health benefits, it also helps to ease stress and anxiety. Take a mental health break so that you can recharge. You do not have to be around people all the time, you can breathe and live in your own company for some time before you exert yourself again. Remember that you are HUMAN and that you need to prioritize your well-being.


4. Start a journal. We often need an outlet to help us relieve stress. Writing down your thoughts or the things that have happened during your day in a notebook or on your phone can help to ease your stress so that it does not become overwhelming. You do not have to read over your notes if they are too much to handle, your notes are for you and you can decide what you would like to do with them. Journaling gives you an opportunity to self-reflect and can be a safe place for you to share your emotions, which is perfectly okay. Try journaling to help you let your stress go by releasing it onto paper. Remember not to let these thoughts pile up to a point where they become too much to handle.


5. Listen to music. Music can be a great stress reliever because it can evoke certain emotions that we have hidden. Considering that holding on to negative emotions is unhealthy, try listening to songs that ease your soul or make you cry to help you release negative emotions, or try listening to upbeat and positive songs to make you smile and encourage you.


Takeaway

I hope that the takeaway from what I have shared with you is that you learn to love yourself. It is great to have others like you, but what about the person that you live with every hour of every day? You need to be happy with who you are. Life is not a breeze. It can be really rough at times. Our mental health is at risk every day because of the unexpected twists and turns that hit us out of nowhere, but every day we get the opportunity to work to improve our mental health. The better we care for ourselves, the better we will be able to handle ourselves through the obstacles that we will face. You are beautiful, you are strong, you are amazing, and no matter what you are going through or how you feel about yourself at this moment, please know that you are loved and that there is so much more that this world has in store for you.

 


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