Hear me out, these are probably unconventional ways, but I’m still going to pass it on because I’m standing tall today thanks to the resilience I’ve built out of it all.
Ever since we were kids, the story (at least for girls) has always been a Cinderella and her Prince type of deal. You poor little soul… don’t worry, your time will come, and by that they mean some dude will come along one day, out of nowhere, and rescue you from all of your sorrows and misery, regardless of what your troubles may be. Cool story, bro.
But what if I told you men actually have been a consistent reason for disappointment in my life. (This is the part when I tell you that sometimes I wish I were gay.) So, no, no one is coming to rescue you. Good for you if someone does, though, but don’t wait up.
My strategy for survival is simple: I don’t have one. I face reality and roll with the punches. I suck it up, woman up, cry a lot, and get lost in my interests and passions. Also, ranting/venting/talking (however you want to call it) to someone never killed anyone (I hope).
Traditionally, we’re told to see a therapist, read a lot of quotes (eye roll), go on some spiritual, healing journey, etcetera, etcetera. That works well for a lot of people, but realistically, not everybody can afford a therapist; not everybody is willing to talk to anyone about their problems; not everybody knows how to express themselves to let off some steam (you’d be surprised). Some people don’t make it easier on themselves simply because they don’t know how to or they can’t afford it.
It is major to first understand what it is that is affecting you so deeply so that you can address the problem accordingly. You have choices; you could keep hammering your head about the what-ifs, the could’ve-beens, the resources you don’t have (as opposed to what you do have and can work with to alleviate the situation).
I also find that distractions are just as important. The goal is not to block the problem completely to the point where you never even allow that scar to heal, through understanding and acceptance, but to give yourself some time to step out of your sad little corner for a moment so that you can see and appreciate things that could be making you happy otherwise.
Distractions can take your mind off your problems and, even if temporarily, provide some mental relief.
My favorite distractions are long walks and dancing. And when that doesn’t work, I just let my emotions be, allowing myself to feel whatever I need to feel. That’s also important — just try not to stay in that moment too long. It can become harmful to the mind and soul.
I believe in this philosophy that I often forget to practice, but which is realistic and doable: “lo que será, será” (whatever will be, will be). In other words, it is what it is. Sometimes, fighting it hurts more than letting go.
We humans…we’re survivors. There is nothing we can’t overcome. Thankfully, nothing is permanent, except maybe for death — and we can’t even confirm that, yet.
Another way you can help yourself is by talking to a friend, a therapist, if you can, or someone you trust. Therapy works for many. We’re not built to bottle things up; we’d explode. We can and we do. I’m lucky to have people I can vent to, but I’ve also been on the other side of the spectrum and I know what it’s like to feel alone and helpless. It’s a horrible feeling, I don’t recommend it.
If it helps, putting it all down on paper can sometimes have the same effect. I’ve been writing about my emotions for years, so I’d say it is another way of taking some weight off your shoulders, a way to stay sane in times of uncertainties.
Do things that relax you. Everybody has their go-to! For me, it’s wine and the beach and music and poetry… But let me say this about alcohol. I know we tend to seek refuge in vices and whatever can help numb our bad feelings, but let me remind you that moderation is key. Find balance and lock it.
Of course, I still believe in meditation, exercise, positive affirmations, optimism, and all that good stuff in our warm hearts. But you have to believe in it and put it into practice for it to work.
That’s it for now. I’m putting this day to rest.
If anyone wants to share more ways to manage difficult times, this space is open! Stay hydrated and sleep if you can.