I was seen as an optimistic, bubbly, always smiling type of child growing up, always ready for the next fun activity. I had this zest for life that nobody could take away from me. I saw life with rose colored glasses, and had no plans of taking them off.
Life can make you jaded though, and unfortunately, in the span of three straight years I lost countless family members & loved ones, went through some other hardships along the way & dealt with some unfair circumstances. All of which made me extremely bitter towards the world & people in it. The emotional & mental toll those obstacles gave me lead to self sabotage habits (like eating poorly). In my eyes, I thought the light at the end of the tunnel was forever burnt out & things could never be better.
My family is relatively small & losing someone time & time again made it feel even smaller. When I thought of my future wedding, I became sad over the fact I wouldn’t have those people there. It honestly made me not look forward to my future for a while.
Over the course of a few years, I masked my feelings by numbing the pain & just powering through. I pretended I didn’t care when I really, really did. I bottled up my emotions & wondered why I was developing such bad habits along the way. I blamed other people for my problems instead of being honest with myself. I prevented myself from fulling healing.
2020 was the year I finally decided to dive deep into my feelings & properly heal once & for all. I no longer wanted to feel bitter over things that come naturally with life. And I wanted to be excited for my future instead of dreading it.
Time is Everything
Healing from any form of heartbreak, loss or change takes time. You won’t see immediate change right away. Sometimes when you are feeling like you are drowning in emotion, you just want the storm to finally pass. But the only way to concur pain is to distract your mind in healthy ways & know it will get better eventually. Years later, a memory of a loved one will pop into my head, & instead of feeling sad, I catch myself smiling now.
Get Lost in Something You Love
Whether this is reading a favorite book or discovering an entirely new hobby, doing the things that make you happy is the best way to distract yourself from the pain & see the good in life again. Setting goals for your future is also a great tactic to move forward into your next chapter. Time never stops, even through grief or loss, so you must not stop for it.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Have you ever experienced laughing so hard you can’t stop & so hard it hurts your stomach? These bursts of joy are so very important. I get this feeling while watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. One of my favorite moments, right after my Nana passed, was watching Youtube videos with my mom & brother. I truly believe that was one of the ways we got through that. Moments of laughter truly do heal the sole.
Take a Walk in Nature
Something about feeling the sun against your face & admiring the scenic beauty makes me forget about all my problems for just a moment. Not only is it a great way to stay active, but it brought me back into the notion of appreciating my surroundings more. Even in the winter seasons (which aren’t my particular favorite), I’ll put on my puffy, long coat & brace the elements.
I’ve touched on this topic in the past, but when it comes to the process of healing, letting go of the emotional burdens & reminders are what help us to our future selves. One of the reasons I started my minimalistic journey was how objects held so much memory. When it came to positive memories, I didn’t mind reminiscing. But for the moments that shook my world a bit, those were too triggering to hold on to. I had to rip the bandaid & do away with some of my past that hurt me to make way for brighter & better things to come. I didn’t want to keep the pain I was feeling alive.
Confide in Other People
I’m a very private person for the most part. I’d much rather deal with my hardships alone & in my own thoughts. Vulnerability scares me. The thought of burdening others with my problems seemed rude. I’m a great listener & love helping others. But I can’t allow myself to reach out for help myself. I slowly learned there is strength within opening up to others. And who knows, the advice could spark ideas to better your future.
Sometimes my mind won’t shut the thoughts or pain out & the only way to fight it is through movement. I can’t tell you how better I feel after a good workout. It’s my moment to zone out from the world around me, listen to some good music & let the toxins out. I especially appreciate cardio. It’s a way to let out all that pent up energy bottled up inside me. The funny thing too is, I kind of hate running. But if you catch me on a day I’m moody, angry & just damn irritated, I can run for miles. My mind is just so distracted by the emotions my body doesn’t even know what it’s doing.
Take Time to Reflect
In the beginning of 2020, I decided to buy a gratitude journal & write at least one thing everyday that made me smile. It started out as simple as “That cup of tea was on point this morning” to “the deep conversation I had last night really healed my sole”. The art of reflection is a way to become stronger for yourself & be honest with all aspects of your life. It’s key to focus on the little moments first, instead of the big picture. I grew an immediate appreciation of my life & eventually trained my brain to see the good.
Enjoy Your Own Company
This brings me to finding the joy with being alone. Whether it’s going to a coffee shop by yourself & getting lost in a good book or taking yourself on a walk, finding peace in alone time helps us tap into our feelings & get to the root of our deepest issues.
Create a Routine
Start off simple by creating daily to-do lists. I like to keep these in my notes section in my phone. It can be as simple as “make the bed” or “go to the grocery store”. I always feel accomplished when I mark one of the tasks as finished.
Let Yourself Feel
Have you ever just had the best cry? The kind that relieves any built up tension & makes you want to take a nap later? Therapeutic crying is so necessary especially in the healing process. Never see it as being weak. You don’t want all of that energy to get stuck. Instead you want to release said energy instead of suppressing it. When you suppress emotions, it could seem as if you are handling your feelings fine. But really your body will eventually release those toxins through physical ways like causing break outs, hair loss, & crying unexpectedly. Your emotional pain can develop into physical ailments, so take care of yourself. The fact that are bodies are capable of this is actually a weird & beautiful phenomenon. But we don’t want this to be the way we handle such tragedies.
Keep Moving Forward
As difficult as certain moments can be, it can’t be this way forever. Life is a balancing act of light & dark. When there is rain there is a rainbow. When life presents you with a hardship, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Even though it may seem dim right now, it will become brighter. You just have to keep moving.
For awhile I thought good things would never come for me. I thought I was stuck in this twilight zone & could never escape. Of course, pain is natural, & we will all feel it. I know I will probably deal with other hardships in the future. It’s human. But I hope I have gained a better perspective to meet those feeling head on & keep planning for my future. I no longer want to feel stuck in my tracks. And although this year has had quite it’s share of negative moments, I feel proud of still powering through & making a little happy life for myself.