There are moments in life where you feel powerless. Moments where you feel like your narrative isn’t in your own hands, that you’re just a spectator in your own life. It could be that moment when you’re dwelling on what the purpose of life is. It could be that moment where you think you’re never going to find somebody who understands you. It could even be that moment when you drop your ice cream on the ground and realize that the 5 second rule doesn’t apply.
I think a lot of us get like this, but not a lot of us share it. I mean each time I have a life crisis mental breakdown, I think it tends to make people who don’t know how to react feel uncomfortable. I have been having a quarter life crisis for the last 3 years so it explains a lot as to why I’m no longer invited to dinner parties (because I kept ranting on and on about the world and weird philosophies).
So what do you do when you get to a point where you don’t know where to go next?
Have a support network
I think this is the most important thing. You want people in your life who understand you, who will empathize and not belittle your problems. You need a support network that is there to lend an ear and not judge you. I think the worst thing somebody could say to you is “stop worrying” or “you shouldn’t think about this.” Nobody should dictate how you feel or how you choose to perceive your life.
Telling somebody that you are there for them no matter what is the most reassuring thing.
It’s reassuring because you know that somebody is there who cares about your wellbeing. When life feels like it’s out of control having a support network can anchor you by being a familiar space, a safe space, and a space that is just filled with trust and “Good Vibes Only.”
Never hesitate to reach out to someone even if they’re not your usual friends that you hang out with. Some of the people in my support network don’t even live in my city, but they are the people that I know will always have my back. You can even try reconnecting with an old friend, because I always believe that if it’s a true friendship, it doesn’t matter if you’ve lost touch as they will always be there for you.
This could be a personal preference but I find crying relieves a lot of stress on my end. It allows me to be in tune with my emotions instead of avoiding them. For those who cry very rarely, my advice would be to allow yourself to accept your emotions and feel them. Don’t let yourself go in a downward wallowing spiral, but allow yourself that time to feel those confused emotions. You should never be ashamed over how you feel.
Identify what is causing your distress
I’m the type of girl that will rant about my problems till I get to the point of “I want to solve world hunger.” You need to take a step back from everything that is going on in your brain and try to identify what exactly the problem is. Are you unhappy because of your career? Are you unhappy cause you’re dating the wrong people? Are your friends not being supportive?
The only way to get out of a rut is to figure out what is causing it. At this point you’ll probably try and do something drastic like reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and hoping that the KonMari method will tidy up your brain. I’m all for them self-help books, so if that’s a necessary step in gaining control, then I totally support it.
Make a plan
Something that always makes me breathe a little easier is after I’m done having a mental breakdown to make a plan. Set concrete goals for yourself that will allow you to visualize how you’re going to get to where you want to be. Cause right now you may not be where you want to be, but everybody deserves to be happy and you deserve to get to where you want to be. One of my favourite quotes is from Tracee Ellis Ross,
I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be, to inspire me and not terrify me.
I live my life by this quote. Life is a journey and a lot of people are lost even though it may not seem like it from their highlight reel of a social media. It gets overwhelming when you feel like you don’t have control, so let your life spiral a bit but don’t let it spiral out of hand, that’s why making a plan (after your mental breakdown) is important. It gives you that feeling of control again.
breathe and enjoy the ride
Yes if you are like me you will probably hyperventilate when you’re breaking down, but always remember to breathe. You should set a goal to fix your problem, but don’t let this issue overtake your life. Life is a journey, if you obsess too much over your problems you may forget to actually enjoy living. So in-between all the self help books and mental breakdowns, do things for yourself that you like. Watch your fave comedian on youtube, attempt a DIY pinterest project that will turn out nothing like the pics, or even buy yourself flowers.
Come back stronger
At this point, I remind myself that I ain’t no sissy b!tch. That I am a strong independent woman and that this is my life and only I can dictate the narrative. Choose a path, take a walk, soak it in, because even if it’s the wrong path your life GPS will just say “when possible make a legal U-turn” and there you’ll be steering yourself back in the right direction.