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Deep Breaths: What to Do When You Feel Like Everything is Falling Apart

Mental Health & Self Love

Tue, January 02

It's exhausting to be a student. Right?

It's a roller coaster that never seems to slow down. It is a whirlwind adventure, from acing every exam to chasing goals and juggling through a social life amid hormonal imbalances. And you know what?

It does become overwhelming. There comes a point where it feels like everything is falling apart. You cannot concentrate, the tiniest of jobs become tiring, and before you realize you end up in the endless loop of scrolling through your phone, making it worse. But, hey, I have been there. I know exactly how it feels, and I get it. Here are 6+1 steps that have been a lifesaver for me every single time since I figured it out.

Step 1: Acknowledge

Pause for a moment and take a deep breath. It's completely normal to accept that you are overwhelmed. You don't need to act like everything is fine.

Remember, "It's okay not to be okay". Take a minute to understand how you really feel. Have that inner conversation with yourself, which includes blaming everyone around you and the situation you are in. Just do it. Grab a pen, and release all your emotions. Let your thoughts flow without any judgment. Then, tear it up - a highly recommended ritual. It may seem basic, but it is one of the most powerful steps toward self-awareness. For some, painting their emotions also acts as a coping mechanism.

Step 2: Exercise

After navigating through the tornado of emotions, you deserve a break.

Achieve the dynamic fusion of music and exercise. Grab your headphones and go for a walk; get that fresh air and take a walk for at least 10-20 minutes. This timeframe is ideal for releasing endorphins, the hormone that helps relax your muscles and ease tension.

Don't forget your essential ingredient-music. It's not about the happy, uplifting tunes; it's about selecting the ones you resonate with. Researchers have found that sad melodies help during breakdowns as they have slower tempos and lower pitches, which work wonders during tough times. They reduce blood pressure, lower heart rate, and, like walking, reduce muscle tension.

If you don't like walking, run. If you don't like running, swim. No matter what exercise you do, pair it with the right music and help those happy chemicals spread.

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Try this:

  • Start with soul-stirring songs.
  • Switch to melancholic ones.
  • Finish it with an uplifting song.

This can soothe your soul and rejuvenate your spirit.

Remember: Avoid Social Media at all costs. The rush of dopamine and the instant gratification by endless scrolling is very tempting, but the crash that follows is not worth it. Restricting yourself creates more space for deep focus and mental well-being.

Step 3: Tiny Triumphs

Embrace your small victories. Do something achievable that you've been putting off for a while - clean your room, restock your stationery, or make it more interesting by trying a new self-care routine, baking a cake, or even writing a poem. These may seem trivial, and you don't have the energy to appreciate them, but they boost your confidence and give you control over the situation in the long run. Celebrate these small triumphs; you have overcome procrastination and finally did it!

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Step 4: Analyze

After the tiny success, take a deeper dive. Skip the blaming; now it's analysis hour. Trace back to the source of your exhaustion.

Is it the prolonged weight of stress or the weight of unmet expectations? Maybe it was triggered by someone's words and actions or the challenges of navigating through an unexpected event. It's not only about identifying the cause; it's about understanding how it's affecting you. Shrugging it off does no good, so take a dedicated 5-10 minutes to reflect.

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Step 5: A Plan

So, now, how do you deal with it?

Start by devising a strategy. If it's about expectations, gear up for self-improvement. Set goals that you feel are right and steadily work towards them.

If someone's actions stirred this up, talk to them. Initiate that conversation, clear the air, and find a resolution. Stress? It's about time management. Carve out time only for yourself, your 'you time,' which is essential. Once the plan is set, consider sharing it with a trusted source. It not only eases the burden but also enhances the efficiency. Sharing it with someone you trust provides support and even alternative perspectives. It's not about finding the perfect resolution; you must regain your balance.

Step 6: Action

As a student, there's studying and assignments to submit. So, gear up, buddy. Rewind, and pull yourself back together. Speak positive affirmations to yourself.

Have a Pinterest board filled with uplifting, positive affirmations and motivating quotes, or even better, make a collection of handwritten ones. I do it, too, but with a twist. I maintain a book in which I jot down something nice I did, compliments, and hilarious incidents.

It's a personalized collection and a reservoir for positivity. Every time I feel low, I tear a page from that book containing one of those incidents, completely removing it, and then re-write it. Re-living those joyous moments never fails to fuel my energy.

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The Special Step: Practicing Sankalpa

This one is unique and doesn't quite fit in the steps mentioned above. However, setting aside just 3 minutes daily for Sankalpa is beneficial when you feel low.

As we step into 2024, all of us have New Year's resolutions - "I will achieve ___." But we all know the fate of most of our New Year resolutions. Sankalpa is a yogic term that is a resolution, but it's different. It has only a few words and is said at the beginning of the day and repeated nine times.

Instead of a future-oriented goal like "I will get good grades this year," it focuses and declares, "I get good grades." Initially, it might seem trivial. I felt the same when I first encountered it from my yoga teacher at school. Yet, an assignment compelled me to practice it for a month. That is when I realized the magic which lies in it. These few words give a head start to the day and do wonders.

In conclusion, returning to work while battling through a difficult day is not easy, but managing it step by step becomes less tiring. It's crucial to acknowledge, navigate through it and overcome it. By being involved in more tasks, the burden starts becoming lighter.

Shaaanvi V
1,000+ pageviews

Writer since May, 2023 · 3 published articles

Shaaanvi is a 15-year-old high school student in India. She has a profound passion for writing, painting, music, and fashion.