Honestly, no matter how many times I say this, I don’t feel bad. I should, but I don’t. I have gotten used to the stress that comes with constantly working and taking on more than I can handle.
Is this a healthy way of living?
Do I know this?
Am I going to change things?
Don’t get me wrong. I want to change things, I really do. But, I often return to my old ways of working and working and working. I forget to eat or sleep. I even forget to talk to people. People have gotten used to me being preoccupied and unavailable all the time. This isn’t a good thing.
I forget that working all the time doesn’t only affect me as a person, it affects everyone around me. Having put all my focus on my work, I have started lacking some when it comes to human interactions. Lack of concentration is a symptom of an emotionally turbulent mind.
If your mind is not calm and composed, it is going to let itself wander in places it should not. I have been advised to meditate by a lot of people. A lot of people think they can achieve the highest level of focus and concentration, they can calm your mind and whatnot.
All of this can be attained just by practicing a certain type of meditation or relaxation technique is what people believe. Yes, it can be, but it is also the farthest from the truth, in the sense that meditation only helps to improve your concentration when you attain a decent level of emotional maturity.
One quick way to gain emotional stability, that I have learned, is to follow a morning routine. I have always been a morning person so this was never an issue to me. Because I start my work way before most people do, I am done with a lot before people wake up. This gives me a lot of time to do more stuff and more stuff and more stuff. There is no end to it.
Ideally, your mornings should consist of positive affirmations, exercise, reading, and journaling. These practices are supposed to help you be more in touch with your life and your situations so that you can deal with them in a better way.
However, you can do all of this and it still isn’t possible for anyone to stay emotionally stable all the time, even an emotionally healthy person needs solace in times of distress.
You would think because I wake up early in the morning, most of my problems would be solved. No, this is what I do. This picture is of me working at 3 AM in the morning in a Starbucks that is one and a half hours away from where I live because this is the only place that is open 24×7 that I can work in. What is cropped out is the mess on the table, everything pushed to the side for this picture. My laptop, my notes, my books, stationery, etc.
Recently, it was one of my friends’ birthday. Another friend called me in the evening and told me to wish this friend. I had completely forgotten that it was his birthday. I immediately called him up, wished and apologized.
What he said was sort of an eye-opener. He said, “It’s okay. I knew you would forget. I don’t feel bad. After all these years of knowing you, I have come to expect this.”
He laughed but I know how disappointing it can be to get used to the idea that your friend isn’t going to remember your birthday. This has stayed with me ever since. I didn’t want to disappoint people I cared about, I didn’t want to see them sad, and most importantly I didn’t want them to stop expecting.
Events like these have pushed me to strive for an emotionally balanced life. I have started putting more thought into spending time with people. I consciously stopping work after a certain point. I make sure to have at least one meal (not proud of that). I make sure to get at least get a few hours of sleep (not proud of this either).
I have a long way to go, I know. But, knowing you have a problem is the first step to solving the said problem.