When Chris from Old Cove Road reached out to me via email to ask if he could share my blog post, How to use your smartphone like a hammer, on his website, I was utterly flattered. So, I went on his website to find out why my article was worthy of being shared, and as I browsed through, his podcast episode titled Write for Your Life caught my attention. In the episode, Chris explores the necessity of telling our stories, writing being one medium, to break down the stigma and misconception surrounding mental health and mental illness.
Most of us self-medicate to some degree to manage our emotional needs.
Self-medicating can be done through the use of drugs, alcohol, and other substances to deal with a plethora of negative emotions, including stress, anxiety, and depression.
Some people also self-medicate with excessive food, videogames, or watching TV.
Self-medicating can be defined as a behavior in which an individual uses a substance or any exogenous influence to self-administer treatment for physical or psychological ailments. In other words, we can self-medicate with almost anything as a way to escape from the emotional discomfort or anguish we feel.
Self-medicating is often harmful because we gravitate towards negative influences to deal with our emotional needs and discomforts. We eat junk food. We light a cigarette. We grab a drink to unwind after work, every single day. We stuff ourselves with cookies and ice-cream to help us forget our sadness.
But, what if, instead, we self-medicated with art to banish our boredom and anxiety?
It is nice to be important, but it is important to be nice.
During my undergraduate studies, I volunteered as a team leader at the Peer Support Centre that offered peer counseling to students. As a team, we were responsible for hosting events to promote mental health and the Centre to students, staff and the campus community in general.
The first event I organized with my team was engaging students to share with us a life mantra or a quote that they live by. We then shared all the positive messages with the general campus community by posting them on the Centre’s Facebook page.
The idea was inspired by acknowledging that young people carry important knowledge regarding their mental well-being. By providing them a platform to share their messages, young people can inspire and support their peers, and foster a sense of community that supports mental wellness and mental health among young adults.
Any form of writing, including artistic, academic, or otherwise, can serve as a form of self-therapy, a way to make sense of our thoughts and feelings and discover our deepest desires. One way to incorporate writing into our daily routine is by keeping a daily journal.
In 2009, I wrote my first-ever journal entry on an online diary. By 2013, I have managed to write thirteen entries. Although, I would always promise myself, and my diary, that I will, for sure, write more this time around, it took four years to seriously immerse myself in keeping a daily journal.
Since 2014, I have written 1128 entries, about 280 entries a year.
In my previous article, titled how to fill our days, I mentioned, rather sarcastically, that we should all denounce the Busyness Olympics, and instead brag about the glorious 7 to 8 hours of sleep we get each night.
Unless there is a legitimate reason for an individual to sacrifice sleep, such as needing to work lots of hours, running multiple side projects, and/or other obligations, everyone should aim to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, or whatever amount of sleep one needs not to operate on sleep deficiency.
Sleep deficiency is no joke. So much so that it is one of the very few of our biological needs that the science seems to be in unison on— getting enough sleep is vital for our overall health and well-being.
Naturally, I stumbled upon stoicism during one of the worst times of my life.
It was fall 2016. I have just started my first semester of grad school and had to take a social theories class that was required for all sociology majors. Quite frankly, that class made me feel so utterly incompetent and useless, I might have considered to mention it on a suicide note that, thankfully, I never got around to. Despite the brilliant and quite interesting professor, I could not figure out Foucault to save my life, and lucky for me, the whole course was on Foucault.