The Life Handbook: Tactics, Turmoil, & Tools
Some snippets of my life experiences to help you find your solutions and get some peace
I'm turning twenty six this month, I've gotten through almost 60% of my twenties, and it was a rough patch of adulthood for me. I had to know what I wanted to do, and how I had to buck up and battle through. The past four years of my adulthood has been a test of : independence, perception, perspective, and perseverance.
I can say that the first half of my twenties up had to be spent to unlearn what I thought I had to be and relearn how life works to be the person I want to be how to be. Then came some saving graces that I didn't think would help me out. What I had to learn in my 20s: I had to learn to accept the relationship that I had with my family, I had to accept that people might not like my book Inglorious Ink and that can’t stop me from creating the sequel. I had to learn about the way people see things differently than I do. I had to learn about boundaries, and how I wanted my specific boundaries. It took me four years to get mental maturity and gain independence, I had to make some decisions for myself and my path and learn different ways to adult.
I know what your thinking- "Sami, your only five years into your twenties, your barely into the adulting game, you need to experience ALL of your life to be some sort of guru to give knowledge" Yes, I get it, I'm a yuppie, you can say it. So far this article sounds like I've lived a full life and I'm the Yoda of giving knowledge. I'm turning 26, six days from now and life doesn't stop, I can't predict what is going to happen in my life. It doesn't matter what age you are in a certain decade, shit is always going to happen and people have to get through it, and I'm sympathetic to those that got a bad break in life and they are still trying to get through it. I applaud those that keep trying to make a better life for themselves and improve their mental health. I'm making this list now because I know there are people like me out there that need to have another solution that isn't "you'll be Ok", or "try drinking more water it'll help you out," or "don't think about it." This list will have you covered on anything you need in life, I guarantee it because I'm writing about it.
Before I get into the list that is going to help you in your tasks in life, I gotta say some heavy stuff first. I have talked about how life isn't prepared, so I'm being courteous to give the head's up to prepare for what I have to say, it's intense. There is an awareness to how life works but this is an awareness that I don't think people truly know from the way I had to see it in order to accept the way life is.
-In your twenties, thirties, the rest of your life , you’ll be tested , you’ll be disappointed in people, and people will be disappointed in you.
-You can fix things and you can change yourself, but you have to know what you want to fix and what you want to change about yourself.
-No one is truly prepared for what has to happen in life, as much as we try to know everything to get through life or the adulting challenges. We have our own way that we have to learn that works for us. Some of that learning does come from the everyday experiences. The world becomes a teacher, your friends become apart of those experiences to learn how you want to be a person.
-You can say that you are aware all you want, and you can say that you have a concept of reality, but you’re going to be tested about what you think you know about your awareness or your sense of realism. You need to be open how someone else interprets your situation to be aware of another perspective to help you out. I’m just stating the truth because it’s something that yours truly had to learn herself. I said for years that I was aware of how I knew how the world worked, because I was irked how people told me how the world worked. There will be moments in life that an awareness will happen for a different situation, so keep you awareness open to ruminate and dissect a situation.
-There is a thing called the law of rhythm and everything comes in to play and everything comes into your life for reasons and you are going to be tested no matter what decade in your life. We can't predict it, but we can have the emotional maturity and to mentally prepare and pre-cope for what critical curveballs we get.
If your like me, and your an overthinker, you can't help but think about how something drastic could happen and you prepare every worst case scenario. Then you have situations that an unfortunate event happened, and you tried everything in your power to get through it, yet you can't get any peace.
I have some starter guidance for you to help you from overthinking and having a plan to think about to keep in mind in situations you don't know what to do or how to think about it. Some of these will give you some peace to your psyche to ruminate on, and some of these are just some little bits I picked up that I will bestow for an interesting life hack for your daily life (You'll see what I'm talkin' about with the first one.)
If your reading this at time that you need to have some guidance to have these tactics, if you want to have something just get you started and have something other then what you've seen in cheesy TV shows for morale or listening to generic comfort. This is something that will be unique and easy to apply to your routine and rumination. I don't promise that these are going to be THE solutions to your problems, because you are the reader and I don't know what your going through. Everyone has their own path in life, not all solutions will fit, but there can be a little guidance to get some peace on that path to the solutions.
1. Pedialyte is your new best friend
Yes, that's a children's drink, I'm aware that it's for children's health, but it does help adults who have breakdowns and need to have extra hydration for health.
I learned this tactic from one of my friends that struggles with depression like I do. She told me that when she knows she's going to have a breakdown, she prepares for that by going to the store. She'll get a bottle of Pedialyte to replenish the water she lost in the deluxe waterworks package of the eyes.
When you’re sad, there’s a yearning for what you immediately want to grab and sometimes that’s going to be chocolate or salt. I’ve had to instill a habit that I need to grab a bottle of Pedialyte whenever I’m sad so that way I’m taking care of myself as I am having an emotional breakdown so I’m fighting a negative with a positive. All types of health going to an emotional breakdown because of your physical and behavioral and cognitive responses. You are in control of your own body and you have to make better decisions for your body.
ALSO, side note-keeping with the fact that it's hydration, you can use Pedialyte for UTIs. UTIs need tons of water to flush out the infection, having one glass of Pedialyte makes up for all those glasses of water, divide and conquer, there you go, your welcome.
2. Some friends need to be just acquaintances.
This new way of placing people in personal lives has helped me control the boundaries of some friendships. There have been some friends in my life that I wanted to have as a friendship, but it was clear to me they didn't feel the same way to have a comradery. Then on the other side, there were people that wanted to be friends with me, but I didn't feel the same way they thought of me in a high regard and having an established friendship that I didn't confirm nor want.
Not everyone can be like Joey and Chandler from Friends or see your friendships through for the rest of your life, I'm sorry to be that person to tell you that. Time will tell you if this is a person that will be there for the rest of your life or they won't, but it's up to you to determine if they will be on your timeline. You can build friendships and take chances on them to see if there is a comradery, but there will be friends that will be in your way of your path in life, or that just don't vibe with you.
I have had to let go of two best friends in my twenties, they were my world, they were another half of of me, but they weren't meant to be in my timeline. But, that was only a small part of of the learning process. I no longer saw it as an unfortunate event I kept going through because I look back on it as a learning experience to know who I want as friends. But before I got to that realization, I continually kept getting hurt by putting so much work into friendships, and not really assessing if this is going to be a person that’s going to be a part of my comrades for life. I had to quit assuming that every friendship was going to be permanent. As soon as I got into a friendship, I had all these thoughts and ideas about things I wanted to do only to find out that it was never going to happen.
The way I came to the realizations about acquaintances is how I analyzed my friendships. I had some friendships I was making all the plans, offering hangouts and some of them declined or said "Sounds good" (side note: It's a curt comment to be courteous, but to me, that is a cheap way of saying, "I don't really want to hangout with you, but I don't want to be mean".) Then on the latter I had some friends that constantly made offers to me to hang out when I had no interest. So then, pot-meet-kettle, I became the person to skirt around rejecting others as the others did to me. But in all realness, the way it is, it comes down to a vibe, I just didn't feel the vibe with them to maintain a friendship. If the vibe isn't there, then no need to force the friendship to work.
It's a hard confliction to know you care about this person, but not enough to be a steady friend. That's where the word "acquaintances" is going to be your go-to term to help you make some boundaries. To maintain a casual relationship of someone you know that isn't a friend. Just touching base that you do care for what their going through but you can't give all your time and energy. So now you don't have to worry about being a friend to everyone, but you are still a good person who just makes good boundaries so you won't get smothered or hurt.
There are friends that have constantly offered times to hangout and I denied politely, I had to tell myself not to feel bad if I can't help them or check on them often because I have my own life to live and my own problems to get through. It's not selfish that I have to be careful of who I let into my life.
But it is also important to have to say that if the other person isn't respecting the boundary you put up, and they are pushing a friendship onto, you will have to get it over with and just say ," I do not want to be your friend, I'm not feeling a friendship."
3. Go into some conversations where you know you’ll be disappointed
Now it’s not very positive to have that mindset, but hear me out. I don't mean to go into EVERY conversation to be disappointed. I would apply this to conversations with someone you can't get any leverage or leeway with.
People say things that will disappoint, its unfortunate but it happens. It’s better to have the pre-coping to know this person is going to say something to offend or disappoint you. It’ll get easier to go through conversations knowing you are prepared for the unexpected. That way you can’t get hurt every time and gain thicker skin to handle a situation.
You need to accept that there is a possibility that any conversation you go into will have a downside or an unexpected negativity. Now that you know that, you'll be mentally and emotionally prepared for it.
4. Think of your purchases as equations
Say you are buying a dress, what are you going to wear it with it? Say you are going to buy food, is there going to be enough to make leftovers?
When you buy anything, think about how it's going to impact your life? It's an item that could serve a purpose for your life or just for the moment in your life. Ask yourself questions like-
- Will this be something I'll wear with every outfit?
- Where am I going to put this item?
- Am I going to watch this movie a lot or is it because I'm into this genre now?
- Does this benefit my career?
- I already did a splurge purchase, is this the last splurge purchase I do for the month?
- Do I have room for this item?
- Do I need to start buying the store brand so I can buy this food item in bulk?
- Is this an impulse buy?
- If this is here next time will I still feel the same desire to buy it when I see this item?
When it comes to clothes, DVDs, decorative items, keep in mind if your taste in style will change so it might not be around in your room for a long time unless you know it will be. When it comes to food, that'll have to accessed for the best buy for saving money as well as buying the food you enjoy at a good price. Buy what you want and buy what you need as long as it's something you can enjoy for a good price.
Making a budget is hard when it comes to giving back to yourself and giving your money towards adulting, I can offer this as suggestion. Make a five buck budget, that way you can justify buying something knowing you didn't spend much.
If there is anything I've learned in mental health healing, it's OK to spend money on yourself. But I get it, I do, it is truly better said then done, I have my own bills and investments to do that needs every scrap of cash I got. That's why there has to be what I call "the safety net" for money and "the stress fund". Start putting some money into different places that is reserved for mental health emergencies. You might need that five dollars to go through the drive through and get yourself a small combo meal from Wendy's or you need that five bucks to go get yourself some gas. Have that money aside for a personal yearn or to use it for a real emergency.
5. You have to control your outcomes
Yes that’s asking a lot of you, Believe me I still have a hard time trying to control my outcomes too.
I’m going to be using a video game to explain this which I find ironic because I hate video games.
Do you remember or know a game called Before Dawn? I'll give a tiny synopsis, in the game all the characters are trying to survive in a horrendous ordeal in the woods to escape monsters coming after them and they have to survive until dawn. What made this game interesting is that every outcome at the end, a certain amount of characters would live. You can have all of the characters live or some of them life. When one of the outcomes of the game is all of the characters survival is achievable, game players did everything to keep all of them alive.
But one false move and there goes the character in the game and there is no way to go back and undo what was done. That can be applied to real life, when something happens, there is no choice but to accept it, but you can control how you accept it.
A couple weeks ago, I had another emotional breakdown about what was going on in my relationships with my family, I fled to my boyfriend's house because I was at a level beyond destroyed by what kept happening. I wanted to have a good relationship with them but it just wasn't working after my last attempt. It broke me so bad to a point, the pieces that were left of me had been pulverized further by pain. It sounds dramatic, but nothing hurts more then having even more hurt on top of it. There is a memory to pain, to have it reconstructed to fit to a new level of pain to tolerate, it's terrible.
So you have your background to what happened to me, now here's where things get better to how I learned to control my world. I was in Barnes N' Nobles, and I said I would purchase a self help book about anxiety on the mind on next visit to the bookstore. I upheld that testament, and I went looking for it; I went to find it so I could get some peace.
I ended up not going with the original book I had in mind, and found something that has changed my mindset for quicker and calmer ways to dissect my anxiety and deem it to be something worth worrying about. I opted to try out a book called "calm the f*ck down" by Sarah Knight that has basically served as my anxiety bible. Sarah Knight states in the beginning of part two about identifying what you can control, accept what you can’t and you have to let that shit go.
So you have to look at your whole life and know what you can control and then there are some things that will be completely out of your control. And I’m not talking about things you can’t control like the weather (Then we would all be like Bruce Almighty).
But there are some things that you have to control for yourself as well as-
- You can control who you tell your problems to
- You can control how you use your time (heck you can get some of that time back after you access what is a better benefit for your time)
- You can control the boundaries of your relationships
Earlier I mentioned how I fled to my boyfriend because of the fragile state of mind I was in, despite how I felt defeated and lost. I did technically have control of the situation because I changed it for the better, as opposed to going home and letting depression take me over even more. I went to someone that could help me and listen to me. I did control my outcome, I pushed myself to do something better for my health and to go to someone I know that loves me.
It’s a great song by Pink Floyd and it’s also some thing that people need more than money ( I think that’s also a great song by Pink Floyd)
I've mentioned about how time can be saved after accessing.
Time is something I have sprinkled throughout this list, now I get the time to talk about time (It was about time for that to happen). What my worries about time was I constantly felt like I was running out of time. I kept having a haste in hysteria at 25, I would constantly think “oh my God I have five years left and then I’m in my 30s and then I’m screwed”
I was upset for something that hasn't happened yet. Yes, I'll get my goals to take my books to the next level in entertainment, but I acted like I was already defeated even though it hasn't even begun yet for my process.
Everyone has a goal in mind, those goals can be achieved if it's leveraged correctly. The wants and the needs can be leveraged, the time spent for work and the time spent for fun can be leveraged.
I have my schedule worked out that I'll do about four hours of work in the morning and have the rest of the day to myself. Every day of my work time changes so I can work diligently on every criteria of my creative endeavors.
That also can be used for what goes on in the personal life like I mentioned in the section about controlling your outcome. It's for better enlightenment, instead of focusing on time running out, it's how I can use my time wisely, The other thing I mentioned, about I now think of certain friends as acquaintances, that has saved me time from worrying about being a good friend or making plans I don't want.
7. Go into intense conversations with a neutral view
Earlier I mentioned how it's best to pre-cope with a conversation when you know an outcome will be disappointing, this is also another take on it for conversations for everyone. Last year I had a difficult time with a best friend, I was told some things that I needed to be told, but I didn't entirely agree with them. I was heartbroken because I thought I was being a good friend. I knew I had to talk to her about what was going on but I didn't know how, everything I thought it in my head, the scenario, all of it was angry.
I discussed this with another friend of mine who taught me how to go through this delicate situation with neutrality.
As much as I wanted to be that person to go- "Fuck you! Fuck this! Your not fair! Why did you do this to me?!" and if I made that stance, and said those words, what would happen afterwards? Sure I made a stance, but that would be unreasonable. Arguments never get anywhere and who knows what the entire story was. I used all of what I was told, to say everything in counter arguments, and say "It felt like a personal attack that day and I'm not sure if something else is going on" or "If that's the way you feel about me, I can't change that".
Anger never solves a problem, it only makes problems worse and reveals an ugly side. If I had shown my ugly side that day, I would have lost my best friend forever, but I was stern that day to reveal my side of it as expressing a concern and just pointing out my confusion. It told her everything on how I felt that day, both side were addressed without having to be obtuse and point out pain or playing the pity card.
We have now salvaged our friendship to have better boundaries and respect for each other. We became closer because of what we went through and now we know how to talk to each other.
Speaking in a confrontation with a neutral tone and composed dialogue, it does get the point across, it shows maturity, and respect on both parties. It works well then giving in and just letting all of the material being said to just fester inside out of fear of saying something, or being loud to prove a point with anger. With neutrality, your basically taking the anger portions and just dialing it down while expressing your full self with the concern.
Try it out, make a list of what you would want to say to someone that has wronged you and you want to say something. Try out that comprised reply with a different tone, it'll help you get your point across without having to think it needs to be dished with anger, like I almost did.
A tone does a different tune, and a different state on the psyche to handle heated situations.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, If this list has helped reconfigure some part of your life to be easier, I would hope that these seven snippets can make a minor impact on your life for major change.
For all the hard work I do for creating these articles, a tiny tip to my account would be very appreciated for the continual work to make these articles for the awesome audience out there.
Take care, be safe, and be happy, you deserve it.