How to Stay Sane in Uncertain Times
How’s your mental health, these days?
I probably don't need to tell you this but: adulthood is hard.
And for those of us that are still navigating this weird space where we’re flung from being a bum on our parent’s couch to having to buy, apparently, ridiculously expensive curtains ourselves, when we move out. I mean, have you seen the prices of a well-made rug?
Yet it doesn't matter how long you’ve ‘adulted’ for.
The punches keep coming. Between a pandemic, climate change, wild moves in the political sphere, falling purchasing power and a possible looming recession, this has been a tough couple of years. Especially for younger people just transitioning into full-blown adulthood.
a) Is this what it’s really like—and b) is it too late to crawl back into the womb?
I reached out to a friend of mine, who is a Consultant Psychiatrist and founder of Asido Foundation, a not-for-profit mental health organisation, to share some tips to help save whatever’s left of our collective mental health.
Let’s dive in.
I: Staying grounded
His first tip is to stay grounded and grateful for each day as it comes. We need to make the best of the time we’ve been given because it’ll all end eventually someday.
This couldn't be more apt because, for example, it appears the longer we postpone purchasing something we need or even want, the pricier it becomes by the day. This isn't to encourage throwing prudence into the bin but it’s worth re-evaluating what might make sense in the long term.
As hard as it might sound, try to have a bit more fun.
II: 99% of your worries won’t happen
As someone prone to worrying, this is one lesson I often struggle with. Here’s what Dr Abdulmalik advises:
“Yes, take personal precautions but also know that majority of your day-to-day worries are unfounded.”
So what does he suggest instead?
Investing in personal development.
Beyond learning and growing which can open us up to opportunities we never even imagined, it’s also a more productive way to spend our time.
He confirms a theory that’s been playing in my head for a bit: investing in human relationships is one of man’s primary purposes.
No man is an island.
In these times, more than ever, it’s key to be intentional about staying in touch with friends and family. Build your social support system. And we all need one another.
Like we would water our plants so they grow into luscious greens and reds and yellows, we nurture the relationships in our lives.
This becomes even more apparent in adulthood when it becomes increasingly difficult to get together with a group of friends. I can’t count how many “let’s reschedule” texts I’ve had to send.
Or maybe that’s just the introvert in me talking.
Now, we’d both admit these are easier said than done but not altogether impossible.
If there are 3 things that have helped me personally as well, in addition, it’s taking each day one at a time, reducing my daily news consumption and spending more time following my interests. I’m even currently cultivating a streak on Duolingo.
All in all, there’s only so much bad news we can take at a time. I’m hoping things turn around eventually.
While I can’t promise that everything will be fine—life’s not a Disney movie—I hope you know that you’re not alone.
And if no one else has told you this recently, you’re doing amazing, sweetie.
✨ Mildly important info.
In the spirit of a healthy mental state, I’m taking an extended social media break next month. But I’m only mentioning it over here because it will include this newsletter.
Well, the reason is that I’ve had a flood of great ideas for improving this newsletter and I’d like to take some time to develop them without the looming pressure of a weekly deadline.
Hopefully, I’ll be back by the end of next month — it should be faster than you can say "Jack Robinson".
Um, if you say it a couple of thousand times, anyway.