NOTE: This is a long entry. Skim it if you want, and read more deeply if you are enjoying it. :)
I'm sure we all have moments where it seems like there is nothing, no one, who could possibly have it worse than you.
Your life is crap. The worst. You want to explode. No one understands.
This might sound like one of those self-help books that tells you how to deal with stress, and gives you an example including two kids with nondescript names popular in the 80s.
But there's a reason they include these sections, just like there's a reason I included that in my blog.
Everyone DOES have those moments. And dealing with them can be tricky.
For gay people, these probably occur often then most normal people or angsty teenagers. A parent just told them they were an abomination, a friend laughed nervously after being come out to, etc.
But they happen to everyone (as if I haven't stated that enough).
So I'm going to offer some suggestions in dealing with this kind of stress:
1) I don't know if this one will particularly make you feel better, but it is still good to know. Basically, no matter what you do, how hard your life is, someone probably has it worse than you. If you just failed a test, bringing your grade down, what about the kid whose parents beat him whenever he gets below a 94? Or if you're that kid, what about the boy who had to have his leg amputated when he was 5? And if you're that boy, what about the girl who has no legs and is an orphan? While this may not be reassuring, or helpful even, I think it's important to put things into perspective every once in a while. And if you are the orphan girl with no legs...please, write to me. That stinks.
2) I would like to recommend PostSecret.com; if you don't know about it, people write down secrets on postcards and send them to this guy who uploads them online. So everyone can see your secret, but have no clue who you are! It's immensely freeing. Reading about other peoples' secrets is also oddly addictive and refreshing. People really do have it worse than you.
3) DO NOT PENT UP YOUR EMOTIONS. This should really be a header for the rest of the ones to follow. This is by far the most instrumental. Think of it like a Janga tower. When you're stressed, you pull out a block. And again. And again. And while the tower might seem stable, every time you pull one out it gets slightly more fragile and unstable. Eventually, someone pulls out the last block and the tower collapses. These are the people you meet in the insane asylum. There are multiple ways to counter the falling of your well-constructed tower, however. Keep reading.
4) Vent to someone or something. Like I said earlier, everyone has issues. I think 90% of us have a good friend somewhere that we can tell most things to, and they'll understand. Friends and your parents know you almost as well as you know yourself. Just knowing that you aren't the only one struggling with your problems anymore for some reason is wildly helpful. If you get really desperate, send me an email. It can be anonymous if you want. I'll talk to you. However, if people are your problem,writing something can be useful. There's actually a reason, believe it or not, that people through history have written journals. Anne Frank certainly needed hers. You might too. Vent to a journal decorated in glitter-glue or an nameless Word Document or even an anonymous blog. It's all good. Journals won't tell your secrets, and always listens. Talk about the perfect friend...
5) Express yourself! This is my favorite one, probably. I know lots of people love expressing themselves in some way, shape, or form. Whether that's writing a song and playing it on the guitar, doodling a moose on a unicycle, dancing to some cruddy 60's song, or going on photoshop and making yourself in Paris, expression through art is great. Also, the phrases "but I'm not talented..." or "but I suck..." or "but it have no time" are not valid excuses. Firstly, if you think you aren't good, learn! Practice makes perfect. No harm in drawing a lamp that turns out looking more like a llama; only you are going to see it. The "no time" excuse bugs me to no end. I'm going to devote a whole number to it. Keep reading.
6) Have some "you" time. This one, I feel, is vital to everyone's health. Just going outside, sitting under a tree, and closing your eyes will probably do more for you then any medication someone can prescribe. The outdoors calls me usually, but I know that's not for everyone; laying on your bed, putting in headphones, and losing yourself in Queen songs works too. Or doing any of the art stuff mentioned in #5. Essentially, you need time to do what you want to do, and just relax. Sometimes this is hard, if you're in junior year and in the play and playing basketball and running a marathon soon. But often, just doing nothing for a while will help you concentrate more when you need to. Also, stop doing useless things and devote that time to your mental health. If you find yourself scrolling through some stranger's photo album on Facebook that one friend is tagged in once, you might be using your time wrong. Go chill for a little while. Your friends can wait.
7) Exercise! There is a lot to be said for physical exertion. Exercise successfully takes your mind off the issues you're facing and devotes them to moving and straining your physical self. Which can bear the brunt much more. Afterwards, the awful stuff seems less awful, and you're too tired to really devote yourself to utter sadness. Speaking of tiredness...
8) SLEEP. SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP. Teenagers get about 2 hours less of sleep per night than they should. Sometimes more. You can't change the time you get up for school, but you can change the time you go to bed. So get your work done, for goodness sake, and go to bed earlier. You'll love yourself in the morning. Sleep is nature's way of cleansing your thoughts, sorting things out. That's often why your dreams are so convoluted. Have you been unbelievably angry when you were little, and your parents said: "You're just tired. Early to bed tonight." While it seemed like HELL when you were little, and the meanest thing they ever did, there is a reason behind it; sleep deprivation causes drama and stress. This is also known as grouchiness, or grumpiness. This policy does not change with age; if you are especially grumpy one day, or the world is crashing down on you, sleep. Remember how the next day, the issue with your parents seemed half as bad? This is still the same for 16 year olds.
9) Breathe. Those monks in the Himalayas are on to something. Take some time before you sleep, or if you're feeling stressed, or during the alone-time mentioned above, and just clear your mind and slow your breath. It does wonders. Really.
10) Remember that no matter the problem, you can overcome it. Okay, maybe not overcome it completely, but you can ameliorate the situation. Under no circumstances should you ever end your life or perform self injury, mental or physical. If you need to talk to someone, call the hotlines. For the sake of everyone around you, and yourself. Please.
So those are all of the easy-ish solutions I can think of at the moment. They actually do work; I'm a cynical teenager, and I still do them. That should tell you something. Try them for yourself. Please comment or email if you have one that works for you! You could end up saving lives.
Email me if you need anything at firstname.lastname@example.org. And,