What if you are not Okay
Hello Wild Ones💝💝💝💝 (Insert slow confetti as we dive into flags that indicate you are not okay when you are not)
I hope you are doing well, my amazing humans. My hope is that you realize that you are a gem. You deserve the best things in life, Periodtt!!! I am currently doing to be my best by showing up for myself and loving myself better. Today I will be exploring signs that you are not okay but first a commercial break.
Today’s Commercial Break
Sometimes dark days creep on us in ways that we cannot foresee. Other times we can’t even admit to ourselves that we are not okay because ‘bad’ feelings are just bad. Sometimes we don’t even know how to self-soothe ourselves. There is a cliché line running the social media streets these days, saying that it is okay not to be okay. Sometimes there is so much in your life; you don’t even notice that you are no longer happy as you were. Then one day, it just dawns on you, but this time there is no sunshine, just a cloud slowing engulfing you. Weellll (Insert an English Accent) ‘On someday the previous week cutest baby girl (Me) had to admit that she was not okay.’
The thing about admitting that I was going through something meant two things for me. One, I am human, and you think from all the many blogs I have posted here that I would have known this. But no, baby girl first felt disappointed that she was feeling this bad. Did it mean that all the effort she had put was all in vain? Will this darkness always creep? Is she a failure? Then I realized that the first time this happened, I couldn’t even tell that I wasn’t okay, so then I guess I am doing better in that department.
Two, I have to figure out what is causing this sadness and how I deal with it. This part is not fun at all. Taking ownership of your mental health can feel unfair when the pain isn’t your fault. In my reflections, I found certain ways to identify when I am not okay and I am resisting that I am sad or low.
Your Sleeping Routine could signal you are not okay
When you are not okay, your sleeping routine will likely change. You could either sleep more than you usually do, or you struggle with sleep a lot. Keep track of your sleeping patterns and always question when something seems a miss. In the era of social media, it could be a bit blurry because you keep yourself busy with Netflix or Instagram but learn to ask yourself these questions. Why am I staying up that late? What is the reason I sleep so many hours? Why do I struggle with sleep? Being self-aware about your sleeping habit will help you to determine when something is wrong.
If I find myself suddenly switching up my sleeping routine, I am probably not okay. I am generally a morning person. When I was really depressed; I was mostly a night owl. Where I would sleep at 3 am to wake up at around 1 pm. I have also heard people who have struggled with their mental health also say this. So maybe if your sleeping routine suddenly changes, you should consider the reasons why this is the case.
Unproductivity as a flag for you are not okay
Another way to know that you are not okay is through your productivity. If you find that you are procrastinating a lot or that you can’t seem to concentrate, then likely there is something going on. One of the key reasons for procrastinating, despite popular belief about laziness, is actually fear of failure and the feeling that you are not equipped. Sometimes you want to get some work done but can’t seem to find the will to start at all.
When I am struggling, my school work falls victim. I find myself struggling to beat deadlines. Considering that I am a Type-A student, this is always a red flag when I find that I haven’t done my work on time. I remember last year when I was really depressed; I wrote this article about how I was struggling with my productivity. It was so bad that I didn’t care about grades. I knew that waiting at the last minute to do the assignments just meant I didn’t do my best, but I couldn’t muster the motivation and desire to do it. This has been seen to the same for certain students who struggle with mental health.
Change of appetite could be because you are not okay
If you are not okay, your appetite is likely to change. You are likely to either lose your appetite or experience an increase in your appetite. You will need to be self-aware about your portions so that when the shit happens, you will be able to notice. Some people use food to self-soothe; that’s why their appetite increases when they are struggling.
I always crave baked goods when I am really sad. I remember when I was really struggling with mourning the loss of a friend, and I was always buying samosas. My friends would always joke about how small people love eating, but later, I figured that I had only started the Samosa obsession after losing my friend. Samosas are still my number one comfort food even now. I was never soothed with food as a kid, so I am not sure where the binge eating came from. Maybe it’s because we would only eat baked goods on special occasions as kids, so now my brain is seeking to feel special, so I don’t really crave the goods; I just crave the feeling of special occasions. Who knows?
Change in behavior could be a cry for help
Your behavior might change when you are struggling with something. This can be hard to identify on your own. If someone tells you that you are a bit off, take time to assess if they are right. Sometimes it is usually nothing, especially when you are growing and the other person isn’t. Other times they might be right, and they are the intervention you need to get the help and support you need. You can also discover your behavior change based on your interactions with your hobbies. Some people tend to stop enjoying their hobbies when they are not okay.
As seen in the cricket silence on this corner of the blog the past weeks, I struggled to pick myself up and write. I kept finding excuses not to do it, and even starting this was a struggle. But I am glad that I am here—Yeiy for me. I always struggle with my hobbies when I am not okay. It is like I get into this space and I decide that I don’t deserve to be happy and enjoy myself.
Social Functioning could show that you are not okay
When you’re not okay, how you interact with friends might change too. You might find that you are pushing people away. Pushing people away is often you finding the smallest reasons to cut people off. You are irritable and waiting on anyone to piss you off. If you find that you are losing friends at a high rate, take time to assess what is going on with you. This is sometimes just you evolving, but sometimes it is a sign that you are not okay. It is okay to take time to yourself when you are struggling; just make sure that you are not burning bridges while at it.
When I am not okay, I tend to project my issues on people. As I become more self-aware, I can recognize this terrible trait. I also take on the victim mentality more, and everyone just seems to be doing me wrong. During this time, I make everyone’s life hell or make lots of mental notes of things I don’t like about people. I am very petty during this season, too but thank God I am an introvert, so I barely have to deal with that many people.
Your Thoughts can show you that you are not okay
Sometimes when we are not okay, we have the most stray thoughts. In this context, stray thoughts are thoughts that you have no idea where they came from, and you often shame yourself for them. Some straying thoughts are usually suicidal ideation. I remember when I was really struggling; I heard someone had died, and my first thought was to wish that it was me then I quickly felt ashamed I had said it. This was a stray thought that I still think about and I wish I had known was a cry for help. Other times we have so much on our minds, and we pass it as being too busy. Then we go on to add more and more work to ourselves to prevent us from feeling. Other times, we feel like there is some sort of emptiness in our brain. Then we go on to look for ways to feel.
It is clear from these examples that the best person to determine if you are not okay is yourself. You know yourself best. Knowing and validating that you are not okay is the first step to getting the help that you need. It is not easy to admit that you are not okay because you could feel like you have failed yourself or that you are less. Despite this, strive to show up for yourself and love yourself at your lowest because you are the only one who can fix what is going on with you. I hope you find the courage to show up for yourself. There are a lot of resources to help you through this journey such as Apps like Welltrack and Youper and Platforms like Better Help and Befrienders. You can also use some of these signs to tell when someone is not okay.
How do you know that you are not okay?
For Further information on Trauma Blocking, check out this article by The Gottman Institute.
With looooooove and light🌞🌞