This post is inspired by a harried friend's Facebook status where she says she does not have a roomie, no money, her shinning academic career does not look so sparkling anymore, at least to her. I felt an instant bonding with her mental state. So much so that it is actually a bit scary. But there you go, all the self doubts that I had and never dared to express publicly, she expressed so piogantly. Self doubts are creepy thoughts which have a special talent to creep up to you in odd moments and grip you tightly. While gripping you tightly they suck all the positive energy out and leave you depressed, convinced that you are the biggest loser of this world, unsure, lacking in confidence, unloved, without any friends, or at least none who care whether you are alive or dead.....the list of negativities go on and on.
Me being the temperamental and moody Libra, I keep having phases of these. But then like all other things, these also pass. But no sir, they are the sticky kind, and it takes effort and money to make them go away. So I would say driving away self doubts is a time consuming and resource intensive business. But you gotta get rid of them, cos if they linger then they impede normal activities of life and worst of all hinders your rational thinking power.
Self boosters to drive away self doubts:
1. Point out the good things about yourself to yourself in precise bullet points. Like you are a survivor having survived lost love, broken relationships, sudden change in career....few people make it through, you are a fighter till the end, you have survived worse situtations in life so this also you would overcome....etc etc etc.
2. Get out of house, go for a walk, or sit in a park bench or librabry or movie hall and have a long dailouge with your self. Of course you start out by being soft and nice to yourself and then when your obstinate self refuses to listen scold her a little, be a little firm and ask your self to stop all this nonsense, that always helps!
3.Stand in front of the mirror and critically assess yourself....no no dont look at the double chins (if you have any or the protruding tummy) or the ever increasing number of grey hairs or the unplucked brows....smile at yoursef and twinkle your eyes and flutter your eyelashes....that is the trick....sooner or later you will start finding yourself beautiful and that would bring a genuine smile to your face, replacing the old artificial one. Tested recipe.
4. Write to yourself, even if you do not maintain a regular journal, no sweat...just open a new office document and pour your heart out....be uninhabited and write...all the things that bug you, all the things that make you hate yourself etc etc etc...pour your heart out honey, cos no one but you would be reading it. After you finishing reading it, go take a break, wash your face, drink some water, inhale some fresh air and then come back to read it. While you read it, you will see that you automatically reject some allegation of yours or point out to yourself that so and so is not right etc etc. This has helped me many a times, sometimes when I dont feel like typing or cant look at the screen anymore, I write on paper. Then when I am done, I tear the paper into peices and throw it in the air and let the breeze carry away my thoughts. No nothing dramatic like that, I just destroy whatever I had written.
5. Vigorous excercise like an hour of aerobics....by the end of it you are so tired you dont care about self doubts....you are beseiged with muscle pain! Did this only once or twice in long life....but not a bad remedy if you can actually get your lazy depressed self to the class and dont let your fat self to cower seeing all those flat tummied sexy divas excercising for God knows what.
External boosters to erase self doubts: be warned these may be both time and money intensive,damn!
6. EAT-- chocolates, ice creams, chips/crisps, Chinese takeaway, spicy Indian food, nachos, sushi (no, it is not unhealthy enough), large pizza with extra cheese and toppings, KFC or just walk into a fancy resturant and buy yourself an expensive meal with expensive wine. Soon the bill would depress you so much that it would take over all the self doubt space and mission accomplished. Tada!
7. DRINK--now this is a bit risky one. If alone please drink at home, but please please dont get into the habit of drinking alone every evening. Best would be if you could find a couple of friends and go out or party in someone's house. I always prefer the house party, that gives me space to be a little drunk and talk nonsense. Whenever I get drunk I want to fly away, whats your wish in drunken state? But drinking and being uninhabited sure scares the self doubts away.
8. SMOKE-- again if your are not a regular, please dont get into the habbit. I am not a regular smoker but an occassional smoking spree sure does help me. I love menthol ciggs, what is your poison?
9. Chat with your mom or best friend or not so best friend. The downside of this is, if the other person is not being understanding or receptive the chances are that you will feel more depressed. I have had such expereice, so I do this very cautiously and selectively. Alternatively you could hang out with friends, no do not share your grief, just hang out, soon you will get into the silly giggling mode and when you come back home you will realise that you are no longer sad.
10. Have sex-- frankly have not tired this. I have always been happy happy when I had sex. Gotta try this one out.
Ok the promised 10 tips are laid down but I have some more to share, so what the heck....read on.
11. SHOP-- ok this can be a bit dangerous. I am sure you know about shopoholics, so have a budget, a small one, cos once you are out shopping your budget is going to double or tripple in the excitement of all those goodies which you must have. This has been my downfall many a times. Though I am not a reckless shopper but when I go shopping to cheer myself up I do get wee bit reckless and almost always overindulge!
12. Read a good book maybe a Mills & Boons, soon you would be so carried away in the passion of the hero and heroine thast your miserable love life will stop bothering you. But this may have the opposite impact as well.
13. Watch an old favourite movie-- this almost always cheers me up. Also you could try music, play some favourite music and sing along, who cares if you cant sing but do bray...this is about yourself and not about those who can hear you.
Ok now the things you should never, ever do in depressed state:
1. Try to connect with your ex. No no do not visit his Orkut or Facebook profile, no dont punch in his number, oh no the number has trickly dialed itself.....damn soon he picks up the phone and you can hear his oh so familiar sexy voice.....you if you have any shred of dignity and self preservation left keep down that phone NOW and thrown your mobile away, break it if needed. If he ever calls you back, keep a mountain on your heart and do not take the call. Oh please do not, you are sure to come out more depressed than ever after talking to him and realising that you still have feelings left, or land up having sex one more time and feel more rotten than rotten egg the next day.
Same goes for writing emails or sending text or voice messages to the ex. Oh why did God invent exes? Who needs them anyways. Way too much trouble for a small bag of happy memories.
2. Hope for sympathy from unsympathetic sources like a bitchy cousin or friend. Honey some people never change or are too bloody self centred or critical of you to engage with.
3. Call or meet the guy with whom things are warming up a little....if at this stage the guy sees you clingy, emotional, ridden with self doubts....the guy being the guy is sure to get scared and run like hell. Seen this way too many times. Only one guy in a million, no make it a billion would actually sit you down, give to a fresh hanky to blow your nose, buy you a drink and listen to you. It is better not to take that chance.
4. Weigh yourself--oh no this is a dangerous area to begin with, when in the throes of self doubt this is a positive killer. Dont, dont, dont!
5. Being in bed or not going out of house-- I know few of us have that luxury but chances of bunking classes or calling in sick when depressed are pretty high. Done it many times myself. But then I land up hating myself for wasting time and get all the more depressed. Believe me the outside world is at that time much more cheerfull that your house.
Ok enough gyan. I am supposed to go job hunting today and lo and behold was instead wrtiting this long piece as if it is my life's vocation. Actually as mentioned before I am dreading this job hunting bit a bit. Anyways gotta go, cheer up honey and remember all women have these phases so you are not the only one whom destiny has singled out for this torture. This almost cheers me up!