January 25, 2020
In treatment, we talked about how to be mentally healthy. You learned more about yourself, about your mental health, and most importantly, you learned new skills to help you take control of your life and especially your mental health. Now you have been able to put your newly learned skills into practice, too. But the honeymoon is over, and this is your life, forever. When the newness and magic of all of your treatment start to wear off, and the reality of life really sets in, it can seem kind of daunting. This is where you dig deep and learn how to step it up.
The Daily Grind
After all of the hard work of treatment, you may have come out excited and motivated. Or maybe a little nervous or scared. Whichever the case, you have jumped back into your life. Even if you had some trial and error in the beginning, now you are settled back into your life. As each day goes by and you realize that this is now your life, you might find yourself a little disenchanted with the concept of mental health.
The idea of this day-to-day life may feel like a daily grind at times. Or you might start getting complacent and slipping up with some of your self-care or daily routines. Finding motivation to push through each day will help you to see that every day you are successful is another day you are alive. And well. When you push through and find perspective, you can start to realize that each day is like a stone in the tower of your success.
Pressures of Life
The other hard part of coming back down to earth after treatment is that there are so many pressures in your life. In addition to the pressures of mental health and possibly sobriety, you have pressures of achievement at work or school, pressures of family, pressures from friends or other social pressures, as well as just trying to figure out your life and making long-term plans for your future. Treatment may have given you a little break from the daily pressures or at least been a nice distraction. But now you are here, back in your life, and the pressures are real.
One thing is to remember your mindfulness training. Before you let the pressures grow like cartoonish monsters in your mind, look at the here and now. What is happening right now? What can you do about it right now? As you truly start to put your skills into practice, you might actually realize that living your best mental health life actually improves your life, pressures and all.
When Stress Happens
Another struggle is stress. Even though stress management was a big part of your skillset that you learned in treatment, it can seem different to deal with in real life. It might even seem scary. That is okay, and that is normal. Applying the skills that you have to a real-life stressful situation may seem hard at first or awkward. Eventually, you will find that managing stress as you learned about in treatment is much easier than any other way you’ve attacked it before. You are stepping up, and it will get easier.
Long Term Plan
Mindfulness teaches us to be present. And that is right where you are right now. There is no need to worry about your future or how you are going to apply these skills to your life forever. Your long-term plan is to keep putting one foot in front of the other and live in the present, practicing all of your skills. No matter whether you are in a daily grind and life just feels hard or not very exciting, or if you are in the midst of pressures and stress. This is the plan. Because when you are mentally healthy, you can manage anything that life throws at you from boring days to intense situations, you have learned how to navigate it all.
Stepping Up for Your Life
The best way to push through when reality hits is by stepping up. Not just stepping up to check off all of the things you learned in treatment, but stepping up for your life. If it seems boring, push yourself. Stretch and find new goals or skills to keep you on your toes. If it seems hard, it will be. However if life seems hard and you decide that it is challenging instead, then you are stepping up. You always have control over not only your mental health but your perspective. You also control your desire, your dedication, and all of the things that determine whether or not you enjoy this ride called life.
Your mental health does not always need to be magical. There is magic in your continued desire and efforts to be mentally healthy. When life gets hard, even if it is just because it is no longer exciting or new, you have control over your reaction to everything in your life. You also have control over your attitude… will you be checking off your lists of things to do? Or will you be stepping up and getting into the driver’s seat of your mental health? The choice is yours. You can face the struggles and conquer your obstacles. You have the tools, now it is your life.
Remember the skills you gained at Potomac Programs. For questions call 1-855-809-0409. If life gets tough, you can take it head-on by stepping up.