10 Tips & Tricks I Learned From Counseling

Hi. Hello. It’s your friendly earthling here typing up something new.

New is a stronger word than most people would actually think. And we can’t just make something new. New is unexpected. New is so in the moment. It’s almost a build up of past same-ness.

It’s easy to fall prey to a boring lifestyle locked up in your room every day. Especially in a pandemic. I was in the situation often sometimes. And it’s not easy to get out when maybe it’s not the physicality aspect to being locked in that’s keeping you locked but rather your mindset.

Right now, I’m feeling like new is coming. But I’m not sure what it is yet. These past 2 years have been full of new. Full of unexpected. And it’s really changed my mindset on life. I’m a huge planner. I want to know what I’m doing next month, year, decade, but life doesn’t follow a plan. It’s good to have vision but never a strongly set-up plan. It’ll only fail. Why have that disappoint? Life has a funny way of working out, and even at times when we feel we aren’t in control, we’re still making decisions that impact where we’re going.

Along the way, I’ve learned of methods on how to deal with life, change, stress, anxiety, difficult situations, sticky situations and annoying phases. It might be an assignment that’s stressing you out right now, or a big change in your life (for me right now it’s transitioning into normalcy after student-life), or maybe it could just be what to cook for dinner tonight. Your problems, whether small or big, matter, and here’s ways on how to tackle them, how to deal with emotions, how to deal with yourself, how to handle situations, and how to train yourself to change your mindset on life.

  1. This is not the time to panic

You will NEVER be able to make a rational decision when you’re in a state panic. You’ll probably make a decision you’ll later regret. You’ve got all the time in the world so calm the fuck down and start handling whatever situation you’re in step by step.

2. Don’t oppose things

Life is life. It’s shit. Whether you like it or not. I happen to have the habit of saying this phrase: same shit, different day, and trust me, it might sound funny or sad, but it’s the most basic thing ever that’ll get you through your day. Cause it’s so so true! The more you oppose how shit life is or how shit a situation is, the more it’s gonna feel like shit! So buckle up honey and face life. Face the things you don’t want to do. Face them and deal with them. You’ll only turn into a stronger person.

3. This is the time for action

Easier said than done. Sometimes, all you need is a bit of adrenaline following through your veins, or a a lightbulb moment, or subconsciously to just do it and you fuckin do it! This is linked very much so to not opposing things. You got something you got to do, so get off your ass and get started. Starting is always the hard part. And I feel this a lot right now. I’ve been putting off my writing and as I’m writing this, I feel like it’s not as good writing as I usually write but hey to get back in my mojo, I gotta go through this, gotta get back in the zone. And you gotta start somewhere.

4. Don’t compare your situation right now to previous better situations

Hun, you ain’t gonna get anywhere if you keep comparing now to better situations. I did that for a long time when I moved back to Malta after 4 months in Michigan. I mean, I was homesick in Malta and comparing was the only way I could deal with being here. But you gotta face issues head-on and eventually I realized how comparing was only an idealization of Michigan and wasn’t helping my situation. Now is now. We all have the potential to help ourselves, but it has to start from yourself.

5. The feeling you get that you want to escape won’t help you

I’ve had this thought a trillion times. Times when I want to get on a plane and leave leave leave. Get out of here. Not just here but this life. This mundanity. This worthlessness feeling. This want to do something spontaneous. This need to start my life. Doesn’t matter where. I associate airplanes very much linked to home which is ironic I know. How can a plane feel more at home to you than a room?

But thinking about escape when you have life to deal with won’t help you. Again, it just becomes more toxic and depressing for yourself. There’s always a healthy time to get out, see the world, find yourself, and yes, escape, but there’s a moment for that, a fleeting moment that’ll come and you’ll snatch it up. And when you do, you’ll be prepared cause you’d have dealt with your problems and grown, become a strong person, and the escape will taste so good cause you know you’ve made it and succeeded. It’s that wow feeling. Relief.

6. Find the source of your problems

If you’ve got a problem, try to figure out what it is. Maybe it’s finding it difficult to fit it with others, so find common things you both like and relate to that. Or maybe it’s how to study, so observe what you need to study and how you can study it in a way that suits you. Or maybe it’s negative thoughts on life. What’s behind your negative thoughts? What triggers them? Once you figure that out, you can start turning negative thoughts into positive ones.

7. Normalize your situation

Whether you’re stressed with school, stressed at work, stressed with your relationships, or have big big problems, you have to cut yourself some slack. Sometimes life throws shit at you and it’s not your fault. Whatever situation you are in, you are still amazing and deserve the world. Your situation is caused by life and it’s not beautiful like the National Geographic documentaries make it out to be. Animals got it easy. We’re humans and everything’s always complicated and that’s ok. We will figure it out! Little by little. It’s normal.

8. Give yourself realistic goals

You know you’re not gonna get those 10 things to do ready today. You just know it yet you still pressure yourself to try and try. But hun that’s gonna make it worse! Give yourself an amount of tasks that you are capable of doing. And trust me, you’ll do them and feel satisfied. Know yourself, know your limits, know how much your mind can take. And you’ll get there. Again, little by little.

9. You’ve got all the time in the world

Bro, I don’t see sometime runnin after you with a clock watch now do I? Shit will get done. Either today, or tomorrow. That assignment or exam is not your entire life. And life is a journey. So what if you’ve never been in a relationship or haven’t traveled enough yet or haven’t experienced enough. You’ll get there. Everyone at their own pace. This is your life, you were born into it alone, you walk it alone and you’ll journey through it alone. There’s always gonna be people around you and you’ll learn from them, grow with them, walk this journey with them, but your mind is your own and you’ve got that space to yourself. So live within it. Time doesn’t exist in your mind.

10. Give yourself short-term goals

I think this is the most difficult for me. I don’t know how to be satisfied with something short term. I’m the type of person that has to work real hard to be satisfied after completing something. Short-term goals can be anything. Trying out a new recipe. Or starting a new hobby like knitting. Or finally getting back to reading (I really need to get back to reading, I’m absolutely horrible). But it’s these things you do in the moment that’ll make your life happier. Such as getting back to writing this blog.

And I really do feel happy after writing this blog post. It was so spontaneous. I feel so focused and concentrated and it feels so good to be back in the zone. It feels so good to splash on the page like an artist with a blank canvas. I’m painting a picture and it’s so colorful in my mind. I love that feeling, all your emotions so clearly there in a visual format. The mind is so impressive.

Yet sometimes our minds hold us back too. So here’s a BONUS tip: Embrace change. It’s scary and frustrating and not always what you want but life is life. Your mind is stronger than any physical weight you’d have to carry. You can make it.

So there you go. 10 (almost 11) tips and tricks I learned from counseling which I keep in mind every day (or at least try to) that have impacted my outlook on life. There’s always room for improvement but we gotta love ourselves to want to improve ourselves. And it’s amazing to be in the experience, seeing yourself grow, as we walk through this crazy thing called life.

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