Although history would have you believe otherwise, mental illness has been around ever since the dawn of time. it is not a modern invention, but rather a consequence of evolution.
Still, the last decades have been marked by an ever-expanding epidemic dealing with it, and many of us have fallen prey in one way or another.
More and more people nowadays struggle with disorders of the mind, and that is a fact.
According to statistics published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States develop one or more in any given year, while for 1 in 25 said condition or conditions are serious ones.
How to repurpose your life and give it new meaning
But suffering from mental illness doesn’t have to mean living in darkness or fear of the days to come. Your illness does not define you, so you should never give it such immense power. It’s time to take matters into your own hands and regain control of your existence. Here are four ways to repurpose your life and give it new meaning despite your condition.
1. Set Realistic Goals for Yourself
Goal setting is an important first step in repurposing your life. It will help you stay on the right track even when you’re suffering from disorders such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder or even borderline schizophrenia, which famously keep you from being able to focus on daily tasks.
However, you need to keep in mind that these objectives need to be realistic.
Expecting too much of yourself, especially in a delicate situation like this, is a downward path that leads to nothing but more frustration and negative feelings. Thus, you shouldn’t aim for perfection. In fact, none of us should. Instead, try to optimize your daily tasks so that they become more manageable and you feel motivated to complete them.
2. Be Active and Go Outside Often
Raise your hand if you find leaving the house too often stressful and even emotionally draining.
I know my hand is up for sure.
But being as active as possible in your everyday life will be one of the best things you can do for yourself. And if you also spend some of this time in nature, then the beneficial effects will be even more long-lasting.
As little as 90 minutes spent away from the chaos of city life and into the natural world diminishes and even eliminates negative thoughts. In my experience, these are the most damaging aspect of any mental health issue.
Thus, being able to silence them even temporarily can be Heaven-sent.
3. Work at a Job You Love or Not at All
It might sound impossible to find professional equilibrium while dealing with such a daunting personal issue as mental illness, but having a job can be a much needed-escape and offer a much-needed extra boost of motivation.
Fortunately, there are quite a few employment options on the job market for people struggling with mental illness.
If you’re unsure how to proceed, you can try doing some volunteer work first. While there are no financial gains involved in it, the reward of helping others will give your life newfound purpose for sure. Then, once you learn what you truly want to achieve, you can evolve to part-time work, and maybe even the full 40-hour week soon enough.
4. Stop Caring What Others Think of You
Constantly comparing yourself to others and taking their opinion of you at face value is tempting enough, especially when you struggle with self-confidence and have low self-esteem as a result of your illness.
But as unrealistic as it might sound, you need to stop caring what others think of you.
People will always find ways to put you down, and if it won’t be because of your disorder, they will find something else to pick on. Unfortunately, bullying doesn’t end in high school. There are a lot of bitter individuals out there who think hurting others makes them better, so you need to understand that this does not define you.
You are strong and beautiful, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Even though you might be different than their canonical definition of ‘normal’, this doesn’t mean you have any less value as a human being than them.
So, in the words of American singer-songwriter Tori Amos, accept who you are and “wear your butterflies with pride”.
Giving your life new meaning when you struggle with mental illness starts with refusing to allow your condition to define you.
You can repurpose your live.
Break away from stereotypes imposed by society and be active.
Set goals for yourself, get a job and, most importantly, stop caring what others think of you.
Your well-being is the most important thing right now, so start seeing it this way.