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5 Reminders That Help Get Me Through a Breakdown

Whether you have a mental illness or not, chances are pretty high that you’ve experienced a total breakdown at least once. Stress and anxiety are a part of everyday life. Sometimes, a breakdown seems like the absolute end of the world, a moment consumed by emotions, thoughts, boxes of tissues and maybe some chocolate. Those prone to regular breakdowns are people, such as myself, living with generalized anxiety disorder. Even though my sensitivity towards stressors is much higher than an average person, coping with a breakdown doesn’t get easier, just simpler.

Here are a few things that act as my friendly reminders that everything will be OK.

1. Pictures

I take a ton of pictures. Some may say I take an absurd amount. I have good reasoning behind my intentions though, considering not every picture turns out to be “picture perfect.” I like being able to have a gazillion pictures to choose from when I’m changing up the ones on my bedroom wall. The ones that bring back good memories and are with people who mean a lot to me usually make the cut. With the important people in my life living both near and far, looking at pictures reminds me that I’m loved and have a purpose.

2. Daily Planner

I keep things messy, but my life is completely organized. I started using a planner in middle school to keep track of my work — homework, tests, projects and so on. By habit, ever since then, I’ve had what I like to call my life planner. Having everything visually available to me makes me feel important in the sense that I can see I have things to do and am needed for something. Even writing down upcoming events, vacations or dinner plans is nice to have scrolled out for your own well-being.

3. Working Out 

Working out releases endorphins and adrenaline, boosting my mood and energy level. Getting into a workout routine is not easy, but once I’m in it, there’s no better feeling. I dread getting out of bed, let alone working out, when I’m upset. But without fail, exercise does the trick perfectly (and conveniently, sometimes, on my apartment floor.)


4. Fresh Conversations

Believe it or not, it’s not always the best thing to only surround myself with the people I’m closest with. Having a fresh conversation is a great reminder that there’s room to expand my horizons and speak about things I wouldn’t normally. It in turn can change my entire outlook in a matter of minutes.  I don’t need to find a stranger and start talking to them, but I try striking up a conversation with a co-worker or coffee barista.

5. Karma

That five letter K-word. I normally associate it with negativity, as it seems the only time it’s spoken about is when someone has a grudge against someone else. In the case of a breakdown, it serves as a positive reminder to me that for all the good I may have done for others, they will be there for me as a support system. What goes around really does come around. Kindness counts!

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