No matter who you are, you may think that life, on occasion, is one big fight. Sometimes we can have a string of bad luck that we struggle to fight against, and we can feel its impact on our state of mind. Life, on occasion, is overwhelming. No matter how old or young you are, we feel its impact on every aspect of our being. And while we feel overwhelmed by certain things in life, it’s all about how we handle them. And there are many things in life that we can’t fight against because they are part and parcel of growing up, growing old, or moving on in one way or another. And while we can’t stop these things happening to us, we can learn how to beat the stress of these instances and cope with these difficult parts of our lives better. Preparation is always one of those things that we can benefit from, so what parts of life are considered to be overwhelming and can impact our mental health?
Seeing Our Parents Grow Old
Mortality is a very curious thing. And a lot of us become aware of our own mortality when we see someone we love pass away, and we go through the stages of grief. But when we see our parents, those people who looked after us as children, slowly succumb to age and the various illnesses that come with it, either from illnesses like Alzheimer’s, dementia, or age-related cognitive decline, it makes us look at our own time on this earth in a different way. Not just this, but those who do what they can to make their parents as comfortable as possible means that there can be a big impact on our frame of mind, but the stress of it can be too much for us to handle. There can be a lot of guilt in putting your parents into a care home because it’s not just admitting defeat for them, but for yourself. But so many people have been through this, and so many more will do too. And the one constant that everybody says is that they did feel guilty, but they couldn’t physically do it anymore, which is why they ended up being looked after by professionals. It’s always important to realize that there is a reason why they are in the home in the first place. But also, it’s important to remember that there are professionals who know how to look after your parents better than you do in this respect. And this is because they’ve seen it a million times before, and places like Parc Provence, a care home that specializes in Alzheimer’s and dementia care, know how to deal with the person in question, but have a wealth of resources to help you cope. That’s not to say that you should not feel guilt or remorse at this, because it’s a natural thing to feel. But it’s always important to remember that practicalities need to override any emotional feelings. If it’s practical for you to look after them, then, by all means, it needs to be done. But there comes the point in everybody’s life where adjustments have to be made, much like you would make adjustments when you get to the point where you are not able to physically do something anymore yourself, like work, drive, or anything related to it. Seeing our parents grow old makes us realize the time is precious, and much like the grief process, it does inspire us to do a bit more with our lives. And this is something that’s worth thinking about when you see your parents getting on in years.
Raising Our Children
Much like when we see our parents aging, looking at our children growing up is a sign that time is passing by very quickly. But the process of being a parent comes with so many different layers of stress, that it can affect our overall mental state. Parental stress is par for the course, but it’s how you handle it that will make you a more resilient parent. Lots of parents choose to let the stress consume them, and they end up taking it out on the child. This is not a very healthy approach to parenting, but the guilt we can feel will only compound our anxieties further. But, if you feel like it’s too much, the important thing for you to do is to admit this to yourself. Doing this first means that you are addressing the problem head-on, but also now you can find suitable ways to overcome this problem. The big anxiety in being a parent is that we can’t get away from our children; after all, we need to look after them. And the sense of guilt can rear its ugly head in the first few weeks of your child’s life. That feeling that you aren’t doing anything right is common, but also, mothers feel like they can’t admit to this emotion. This is normal also. And regardless of the age of your child, when you feel like it’s all a bit too much, the best approach is to get away from the situation. If you’ve got a crying baby and you can’t cope with the noise, put them in their cot, so they’re safe, and shut the door. Sometimes we all need a little bit of breathing space. If you’ve got to the point where you feel like you need some sort of break, either mental or physical, stepping away from the situation is the first task to complete. In having that space, you are going to get a better handle on the problem. Once you have that space, you need to begin to assess how you handle the stress. Letting it fester will have a devastating impact on your overall health. So, this means taking advantage of certain techniques that will benefit you. Depending on your opinion of certain therapies, you may benefit from mindfulness or meditation, or you need to find a way to release the stress in other ways. For example, you could go exercising, and that benefit of getting away for a couple of hours once a week may be all you require to reset your frame of mind. This is something you have to have a handle on because it will come out in other ways.
Coping With Getting Older
In looking at our parents getting on in years and seeing our children grow up before our eyes, we can naturally become overwhelmed by our own aging process. Those milestones that we try to ignore, from turning 30, or retiring, are all things that make us address our own mortality. The natural thing for us to do is to fight against this and now with anti-aging products, and various online resources that have an unhealthy obsession with health, we can’t help but feel like we need to turn back the clock somehow. As we get older, we can start to feel that we are being left behind in some way, because a lot of aspects of society are ageist. But the solution is all about accepting it. There’s nothing you can do to turn back the clock unless you are Benjamin Button, and aging with grace is a very admirable thing indeed. We think about getting older when we find climbing the stairs a bit more difficult, or we start to forget important things, but this doesn’t have to be the reality of the situation, you can get involved in strength training, and keeping your mind nimble. These two things are really the solution to aging with grace, this and, of course, healthy eating. With all of the interviews with people who lived to 100 and beyond, the one constant thing the cropped up was that they learnt how to not feel stressed. Stress is the biggest factor of aging. And we can take as many lotions and potions as possible, but if we can keep our mind young, this will be the starting point for the rest of our body to follow suit. We can feel anxious about getting older, but we can’t fight against it, so why should we?! Sure, we all have our own problems and anxieties, but we need to learn how to overcome these. It’s these things that are going to help us more than anything else. If you enjoy your life, you will reap the benefits. And yes, life throws these curveballs at us, but it’s in preparing for these curveballs, by reassessing our perspective of the situation, that we will benefit. Or by learning how to cope with the stress symptoms of these problems, or by accepting the inevitability of life, that we will learn how to cope with everything that comes our way. Life is an overwhelming thing on occasion, and it’s very easy to stay in that overwhelmed frame of mind, which can develop into anxiety and depression, but you could also look at it from the other perspective, that it is a challenge.
Remember, there is always help around the corner if you need it, but in learning how to cope with these curveballs, we can look after ourselves better.