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How do you stay sane when you have a lot of pressure and no one to turn to?

I’m 20, I live on my own, and due to the pandemic I can’t see any friends or family. I’m working full time and I’ve been supporting myself for a few years now. Work rn is a shit show, and dealing with that along with the added pressure of moving my life forward, cooking and cleaning, and not being able to see any friends of family feels like almost too much to bear. How do you guys do it?

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30 Comments

  1. Prioritize and optimise self care. It’s different for everyone, but it’s about finding ways to minimize the cause the stress, anxiety and negative feelings. For example, if cooking is a pain point, maybe try meal prepping. Or if you need social interactions, zoom calls aren’t that bad and can be a great way to do a game night with friends from afar.

    No matter what, remember you got this. Reach out if you need anything!

  2. Hello!

    1. Creative destressing – creating is a good way of releasing negative feelings. You can paint, dance, sing, sculpt, write etc (whatever suits you and make you feel good).
    2. Exercise – they release oxytocin (one of the happy hormons in your body). Choose anything you please anf you can do at home, fitness, hiit, yoga, maybe running is an availablr option for you.
    3. Watch movies and listen to music that puts you in a good mood. Read jokes.
    4. Dedicate this indoor time to learn a new skill (maybe something that will shift your career).

    I dont know the reason you are sustaining yourself for years, now been 20, but you are doing a good job. Keep it up!

  3. When you have no escape, you need to put on blinders. Look at the next thing on your to do list and nothing else. Focus on one thing at a time and it won’t seem so overwhelming.

  4. If it makes you feel any better, if you’re 20, living on your own, and supporting yourself in currentYear, you’re very much not the norm. Good on ya. And as an older dude, shit’s kinda fucked around that age but it mellows out and you get better at handling it over time. So if you’re living on your own and somewhat handling things during a global pandemic, ok my guy.

    For cooking and cleaning, the best thing to do is put yourself on a schedule. 2 week schedule for cleaning – figure out everything you have to do and break it down into a schedule. Stressed because you need to vacuum? No you’re not, vacuuming happens on Thursdays. Not sure what to eat? No you’re not – today’s taco day. Buy groceries once a week based on a meal plan. Figure out what you know how to cook and like to eat, come up with 21 meals. Eating the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day is fine. That brings you down to 9 meals/week. Start from a standard base, slowly introduce variation and new recipes as you feel comfortable.

    Make sure you’re getting as much sunlight as possible. Make sure you’re exercising every day. Both of these things go a long way. Take a multivitamin.

    Don’t worry too much about moving your life forward. If you can pay your bills, you’re doing a lot better than most people. That said, if there are things you want to learn or areas you want to improve on, focus on that and study up. You certainly have plenty of time for reading right now. This has not been a normal year. We’re all going through the same thing. It will get better soon.

  5. I’m in the exact same boat so if it’s any consolation, you aren’t alone. I’ve been drinking a lot to cope, and obviously that’s not healthy.

    What has worked, at least for making it possible to get through the day, is finding that one thing to keep you going. It could be knowing that you’re going for a walk at dusk, or ordering your favorite pizza and playing video games later. If you have friends that game, you can play together online. Have something at the end of each day to look forward to, no matter how small. Go for a drive, check out parks or trails, read a new book, workout, write it down in a notebook, listen to music, watch old Seinfeld episodes idk.

    For the cooking and cleaning, I’m a neat freak so I stay on top of that but also have simple meals I like and can make easily. I also own one spoon, one fork, one plate, etc so it’s literally impossible for the dishes to pile up. Having a clean house can help declutter your mind. When the negative thoughts hit, pick up the broom or vacuum. And bro, phones still work. Call and FaceTime your friends and family!

    Also, don’t be so hard on yourself. To be 20 and support yourself is more than most people can say. Sounds like you’re a hard worker who was already burnt out and the pandemic is pushing you over the edge. I feel like the blind leading the blind here. I have those same negative thoughts everyday. I guess think about what advice you would give to a friend or brisbane stranger if they had posted this question.

  6. I’ve put the “moving my life forward” part on hold, and I’m trying to live more for the moment right now – being kind to myself and indulging myself a little. I have enough shit flying around with work and family to worry about my “5 year plan”, I just want to get through this lockdown and this pandemic and then I will stop and reassess a few things.

    A video call/skype call with friends has helped break up the tedium. I’ve been checking out lots of bands and albums I’ve been reading about on great sites like [rateyourmusic.com](https://rateyourmusic.com), and trying to improve my mediocre guitar playing. I find it important not to let work take over and fill the void left by family/friends – find something you love to do, and spend time on that instead.

  7. Honestly, it seems like you’re craving social interaction. Join an online gaming community. It would make you feel good to be in a team and chatting with funny people. Or better yet get your friends into it!! At the end of the day find something that brings you joy but also get that social interaction. I wish you all the best mate! But sometimes playing single player video games makes you feel blugh but when it’s with teammates it leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment.

  8. Bro trust me, buy an video game console. Some of your friends might be into video games. ( I don’t know if you’re male or female, but that doesn’t really matter that much ). It gives you something to focus your time on and it’s just plain fun. There’s lot of free games you can get and the only thing you’ll have to buy is the console and a subscription that gives you access to online features.

    I’d suggest the original Xbox one, as a good condition one will clock in at about 200 bucks. The subscription is only 60$, but that’s for a whole year.

  9. See how long you can be alone with your thoughts before you start nagging yourself.

    Catch yourself once you nag, tell that voice to shut the f*ck up and counter what it said with a positive truth about yourself.

    This voice may say something like, “You are f-ing dumb, why did you DM her.” Uhhhh, cuz I’m interested in them???!!! Ya know something like that.

    What’s done is done. It may be hard to let go, but it’s done. No one else is affected by your actions, clearly as no one has contacted you about it, except yourself.

    This pandemic, to some who are alone, is a war with themselves. You can win this war, but it’s the day to day battles you have to eventually learn to overcome.

    You can start by being kind with yourself, you aren’t dumb you’re just worried because you’re a sincere, caring person. Just don’t punch yourself in the face whenever things don’t go your way.

    If you don’t feel like cooking, fuck it….eat from the can of beans. You don’t wanna shower, at least wash your face, pits, crotch and ass.

    Take it slowly, and congratulate yourself for having brushed your teeth the night before. In due time, you’ll find a sort of peace, balance, and clarity.

    Good luck!

  10. I started bi-weekly zoom chats with my friends. I get online, do art, make something, build lego, whatever. I schedule it for a four hour block of time and people come and go. I’ve had as few as one and as many as seven people together. It’s not ideal, but it helps.

  11. I turn inward and outward at the same time. Iunno if that makes sense.

    My mother passed away last Christmas and everyone in my family handled it in different ways. I turned inward in that I fell back on my undergrad studies of stoicism; the philosophy of enduring the world’s difficulty and pleasure without display of complaint nor rapture.

    I turned outward in that I began getting out of the house more. Getting out into nature, going for walks, sitting in a park to smoke good tobacco, as well as joining brisbane to lift others up in ways I knew I needed lifting at the time. Knowing I can even *potentially* help others fulfills me.

  12. I like to do a “mind sweep” I set a timer on my phone for about 5 minutes and I write everything I can think of down on a piece of paper. After I’ve written it all down I organize it into three categories: random, to-do, forget it.

    With my to-do category I then prioritize it.
    Forget it: things that I can’t change.

    Getting things done on my to do list gives me peace of mind and a sense of accomplishment. And sometimes those task aren’t even big task like taking out the trash or remembering to update something.

  13. Build a new skill or activity that will make you forget time. For me it’s swimming, you will also meet new people that enjoys the same activity along the way.

  14. For me I am 23 and living at home rn because I returned from college last year during my senior year cuz of corona virus. I can only imagine how much it sucks being alone but I just try to do stuff like play xbox with my buddies or even use the app houseparty and just talk and drink some beers or what not. I hope that this is all over soon because it is tough on a lot of people.

  15. Honestly I still go see friends and family that are willing to visit. Idk why you cant, whether you believe you should or shouldn’t is up to you. Your young enough to survive it if you did get it. Try online gaming. The pressure you feel is normal life pressure. Covid or not man, you would be trying to move your life forward regardless. Growing pains of growing up honestly. Get used to it now

  16. I’m in the same situation except I work, study 2 qualifications, and am a carer, so my methodology is a bit extreme. I’m almost 22 so I’ve got like a year and a half on you.

    1) Being healthy improves stress tolerance and you find everything easier.

    2) I don’t have structured time for relaxing, so if I’m able to be productive on an evening/weekend, I aren’t stopping myself because “I should be relaxing” or whatever. If you’re behind, sometimes a few hours or full day on a Sunday puts you ahead again.

    3) When feeling capable and not having anything immediate to do, make future tasks easier. Meal prep, put clothes next to the shower, whatever. Just make things easier for your future exhausted/incapable self.

    4) When I’m not able to be productive, I let it go. I can’t cook? I don’t agonise for hours. Just stick something in the oven/microwave/order food in instead of unnecessary stress and wasting willpower and whatnot torturing yourself if you’re not going to do it anyway.

    5) A carefully constructed medication combination to minimise my bad days and maximise my good days. Some people call this health, others call it drugs, I call it “I’d rather be happy and productive, call it what you want”.

    6) Talk to friends/family that support you. Socialising, positive reinforcement, having people be excited for your goals or hold you accountable for stuff is better than most things you can do for yourself.

    Tldr: Health, good social circle, drugs, being proactive, forgive yourself for bad days, don’t turn bad days into torturing yourself just let it go and make things as easy as you can.

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