5 mins read
March 4, 2024

Embrace the Messy: Managing Mental Health When Life Isn't Picture-Perfect

Mess: Untidy/dirty state of things or a placeLife isn't always smooth sailing. It can be messy. It can be unpredictable. Sometimes it feels like everything is just... well, SUCKING. Our messy lives can make us feel disconnected and overwhelmed in a world that loves order.‍

Mess: Untidy/dirty state of things or a place

Life isn't always smooth sailing.

It can be messy.

It can be unpredictable.

Sometimes it feels like everything is just... well, SUCKING.

Our messy lives can make us feel disconnected and overwhelmed in a world that loves order.

Breaking free from our past is no simple feat. Whether it's past achievements, old relationships, or dreams that never came true, the ghosts of the past can linger. We might attempt to conceal it, presenting a facade of perfection to the world.

Using anonymity as a shield, we create a carefully curated image to soothe ourselves. The pursuit of appearing happy often becomes as important as actually BEING HAPPY.

But here's the thing: showing others our mess can be good.

Embracing our messiness can lead to self-discovery and authenticity. So, let's embrace the mess with a new mindset. 

How to Embrace the Mess

We feel stressed and unhappy when we try to control everything and be perfect. But we can grow and become stronger when we accept that life is messy.

Embracing the mess helps us let go of impossible standards. It allowed us to appreciate imperfections. It teaches us to be flexible and open-minded. This leads to a more genuine and fulfilling life. Here are some practical tips to help you to do so:

  • Recognize Your Feelings: Acknowledge your emotions, even the negative ones, without judgment. It's okay to feel overwhelmed or sad at times.
  • Be Kind to Yourself: Practice self-compassion. Treat yourself with the kindness you would offer a friend facing a difficult situation.
  • Seek Support: Contact friends, family, or a mental health professional for assistance. You don't have to face challenges alone.
  • Embrace Imperfection: Release the need to be perfect. Embrace your imperfections and accept that things may not always go as planned.
  • Focus on What You Can Control: Direct your attention to things within your control, such as your reactions and attitudes, rather than fixating on things beyond your control.
  • Find Joy in Small Moments: Discover happiness in everyday moments. Whether enjoying a beautiful sunset or savoring a good cup of coffee, these small pleasures can lift your spirits.

The State of Languish

At any given time, a large number of people are experiencing a state called languishing, which is a complete lack of mental well-being. It can feel empty and dull like you're just going through the motions. Besides languishing, many people are also facing other mental health issues.

Some statistics highlight the severity of the situation:

  • 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has a diagnosable mental health condition.
  • Globally, around 264 million people are affected by depression.
  • In lower- and middle-income countries, there is a significant gap in mental health treatment, with 76% to 85% of individuals with mental illnesses not receiving any care.

It's essential to recognize that everyone has a mind that needs care. Being careful of your mental health is vital for everyone, whether you're dealing with serious mental health issues or simply trying to stay healthy in a chaotic world. The key is to be proactive.

How to Cope with Languishing

There are ways to move from feeling stuck in a state of languishing to a state of flourishing, and three key things can help: mindfulness, connection, and action.

1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is important because it helps us recognize and name our feelings, which is crucial for our emotional well-being. By acknowledging our feelings without judgment, we can better understand and manage them.

2. Connection 

Connection is vital because isolation can lead to negative thoughts and behaviors. We are reminded that we are not alone when we stay connected with others. Knowing someone can relate to our feelings can be incredibly comforting.

3. Action 

Action is essential because sometimes, we must take action first to change our thoughts and improve our lives. Even small actions can help us avoid inactivity and improve our mindset.

To ensure you are moving through languishing and not just stuck in it, remember to:

  1. Be mindful of your feelings and approach them with curiosity.
  2. Connect with others to feel less alone.
  3. Take any action, no matter how small, to get out of your head and into a more positive mindset.

Is Perfectionism Running Your Life?

Perfectionism can drain, leading to self-doubt and fear of not measuring up. It can hinder personal growth. It can keep us from taking risks. Despite its challenges, perfectionism can also drive us to achieve high standards and produce quality work.

However, if it leaves us feeling unfulfilled and constantly striving for more, it's essential to address it.

Overcoming Perfectionism

To manage perfectionism, we can:

1. Step back & gain perspective

When we feel overwhelmed by perfectionism, we can retreat and view the circumstances objectively. Asking ourselves questions about our fears and worries can help us see things more clearly.

2. Recognize our strengths

Instead of focusing on our flaws, we should acknowledge our strengths and accomplishments. We all have unique qualities that make us valuable.

3. Aim for "good enough"

Perfectionists often strive for perfection, which can be paralyzing. By accepting that things don't have to be perfect and aiming for a more realistic standard, we can reduce stress and accomplish more.

4. Celebrate progress

We should celebrate our progress and growth rather than dwell on what we must achieve. Reflecting on past achievements can boost our confidence and motivation.

Perfectionism is a part of who we are. But it doesn't have to control us. By practicing self-compassion and embracing imperfection, we can learn to accept ourselves and find beauty in our flaws.

Rewrite Your Story

Here's the truth: your ideal life doesn't have to mirror anyone else's.

Real success isn't about seeking approval from others or fitting into a predefined mold. It's about discovering purpose, fulfillment, and meaning in YOUR path. It's about crafting a life that reflects your values, passions, and dreams.

Your journey to a fulfilling life doesn't have to be flawless. It can be messy, full of surprises, and take unexpected turns.

But with the right tools and support, you can learn to embrace the adventure, define your version of success, and create a life that truly resonates with you.

Don't let societal expectations or differences deter you. Your unique story is waiting to be told. Let's write it together.

P.S. We understand the challenges you're facing, and we're here to help you every step of the way. Share your thoughts in the comments below. And let's discuss what success truly means to YOU.

Final Words

“Embrace the mess; that’s where the good stuff lives.”

— Cinda Canning

Life isn't always perfect, but embracing its messiness helps you manage your mental health. It's okay not to be okay sometimes. What's essential is navigating through life's ups and downs and taking small steps toward better mental health. Let go of those detailed cleaning plans and accept that dust is a part of life. Instead, create spaces that reflect your true self, imperfections, and all.

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