• Leilani Xue

Little Things Can Make A Difference: Mental Health Boosters

Updated: Jan 30

In such a busy world, we find ourselves constantly working. Sometimes, I wonder what working everyday helps me achieve.

Almost everything I do now is now virtual: my classes are online and my extracurriculars too. It feels worse to sit in front of screen because I get exhausted and start feeling aimless. I even push my upcoming assignments to a later date because I can’t help getting distracted. When I plan schedules, they do not always work out - at least not as effectively as they did before. When I close my computer and go to bed, I sometimes wonder what I even did. I have so many responsibilities, but I make no attempts to fulfill them. Sometimes, my sense of failure starts to ghost me. These feelings make me perform worse on my assessments because I feel as if I can not do them anymore. Does this sound a bit like how you feel sometimes?

It could start with a small goal … it does not even need to be called a “goal” (after all, this word can remind you of another task that you’ll never do!). Fear drives procrastination. We fear that our efforts will be futile. Nothing feels worse than to try and not have your efforts be rewarded. But if you attempt something really small and perhaps very achievable, you can feel good about it. You can feel like you actually accomplished something in your life.

Sometimes, when you finish your assignment, it may feel like you are doing it for someone else (maybe your teacher, your boss). But if you set a tiny goal for yourself – declare your ownership for your responsibilities – you may now feel you did the very thing for yourself.

Although we are here to look after ourselves, it is easy to feel we are doing things that are not for ourselves. Perhaps it may seem like we are really doing things for other people. Perhaps that last-minute effort to finish your assignment was in fact done for your teacher. You might have done it because you did not want to disappoint her. But then again, you also did it to not disappoint yourself!

It is not wrong to feel that way; perhaps, we were brought to feel that way in school. But if we accomplish small personal goals, we can feel good about ourselves and go to bed thinking that we have at least tried something we decided to do on our own. And this something could be drinking several cups of water each day and recording your progress (hydration is important!).

There are a lot of resources out there that could provide you with sheet to record your progress as well. Maybe you are trying to do the splits. There are a few YouTube tutorials that could teach you stretching exercises that can help you master the splits in a few days.

It does not have to be anything like drinking water or doing the splits – it could be a task as simple as drawing a circle everyday! You could argue that it would be pointless - but you are responsible for figuring out what the value of the task is!

Just remember that you are doing this for yourself … do not bring yourself down if you do not finish it. These small goals can give a sense of achievement that can make you feel better. Feeling better could give you that spark that can also help you finish tougher assignments. Think about something small (which you can easily do) and maybe something that most people do not have as a goal (you might feel obliged to compete with their results!). With some practice you, you will see yourself improve.

Whatever you choose to do or not to do, as they say, “a small step goes a long way”!

Photo Credits: https://www.deviantart.com/lousan22/art/Randal-LoFi-Hip-Hop-802766082