Sempiternal /ˌsɛmpɪˈtəːn(ə)l/

adjective 1. eternal and unchanging; everlasting.

When a whole nation is going through turmoil, with the different kinds of stress triggers all around us, with a not-so-promising national record, it almost seems impossible to stay focused on what matters. But this is exactly where my dilemma begins: what is it that actually matters?

What is it that one must prioritize to keep a tab on mental health status? At the start of this downfall, I thought the best way to stay ahead of the disaster was by constantly, and I mean constantly, staying on the news. Constantly conducting research on what must be done in order to avert a financial disaster, constantly worrying about the different possible paths my reality will be forced to take due to events outside my control. Will I lose all my savings? Will my purchasing power be reduced to rubble? Will I lose my job due to spending cuts? Will I, through a domino effect, end up ruining my future by not knowing what to do? 

I’m only 25, I don’t know what to do. I’m also 25, am I not supposed to know what to do?

This train of action and thoughts sent me plunging into seemingly sempiternal stress. 

I get it. Worst case scenario, you’re directly affected by the current economical downfalls the nation is going through. Best case scenario, you’re stable yet surrounded by people who are directly affected, thus being indirectly affected. In conclusion: you’re affected, no matter what. 

I tried to isolate myself from what was going on, I couldn’t be but affected. The news, the radio, the water cooler talks, the street talks, everyone was talking about it. Rumors were sporadic, news of banks going bankrupt, of accounts defaulting, of purchasing power decreasing, of inflation. All of this made me lose focus on what made me happy. At some point I felt guilty for doing what made me happy, for forgetting for a little bit the suffering the people were going through. That drained my batteries. I desperately needed to recharge them. I desperately needed to rediscover what made me… me.

“It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time”

— Winston Churchill

In Chapter V, I spoke about the importance of the BFF method: Break, Find, Focus. I took this method to action. I broke my problem into smaller pieces: lower purchasing power, cutting leisure, working harder to stay stable, constant change of future plans, change of priority list. I found what is most stable in my life, that which provides me with comfort: exercise, writing, studying. All three meant that I will spend more, might be categorized as leisure, and will cram whatever free time I had left. I focused: Added new exercise challenges, pushed myself harder to write, and enrolled in after-work classes. Result: I’m still affected just like everyone else, but now I have the energy and spirit to push through for longer. 

The fact of it all? It doesn’t matter. Our lives are so minute compared to the grander scale of things that over-worrying about our problems will not affect the collectivist path of the world. I can choose to over-worry(unhealthy level) about where we’re heading to or I can choose to be aware(healthy level) but also make time for things that I love and expand on them. In 5 years, I’ll still be affected, but in one case I’ll be where I started and in the other I would have made something off myself. Only those who remain consistent against all odds make it. 

If you would like to practice rediscovering yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Acknowledge. Accepting you are going through a problem is the first step. You can’t fix something you don’t see broken.
  2. Do your research. You can only successfully break down a problem into smaller, logical problems that can be tackled by doing research on what it is you’re worried about (and ways to solve it). 
  3. Prioritize. Either big problems first, small problems second, or vice versa. Pick one that suits you and stick to it. Tackle one issue at a time.
  4. Ask yourself: How would I imagine my future self would have handled today’s problems? Take those and capitalize on them. But here’s a sweet twist, to imagine how your future self would look back at today’s problems, you inadvertently create a specific image of your future self. Know the characteristics of that future self and work on achieving them. By doing so, you’ll know how to handle today.
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