For every hardship in your life, there are two ways to handle it: a healthy way, and an unhealthy way. Whether it be coping with anxiety, the stress of school, or working through tough times, taking the healthy route will be the road that will leave you in the most peaceful place.
With recent events and the mountain of schoolwork I climb weekly, the stress of life fell on top of me quickly and felt out of my control. I had no way to deal with my anger or anxiety, and couldn't let it manifest to turn me into somebody I am not.
Climbing into bed, getting under the blankets, and falling asleep was the unhealthy coping skill I followed for many years, and it ended up making so many things worse.
I would come back from class, fall asleep to avoid my stressors, wake up to quickly finish homework before I laid in bed until the early hours of the morning, mindlessly scrolling through Instagram memes before my body gave out.
Depressive thoughts and emotions chained me to my bed; I saw it as the only place where I could find peace and a brief getaway from the fatigue and stress. I no longer filled my days with art, or the things I loved, just an endless cycle of class and sleep.
The events in my life went from everyday stressors to traumas that haunted me daily, and I knew sleeping everything off would hurt my mental being even more.
Instead of taking my stress to my cozy bed, I took it to the one place almost everybody fears - the gym. We can all agree it is an intimidating place, especially when you're a beginner and all you see everywhere is gym bros and people working really hard.
It is a place where a lot of people feel most insecure like they're looked down upon or feel ashamed of themselves for even trying.
This problem was solved with my headphones, where I blast my favorite Apple Music or Spotify playlist and just concentrate on what I'm doing and how it will benefit me.
Most of all, the gym became a place that I could go to when I need to release all the stress, hurt, and anxiety I hold within me. A place where, if I need to crunch away my anger, I could. A place where, if I felt the need to physically run as fast as I can from my problems, I could.
It became a place where I realized if I put all my hurt and anger into my routine, it will physically and emotionally benefit me.
Here, I put all my anger from bullies calling me "deathly skinny" to the test, and it turns out that I am distancing farther away from their image of me and myself. The bullying didn't lead me to the gym, it was the feelings and hurt I held within myself that I needed to let out in a healthy way.
If I was feeling stressed about the future, I would climb onto the elliptical or treadmill and plan out my work for the week, as well as my plans for the upcoming future and how I will approach them.
This approach to coping with my hurt and anxiety led to me a road that will ultimately shape me into a figure I want to be - both mentally and physically. It is a coping skill that I use to give myself a positive solution for dealing with stress, rather than letting my stresses and worries manifest themselves into resentment and hate.