Alt Ed Writes

Routines, Mental Health & The Confusion In-between

What makes YOU happy? A question I have been pondering for a number of months now. Let's talk about routines, mental health and happiness.

I wrote an article on routines the other day, and it made me think about a question I have been asking myself a lot more over the last year or so. Interestingly enough, my friend asked me the same question a month ago. I had been pushing it to the back of my mind because I didn’t want to admit the truth to myself, but when he asked: “Rodney, what makes you happy?” I felt obligated to give him an answer. To give him the truth.

And the truth is, I don’t know what makes me happy.

I have spent the better part of my life doing things for others. Most of the time willingly, sometimes out of obligation. Along the way, I lost sight of who I was, what I enjoyed, what made me happy. Things that were previously part of my routine became non-existent once I started university.

I loved basketball. I would play basketball with my friends every day during school, after school, and/or on weekends. Ask me how often I play basketball now. I sigh when reminiscing about what was. One of the things that made me incredibly happy no longer played an integral part in my life.

In the article on routine, I spoke about doing maths again every morning. To provide some context, my brother used to make me do maths a lot when I was younger. And, while I hated him for forcing me to do it, I appreciate it because it has benefited me a lot. I never hated maths, I just hated being forced to do it. In sixth form I loved solving equations with my friends. We would compete to see who would solve it first. Nerds, I know. So when I started doing maths again – actually doing maths I enjoy, rather than econometrics or anything of the sort – it made me smile.

I could feel myself finally finding my old self while improving the new me. The other day, I also picked up a basketball and began playing properly again. It felt amazing getting back into what I loved doing. But for how long? I hope I can build a routine around this and keep it going. While I am still figuring out what I love doing, I need to reflect more on who I was and who I want to be.

The routines I had in place when I was younger was what helped me manage my mental health, even though I did not know at the time. So, it’s time to find myself again. Find the old me. Build a new me. And become the best version of myself.

Written by Rodney

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