What we become

There’s always a rough patch around the corner waiting for you. As much as I want to be a person with a positive and sunny disposition, I cannot argue against this. Small or big, these patches await us all and they come and go as they please.

It could be a bitter argument, a time when money is tight or even losing a loved one. Each one chips away at us in its own way even if we don’t see it. You might find that things are just not the same after. I’ve had conversations which made me rethink entire relationships with someone. This summer I had went through the gruelling experience of fixing a big mistake I made.

When I think back to the days when I was working to correct things, I remember the kind of person I became. I created feelings of self-hate and loathed myself for a long time. Every day felt like I was paying for making a mistake and that I deserved it. I stopped doing things that made me happy. I stopped reading. I stopped listening to music. I was the only one punishing myself for making a mistake even after others forgave me. It seems almost silly now, but I was not then who I am now.

It took me a long time to start considering thoughts of acceptance and self-forgiveness and that didn’t come easy. Every day became replacing negative ideas with different ones. Every day became starting to forgive myself a tiny bit. And eventually, I put that horrid experience behind me and looked forward to better things.

To this day I think about the person I became after that rough patch. Someone filled with self-loathing. It wasn’t the person I’ve wanted to be. Perhaps the complete opposite. I’ve always wanted to help others and I’ve learned that I can’t do that unless I help myself first. You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself. That is who I chose to become. Someone who understands that simple fact. And I chose to start taking care of myself so that I could give back.

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” 

– Carl Jung

I’ll end with this thought: The day I realized that my hardships turned me into someone I didn’t recognize, I started looking for a way to correct myself. What happens to me cannot deter me from being the person I intend to become. It’s not strong enough to achieve that.

I hope you all stay safe, wear masks, check up on friends and family and let’s get through this responsibly!

Being yourself is hard

A few days ago, I was having a rough evening and I asked a friend, “Do you ever feel like being yourself is hard?” That question progressed into a long conversation and gave me a lot to think about. Today, I feel ready to write some of those thoughts down.

We are all wired a certain way. Some of it we control and some of it comes from the experiences and events we’ve had to live through. And the way we are defines our relationships with people. You could be the kind of person who likes to talk about what you’re feeling. Or you might be someone who doesn’t share much or shares in their own time. You could be someone who takes things seriously or someone who doesn’t.

Just like these, I have my own quirks. And they make some days and experiences hard to live through. And on those days, I ask myself, “should I not be this way?” or “Am I being someone wrong by being myself?”. The choices I make, the morals I try to live by and my faith in people are the three things I struggle with the most. So the question is whether being the way you are is supposed to give you hard days.

And the answer is absolutely. I have my reasons for being the way I am and maybe that’s something that doesn’t align with the way someone else is. No matter how much I’d like it to. I make certain choices and find out that I chose wrong. I try to live by certain morals and fail. I put my faith in people and they don’t come through sometimes. None of that equates to me being wired wrong.

I try (and often fail) to live by certain morals because I believe that’s the right thing to do, even it makes my life harder. And I put my faith in people because I’ve always had people who put their faith in me. I am the way I am because it works. It just doesn’t work everyday.

It’s not supposed to be a formula or a cheat sheet that lets you skip all the hard days in your life. You can’t switch to being someone else that may seem like they have their life figured. More importantly, you don’t need to. You are exactly what you were molded to be. And if you allow a spiritual opinion, you are exactly what you were meant to be.

You being you isn’t supposed to be easy because what you’re doing is being someone that no one has ever been or ever will be. And I pray this thought helps you brave some of those hard days that come from being yourself.

P.S. Hope you all are staying safe. Please use masks in public areas like stores and buses & let’s get through this responsibly!

Baby steps

I’ve recently found myself using the phrase ‘baby steps’ more and more in conversations. It comes up mostly whenever I am talking about rough/unproductive days and is surprisingly effective at getting the message across. The phrase just feels right. Despite the adorable nature of the phrase and setting aside mental images of pudgy babies stumbling around, let me tell you why I find it to be such an effective way to express myself.

As grown ups, we find ourselves juggling multiple things at the same time all the time. Take me right now. Currently, I am trying to study for school, to actively participate in two Toastmasters clubs, to find time to read, do laundry, meet up/stay in touch with friends after making promises and mostly to keep this blog running. I bet your schedule is way busier but I have trouble getting all of mine done as it is. As a result, I usually end up dropping the ball on something. An assignment left for the last minute, missing a Toastmasters meeting because I was working on the assignment till 3am or even just having a slow day when nothing gets done.

Now wind the clock all the way back to when you were learning how to walk. You were most likely bumping into stuff, relying on things for support and losing your balance after every few steps. Probably fell on your butt more than a few times and woke the neighbours up. But the point is you dropped the ball a lot of times. But, at that age it isn’t seen as wrongful or disappointing that you do. Instead, the act of taking baby steps is translated to “slowly but surely getting to where you want to be.” Literally.

I don’t mean to compare your difficult classes or hectic work projects to a baby walking but rather to how you treat yourself when you stumble. To me personally, the phrase articulates that I’m learning to be the version of myself that can manage my workload perfectly. A version that gets his school readings done on time so he can get to other readings of a more fictional nature. A version that checks up on his friends and gets the laundry done on time.

I think we’re all trying to be that person who can get all of our work done perfectly, but we’re just not there yet. We drop the ball because we’re human. And that can make someone think badly of themselves. Rather, think of those tough days as baby steps. Small, unsteady but necessary steps leading to a future where you get to walk down whatever path you choose. Literally.

So, don’t hate the unproductive days. Don’t hate yourself on those days. And if you ever find yourself on the floor after taking a fall, just remember.

Baby steps!

Missing Blogger pt. 2

It has now been 116 days since I last posted something on my blog. I haven’t been putting it off or coming up empty on ideas. It’s mostly because I have too many things going through my mind and its been getting hard to focus on any one of them. But, today I decided to slap on a fresh coat of paint on the site and finally sit down and type this post up.

I am currently in the middle of an online semester. Online classes & labs are inefficient learning environments, so that’s an ongoing struggle. COVID-19 is still a thing and I’m pretty sure we have a second wave of cases on the way. So, the uncomfortable mask on the beard must stay where it is. I’m doing a whole lot of electives this semester and learning a lot about what people in Psych & Pols science study. Some of it is fascinating but some is downright boring.

This past summer was a long and introspective one. I confronted a lot of thoughts and tried to figure out how to embody better versions of myself. Not all days were successful. I worked on self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. The summer was also a wake-up call on friendships that drifted away when school wasn’t on. I realized that sometimes people you think or hope would stay around a long time don’t. Sometimes, people who have been around forever aren’t right for you. Time just goes on and people become more of who they are. It is up to you to recognize the kind of people you want to have around you.

The past few weeks have been tiring, frustrating but also incredible. I am finding more and more about myself. I find myself drawn to people who don’t make friendships feel like a chore. And I’m lucky enough to have friends always there for a chat or a beer or even sharing good music. I do things that make me happy. I go for walks and watch the trees turn yellow and red. I feel grateful for everything I am lucky enough to have. I am still a bit inefficient and occasionally lazy when it comes to schoolwork, but I always seem to end up with a good result, thanks to late nights and gameplay music.

These 116 days have been full of reflections, walks, music, podcasts, movie nights and baby steps towards better versions of myself. I look forward to what is to come and to giving my best to this semester. For now though, I’m going to enjoy what remains of this glorious Fall we are having.

P.S. Hope you all are staying safe. Please use masks in public areas like stores and buses & let’s get through this responsibly!

Here for you

I would like to talk about mental health.

At the age of 8, I was in a world of depression having left my home. I was surrounded by children around my age and some adults (boarding school staff) assigned to look after us. When I told someone that I couldn’t focus, they told me I was a bad student. When I told them I was being bullied, they made me shake hands with them hoping that fixed everything.

One night, I found myself unable to breathe and unable to move. For more than two minutes, I was terrified. I felt like my body wasn’t my own. It was like someone had sucked all the air out of the room. When I finally found my strength and tried to tell someone, they checked my temperature, told me I could take a day off school and said that I was fine. Because it’s easier to ignore symptoms than to accept the ugly truth that even a child can face such ordeals of depression and trauma. Age isn’t a factor when it comes to mental health.

With no one there for me, I had to be there for myself. This was not me being motivational or inspirational. This was me clawing back out of depression because no one else was around to help or listen. It required all the will power I could muster to focus on the good in my life and make the journey on my own. To discover my passion for reading and writing. To stand up to bullies. To deal with emotionally stressful days by reminding myself that it would be alright. To know that it was going to be alright.

As I eventually learnt to rise above the depression, I knew I had a clear goal in life. To be there for people like I wish someone had been there for me. I am grateful that I was spared and I am thankful that I now know the consequences of standing idle while people go through things. I have lived those consequences.

And now to you, the person reading this.

Reach out to people. To those who stopped responding. To those living in difficult conditions. To anyone, really. Reach out and talk. Don’t just voice solidarity online and then go back to your life. Practise it by talking to someone. That’s honestly all it takes. Ask people how they’re doing. Talk about your day. Give some time to the sea of people out there going through bad days.

As for me, there is no choice to make. I simply cannot stand by and let someone walk down that path alone. If I do, all my efforts to rise above my poor mental health state will have been for nothing. So I am here for you, reach out, contact me through the social media on my blog or anyway you know how. I will not judge you, I will not ignore you and I will do my very best to offer the highest level of support of which I am capable. You are not in this by yourself. Not if I can help it.

I AM HERE FOR YOU

As it is

Change is the only constant. I miss the days when this meant simpler things like transitioning from high school to university or finally moving out of your parents house to start a new life of your own. Such changes are so common that we’ve made our peace with them. We know that they must happen and only a handful try to resist these natural changes.

When it was my time to leave home, I made peace with the fact that it was an important change for me. I was to gain an education, learn to be independent and start my journey. Keeping all these things in mind, I went with the flow and let the waters take me where they may. I’ll admit, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows but then, change never is. We just need to accept it, the good and bad included. Now, this was an example of a change we all look forward to. I know that someday I’ll move from being a student to a working individual. I might re-locate in the course of a job. And after a few decades of service, I’ll retire. These are all changes that we can anticipate and often prepare for. And once you make those transitions, you simply be at peace with the happenings and let the waters flow as they may.

But what about those unprecedented changes we can’t see coming? A pandemic, maybe?

How is the world supposed to cope with everything that has happened? I won’t go on to list all the things that aren’t the same, but we all have some idea of what these are. These were the changes we never saw coming. But now they’re here. I can’t fly home for the summer. And it’s inconvenient and downright unfair. I have half a mind to rant and rage against everything that isn’t what it used to be. Some might even advocate to bring life back to what used to be “normal”. Somewhere in my heart, though, I know that this might be the new normal. The change has happened and our minds want us to fight the flow because it’s all new un-chartered territory.

Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.

Wayne Dyer

I think it’s time we stopped resisting and waiting for things to go back to normal. I’m tired of being angry at a virus. This is what it is. Just go with the flow.

The Little Things

Have you ever thought of the grand scheme of things? Everything that is happening around us. The expanding universe, collapsing stars, natural disasters, epidemics, population surge, dying rainforests and so much more. There is so much that goes on around us all the time. So much input into our lives. So much that affects us. So much that we must respond to. So much that we live with.

So what difference do we make? Amidst all that’s happening, what can you or I do to make a difference? So much actually. Humans have so much potential to make a difference. Right from discovering fire to inventing the wheel. From predicting the weather to predicting how the universe expands. There’s actually people planning on how to move Earth’s populous to Mars someday. As humans, we have the capacity to do great things.

But there are things that matter more than these far reaching feats of humanity. Things much simpler and within the reach of every person.

Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

And that’s how you and I can make a difference. It’s the little acts. Pick up a piece of trash. Donate some clothes. Hold the door open for someone. Thank your server. Tell your loved ones what they mean to you. Be there for them.

Not all of us will be recognized by history as people who changed the world. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have the capacity to do so. We can do so much by doing so little. In my travels and experiences, I have been fortunate in meeting so many people. I have met some of my heroes. I have acquainted with fellow travellers. I have experienced different cultures. And in all my experiences, I remember the little things so well. The power of a small kind act is such that it can stay in someone’s memory for a long time. And perhaps, inspire them to carry it on.

In my mind, I know that I am not destined to be a great, well-known individual. In my heart, I am satisfied that I don’t need to be one to leave my mark on the world. It’s the little things.

Keep Going

Lives change every day. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Someone wins the lottery and someone fails to pay a loan. Someone gets into their dream school and someone is fired from a dream job. Someone welcomes new life into their family and someone unexpectedly loses one they always thought they’d have more time with. Lives change everyday.

In a world of flux, as we walk down the street we see many faces but that’s all we see. We can’t see the good or the bad someone is going through. But we all have hard times, don’t we? Times when we still wake up, brush our teeth and go about our day but also have to deal with rough hands we’ve been dealt. Because time goes on. The world doesn’t stop just because you stumbled and scraped your knee. It moves on and so must you. And in this, we are often alone. But not this time.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know how things are with COVID-19. In some way or the other, I’m sure you’ve been affected too. If you’re lucky, you get to stay home and carry on with life indoors. But there are those that are tasked with being on the front lines and are dealing with this crisis head on. And there are also those who are sick and don’t know what fate has in store for them. Lives change everyday. This time, we’ve all been chosen to go through the same trial.

In such daunting and uncertain times, I think back to a line I heard on TV sometime ago – “No matter how hard things get, the true test is how we choose to respond to the pain we suffer”

I’m going through a rough patch myself right now (not COVID related). I am also going through COVID isolation with the rest of the world. Sadly, new burdens don’t make the old ones disappear. They just add on to the weight we are tasked to carry. But try keep those words in mind. You get to choose how you respond to these times. Some will choose to close their eyes and tuck their heads in and wait for things to get better. And some will rise to the occasion and give us the strength to keep going.

I’m not asking you to not be a coward. I’m also not asking you to be a hero. I’m asking you to simply keep going. And if the road gets dark and you start to feel scared, do what I do. Sing.

Fly with it

Have you ever loved to do something? I mean beyond a sense of “its good for me” or “it’s a popular practise”. No matter how common or rare it is. Just you. Your passion for it. And stolen moments between work and school when you dedicate time to it. I wonder what it is for you? For me, it is to speak and write.

As broad as that is, I have always loved taking inspiration from the world and writing it down and talking about it. Sadly, like most of you I lead a full life and sometimes I stray away from my passions into days of books and other baggage. But then there are periods like the current situation outside creates when I get time to go back to these interests. And that is when I truly come out of my shell. I find that we’re all not good at many things. Things we fail at miserably perhaps. You could just be terrible at a course but then do incredible workouts at the gym. You could be bad at working out at the gym but then go home and make an incredible covers for songs. I fail at both singing and working out and then I come home and write down what I learn in hopes of learning something from my days.

I learnt from reading some books over and over again that words when moulded and brought together in the right ways can touch hearts, change minds, and move worlds. And that’s what I want to do when I write or speak. I think we all try to add to the world with our passions. And it shows. When a musician puts their heart and soul into the music. When the teacher breaks down a concept to its foundations. When a doctor works a 48 hour shift. How do you do things that most people can’t unless you truly find peace and joy in the act? You don’t.

And now to why I wrote this post. I want to ask something of you. When you find this, fly with it. Don’t stay grounded with your interests. Experiment. Take risks. Look stupid. Give it time. For every post I publish, I add another five to my drafts. Simply because I like writing doesn’t make me good at it. But it does make me want to be better at it. So I try again and again. Because the day I give up on this, I lose a great part of what makes me, me.

So I ask of you. No matter what, stick with it. And fly with it.

Overnight

Why is it that sometimes, despite having the time and resources to make something work, we fail horribly at it? Why do we watch opportunities slip us by in promise of reaching for them the next time they come around? And why does it all have to boil down to the last night of effort?

These were just a few of the thoughts on my head after a midterm I wrote earlier today. With about a week to study for a course that many consider difficult, I told myself I had enough time. I did have enough time. But, thanks to me, things went sideways nonetheless. I messed up nonetheless. And here I sit with a couple messy months behind me, and a thoroughly unpredictable one in front of me.

Thinking back, I think we all start out good. Fresh start and all. New year. New semester. New lecture. Doesn’t matter. We like the feeling of knowing that this moment right now can be when I start to work towards a better tomorrow. I like to think of those moments as something I’ll remember a few years from now as – “That night at 8:23pm I began working towards my goal and I haven’t stopped till now. That night at 8:23pm I changed my life.” Countless times I’ve pictured myself in the future reminiscing about the moment when I changed my life for the better. And here I sit. In the present, waiting for myself to make that change.

It’s an interesting thought – the idea of changing your life overnight, isn’t it? Don’t pretend like you’ve never considered it. The thought that one sleepless night can change your future. You suddenly get hit by motivation, start working and change everything. Sadly, that doesn’t happen. And speaking from personal experience, I’ll tell you exactly why.

If you’re at that point where you “need” to change your life overnight, you’ve definitely not been doing the right things for a while now. So at this point, you’re not being average at life. You’re being poor at it. And one night of work isn’t going to change that. It won’t push you over to the “excelling at life” side of the aisle. That takes more than a night. Could take a year or two. So perhaps, a better goal would be to “start” changing your life. And then change it a little bit more every night. Consistently. Eventually, I’m sure you’ll find yourself where you want to be. And even if you don’t, you know what they say about the journey being the destination. You’ll be fine.

Lastly, if you ever get thinking about the whole overnight life changing shtick, just go to bed. You’ll find its a better use of your time.

Help wanted

There is so much to do. So much that’s coming in the next few weeks. On evenings like the one I’m having right now, the sea of tasks ahead can seem daunting. And if there’s one thing I know for sure, I can’t go it alone.

When I was kid, circumstances made me feel like I would go most of life alone. It’s a terrible feeling. Knowing that no matter what the end is like, you might have to make the journey alone. That you would have to console yourself in hard times, heal yourself in rough patches and pick yourself up at every fall. I know its probably not impossible. I’ve seen John Wick. Unfortunately, I am not a man of focus, commitment and sheer will.

I am a man who just finished a large pizza and has a pile of work he ignored because he was too busy enjoying himself a bit too much over Reading Week. To be fair, I did “read” several chapters from a very good book that was not at all about Heat & Mass Transfer or Control Systems. So, here I sit on a Sunday night blogging about everything that’s wrong. But, believe it or not, this is helping me. I write about things that bother me or stress me out; I always have. Somehow, I feel that if I can put my doubts and fear into words, I gain a certain power over them (doesn’t have to make sense to you).

But the most incredible thing is that I didn’t think to do this. Not until a friend (much wiser than I) told me I should.

That’s what I needed. Help. And I think that’s what we all need if we want to make it out safe and sound to the other side. I think we need to make our peace with the fact that we will need to ask for help every now and then. To that end, I am lucky enough to have a few people who have never let me down. People who always respond when I need them to. Folks that tell me they believe in me. And I think that’s the only reason I am where I am. Mind you, I haven’t achieved much in life yet but I’m still here and I’m still kicking.

Bottom line. We all need help sometimes and I’m glad to have people around who have risen to the occasion every single time. I hope I have the strength to do the same for them.

When its my turn…

About a week ago, I turned 22. We all say things like “Where did the time go?” and “Time flies”. Because it really does. I, for one, vividly remember a scene nearly 13 years ago when I first entered boarding school. Or a scene four years ago when I started at the University of Guelph. And as I look back and think about those days, one thought jumps out at me.

They were easier times.

As I get older, the pile of things I need to know about or be careful about or be responsible for just keeps on rising. Everyday, I learn that now I am old enough to start bring responsible about something new. And its scary.

See, I was raised by two incredible people who never let me realize just how hard they worked. I never realized all the “adult” things they had to take care of before coming home in the evening and having dinner or watching TV with us. I never realized that as they laughed at one of my jokes or even just helped me with my homework, their heads probably swam with a hundred other things that they had to take care of. Honestly, it scares me that someday I’ll have to do it. That eventually or maybe even suddenly, that mantle will be passed on to the next generation. And then it’ll be our turn. Will I be as good at it as they are? This thought is on my mind night and day. Times like birthdays or New Years remind me about how quickly its all passing by. And how very soon we’ll find ourselves filling shoes that seem too big for us right now.

I usually try and answer things in my posts but today I am typing just to get all of these scary thoughts out of head and onto my screen. Maybe some of you reading this have gone through this or are going through this. I don’t know how it’s going to be, honestly. But I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes.

What lies ahead

Today, I kicked off another semester of school. After 8 months of work, going back to school felt a little strange. I don’t think I’m gonna be free after 4pm anymore, to be honest. First days are always light though.

Today, I had five 80 minute lectures starting at 8:30 in the morning and ending at 7 in the evening. And one of the classes is all the way across campus. The lightness is real.

People tell me every semester feels hard when you’re in it but this one feels like it’ll be a real test. A test that’ll involve late nights, missed meals, late submissions and total waste of a gym membership. This semester also comes with a lot of firsts. I have only two final exams so that’s nice. But of course, that means my semester is filled to the top with weekly submissions and overlapping midterms.

I have honestly no idea what is going to happen. This is one part of being an international student that just plain sucks. I’m taking six courses in a race to graduate on time, but that finish line is a ways off. Another 8 month work term and two more semesters (at least) stand in the way of me getting my undergrad. *sigh*

But enough doom and gloom.

The final plan: Keep moving. Take things one step at a time. Survive.

If you’re kicking off a semester too, I’m rooting for you guys. Cheers!

What really counts

Today as I walked past a house, I saw an old man carrying a big bag full of flyers and sticking them into mailboxes as he went. Honestly, I didn’t know the process could be done so incredibly fast and with such efficiency.

As I walked past him, I couldn’t help but admire this man. It was nothing to do with his work or his age at which he was accomplishing it. It was the skill and efficiency he employed. It was absolutely remarkable. And that brings me to the point of this little post.

Working hard or efficiently has absolutely nothing to do with what you’re doing. One cannot say that he cannot be efficient because he is doing a simple or an ordinary task. The root of efficiency, I have learned, is simply doing something long enough to recognize possible obstacles, and to weed them proactively to get the job done.

As I work for my current coop work term, I act as an intern. And often a lot of work I do has nothing to do with engineering or is just a basic task. But if I do it enough I’m able to figure out better ways to do it. And in the end, I’m better for it.

There is a Latin quote, “Sic Parvis Magna” and it loosely translates to “greatness from small beginnings”. If you’ve ever played Unchartered 4, you probably know of this quote, but hear what I make of it in the context of this post.

Most of us start small. We kick our work lives off with internships, summer jobs or small temp positions. We even kick off semesters with a few classes that are obvious and boring. And a lot of times, we choose not to give our everything because we think of our actions as small or mere transitions to greater and bigger things. But greater and bigger things are built of so many small things. And how are we to ever reach the top of the mountain if we start lazy and hope to pick up our momentum somewhere down a road that only gets harder?

In a single sentence now.

No matter how small the task or your beginning, give it your absolute everything. Everyday. And that’s what really counts.

What You Send Out

I am glad to have some truly incredible people in my life. Spending time with them or even catching up on the phone makes things better all of a sudden. Bad days lose their negativity when we crack up over an inside joke. Burdens seem smaller by just sharing them. And I’m glad I picked up the phone when they called. These people despite how good or bad their days have been, simply choose to only send out the right kind of thoughts.

But there are some, that often send out energies of discord and deprecation when they communicate. Such emotions take no time in completely filling us up. Sometimes, it only takes a small moment of negative emotion to completely ruin what was shaping up to be a great day. Our entire focus can shift from all that’s good to the one thing that isn’t in an instance. And we’ve all tried to go back and be cheerful again, but the thread is severed. The best you can do is a flimsy knot to cover up what once was.

I have known people from both spectrums. I am also sure that there are people who know me from both spectrums. No one is expected to be perfect. And no one can be blamed for maybe lashing out on a bad day. We are all human.

But perhaps it is possible to try and control what we send out.

As words. As body language. As thoughts even.

You will have bad days. Or bad moments. But try and resolve them within. I don’t ask you to internally suppress emotional pain or stress. Instead, feelings like anger at your coworkers or the ones towards the guy who got the last parking spot, or even at the project that seems to be going horribly; All these taxing scenarios bring out negative energy within you. You can’t change that. But you can choose what you send out into the world. You can choose to not let your bad day/moment and it’s energy affect that next person you talk to. Something as simple as taking deep breaths can help.

I would recommend just thinking about the times someone took out their anger & stress on you and how terrible it can feel. Let’s be different.

Wishing you all happy thoughts!