I took several mental health days off this past week and will take one today, too.
I didn’t even lie to my boss and say something like, “I think I’m coming down with a cold”. My boss is pretty understanding. I work for myself.
After a nudge from my lovely husband and gentle curiosity from my new psychiatrist, I gradually recognized what they already saw. That, yes, I’ve been depressed and I needed a bit of a break. I’m usually pretty good at knowing my warning signs, but this occasion, not so much. Sneaky little *bleep* — this depression beast. It still can do a doozie on me.
Taking time off and practicing self-care made me think. How can I take care of myself, but still honor my work responsibilities? I have emails to return; this blog post and a newsletter to write; clients to follow up with. I also need to keep it simple for myself and keep the pressure off.
Solution: pare down to only the essentials. There’s only one pressing email I need to return. Even while experiencing this brain fog and insecurity, I can manage one email. My client follow-ups aren’t set in stone. Waiting a day and a half won’t collapse my business. Refusing to rest and practice self-compassion just might. For my newsletter, missing my deadline will make me more anxious, meeting it will create some relief. I’ll make it easy and share a piece I wrote a while ago but never published. I won’t, on the other hand, set myself up for failure and attempt what currently feels like the herculean task of writing completely new content. It’s about kindness today.
To boot, this post I’m using is meant to bring some laughter. Another self-care tool I use.
If you’re feeling good, well this will hopefully just make your day that much brighter.
If you’re fighting the dynamite of depression like I am right now — I’m about two-thirds of the way out of the woods — well, I hope it does at least one of three things. It might, a) make you smile a teensy weensy bit, or b) distract you from any negative self-talk if only for a couple minutes (depending on how fast you read), and/or c) help to read something positive in nature as opposed to all the crap the news has to bring.
Side note: I want to make my opinion known. It shouldn’t be called ‘news’. It should be called ‘BAD news’. That would be accurate. Then it would also make it clearer what we’re actually feeding our minds when we peruse it. But, I digress.
If you’re feeling the twinges of any mental health issues, this is my wish: that you take care of yourself like you would if you had the flu. Take it easy on yourself; adjust your expectations for a bit; celebrate the little wins; see a doctor if you’re really ill and reach out and connect with a friend or partner. Let yourself be helped. And, read this post to feed your mind and soul with something that’s on the lighter side as you pass through this tough patch. Because, as the cliché goes: this too will pass. And it will. Meet you on the other side.article continues after advertisement
If you know someone who might need a boost, please forward this to them.
© Victoria Maxwell
My friend just passed your name onto me this morning. I am just coming out of a depression episode that hit me Christmas Eve. I ended up changing all of my plans and going to my friends to recoup and allow myself to be looked after. I am looking forward to reading more from you.
I hope you continue to move out of the depression. It’s hard, but it does pass.
Thank you for your honesty Victoria. I hope today is a better day for you. Sending a smile your way. 😀😀
Taking a mental health break is critical, especially when you are dealing with anxiety and depression. I think a great many of us try to push through because we think we can manage only push further into the downward spiral. A long reset dedicated to mental hygiene is never a bad idea.
So very true Stacy! Thanks for your comments.