The last month and a half was a bit busy and stressful as I worried about school, training for my next marathon, fundraising, and planning my wedding. The difference is that today:
- I am less than three days from my marathon,
- I am five weeks away from my wedding, and
- I have one less class to stress over.
In retrospect, I put myself on a time out from WellJourn. However, that does not mean I plummeted into a state of eating junk food while permanently glued to the sofa. I simply took a time out from writing. I still experimented with some very edible and some not-so-edible creations; as well as, maintained a healthy diet and proper exercise.
Coincidentally, October 10 was World Mental Health Day. The World Mental Health Federation states that physical illness and mental health go hand-in-hand. Our mental state of being affects us physically. For instance, individuals who suffer from eating disorders also have complex emotions and behaviors that affect them physically. The physical manifestations range from weight loss or gain, fatigue, to irregular heart beats and physical pain.
Other types of mental illness include depression and the “winter blues”. The winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real. SAD usually begins in October and November. The same time when our days are much shorter and daylight savings ends.
While physically I felt stronger than ever, mentally I felt like I was pulling my hair out and started getting sore throats, restless sleep and allergies to…gasp…running! Plus, I did not feel motivated to be creative. I knew I was under stress and decided to take a break.
How do you know if you just need a time out or professional help? The American Psychological Association recommends seeking help when periods of sadness last for more than two weeks or interfere with daily activities.
If you feel you need to recharge, try:
Taking a time out
Stepping away from something to focus on other priorities may return you with a fresh, renewed perspective.
This is a difficult one for me; however, as so many people have told me regarding my upcoming wedding: Don’t sweat the details. There are things I will never have control over and some things I need to accept as they are. Realizing this and focusing on the bigger picture (I am marrying my best-friend, my lover, and the one I love) is what truly counts.
Sometimes we need to talk to someone…else. And while our friends may be great listeners they are not our therapists. Having an objective ear to bend may be insightful and liberating.
Men have their “man caves” but what do women have? Yes, sometimes we have our spas, kickboxing classes, and marathons; however, there are times we need a little more such as a time out.
If you think you are experiencing depression or seasonal affective disorder, please consult your doctor or a mental health professional.