Mental Health Importance
Do you ever have those days where you're both excited, yet tired; motivated but unmotivated at the same time? Lately I've been experiencing those same emotions when it comes to my own work and for good reason. Working in an animal shelter has the highest rate of depression, PTSD, and other mental health problems due to the overwhelming amount of trauma and stress we encounter on a day-to-day basis.
I wanted to talk about the importance of mental health today because it's not just limited to your every day job. Bloggers can feel the pressure, whether self-made (one of my biggest weaknesses) or pressure by companies to fulfill promises, can really drain a person. It's not a healthy way to live and it is something that I constantly work on. I have a horrible tendency to work extremely hard at everything I do and not give myself any rest in between. This leads to burn out really quickly! This past week I took a mental health day from work because I had had enough.
I was working too much (250 hours in February alone).
I wasn't eating the best.
I was overextending myself too often.
I wasn't being creative anymore.
I was starting to feel depressed about things that usually give me joy.
Do any of these sound familiar to you?
If so, you're not alone. By taking that one day off from work/blogging/unnecessary responsibilities, I finally allowed my mind to relax. I took the opportunity to run our Cooper River Bridge and spend time with my mom and boyfriend and it did me wonders! I even took it a step further and pampered myself on Sunday with a face mask, pedicure, and being absolutely lazy. It also helped that it was a cold, rainy day here and I felt no pressure to be outside. Thank you rainy days!
But those creeping, unsettling feelings can still creep up from time to time. Especially when you're in a creative field by trade and pursue those same outlets personally, it can be a drain. There's only so much my brain can cook up! Thankfully I've devised a plan for myself to beat those days and truly work on having a better mental health.
- Say No
Something that I'm horrible at is saying no. I will say yes to anything in a heartbeat and instantly regret it. Why do I put myself in those positions?! Instead I'm working on saying no to more things that I feel will drain me later on. Things like events back to back can be hard on a person, and I actually don't like being a part of a large crowd for long. It makes me feel overwhelmed and that's not how you want to feel at a gathering! Instead I'm a little more picky about what events I'll attend and that has been a saving grace!
Isn't it funny how worked up we get over the littlest things? I find myself getting worked up over the smallest details. Why isn't that person going at the green light? Why aren't these jeans fitting right? It's all absurd and helps no one. Instead when I feel that moment of anxiety bubbling up, I take a deep breath and move on. Nothing that small should capture my attention like that. Instead when you feel overwhelmed by even the smallest details, just breathe.
3. Take a Day!
Listen, PTO time is like the holy grail of any job (aside from health care, can I get a amen?) but sometimes you need to use PTO for you and not save it up for all those weddings you've got to attend. It was the most miraculous thing to take some PTO for myself the other day. I came back to work re-energized and ready to tackle projects that I've been sitting on. I even was able to finalize our new website and launch it successfully by noon! That's huge for me and my organization! Take those days to really disengage from work and focus on what's important to your mental health. That to me was running 5 miles (yes, I'm crazy but I'm also preparing for a race) and pampering my body.
I want you to take your phone and put it on silent for a few hours. If you can't live without your phone, at least silent any social media notifications and especially email. Truly get away from it all. It helps. In order to keep me sane because I get emails at all hours, I have a "bedtime" for my phone. I place it on silent at 8PM so I cannot receive any alerts until 7:30AM the next day. Why? Because like everyone else, I'm compulsive to answer anything that comes through. Now I know that if it's truly important my phone will ring, if not, it can wait.
Mental health is a crucial part of being a healthy person. You need your brain to be stress free, relaxed, and running at all times. Whenever you feel like it's hitting that capacity point, take a break. Use my steps to take it down a few notches to relax and recharge. If you need someone to talk to, please feel free to leave a comment! I'm always here to listen to any venting or complaints, sometimes it helps to have a random person listen!
What are your steps to having a better mental health? I'd love to hear them in the comments!