I can’t remember the last time I sat in silence.
The past few months have flown by, and I realized it’s the root of my exhaustion. For a while now, I have been attempting to get six or seven hours of sleep – and it’s been successful. Even though I was disciplined before about going to bed at a reasonable time, I would usually get around five hours of sleep during the week, and less on the weekends. I would feel my eyes get heavy on the way to work, drink coffee, have no motivation, and then drive home fighting to stay awake. I upped my sleeping, cut down on caffeine, and still the same problem exists.
I realized only a few days ago that I’m constantly going. Between a full time job, part time job, freelance work, exercising/now training for another half marathon, and attempting to have a social life…I don’t ever just…sit. I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, even though I convince myself I have a little bit of time to squeeze a chapter of my book in before turning the lights off. I haven’t really stopped in months.
All of this has clearly built up a stress inside of me that has finally come to a head. I’ve been overly critical about myself and others, snapping at my closest friends, and it’s been physically effecting me – making me tired, nauseous, and just bad overall.
I spent the past few hours in my apartment doing what many would call “nothing” – made dinner, watched TV, read bad Buzzfeed articles on the internet, and adjusted my position on the couch 50 different times. You’re waiting for me to finish this paragraph with something like, “and now I feel so much better because I got to relax! The world is a little bit brighter, and I’m smiling!” Sorry, friends, that’s not how this story ends.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. I made an incredible series of changes in my life over the past year for the sake of physical me. Some of them worked, and some of them were frustrating, but I neglected my mental health every step of the way. I allowed myself to burn out, and now I’m sitting down in my metaphorical dark space, curled up in a corner feeling lost.
So, much like I created a calendar and a plan to get my physical self to where I wanted it to be when I was training for the half marathon, it is obvious that I need to do the same for my mental health. That means scheduling time to sit and read, watch a few episodes of a TV show, or even take a walk. Too often I’ve let work take over those moments, feeling as though having free time means I’m not working hard enough, or I’m taking the easy way out.