Lately, sitting down to compose a blog post has been low on my list of priorities. While I would like to blame my neglect of cyberspace on the gorgeous (albeit very humid) weather, in all truthfulness, other life events have been demanding my attention. In all the years that I have been reading blogs and participating in this amazing community, what I have valued most is learning about other people’s similar life experiences. I will never forget perusing Angela and Gena‘s blogs and gaining insight into recovery from an eating disorder. I frequently revisit Katie‘s well articulated posts on veganism and Amy‘s thoughts on living a balanced lifestyle. It takes courage to amalgamate and share the dialogue that goes on in our minds, but from my experience I know it to ultimately be useful.
My computer is blowing hot air onto my lap as I listen to Simon and Garfunkel (man, if only all music was this good) and try to put into words what life has been dishing out in the past new months. ‘Challenging’ is one word that comes to mind, especially since becoming a retired student and dealing with ample unstructured hours. ‘Wavering‘ is another adjective that pops up. My friend and I often check in on how each other are feeling using a rating system, by assigning a number from 1-10 (on an increasing scale) to our current state of being. Instead of the consistent sevens and eights that I had been citing, lately I’ve been a five at best.
Let me fill you in a bit on why I think this is so: life can be stressful. Nearly two months ago I interviewed for the full-time nursing position of my dreams. Not only is this job in my city and field of choice, it would also enable me to teach yoga on the side; factors of great importance for me. My happiness and sanity has been riding on the prospect of securing this job, and the stress associated with waiting for an answer has depleted my coping abilities in other areas of life.
Have you ever heard of the stress curve? It’s basic premise is that moderate amounts of stress are motivating, but too much may be debilitating to performance. Over the past two months of waiting to hear about this job, I have been slowing moving from green, to yellow, through orange, and have alarmingly approached red territory. Despite being educated in the field of healthcare, I’m not immune to ‘symptom googling’. Recently my desire to sleep in excess, loss of appetite, reduction in feeling pleasure from my favourite activities (namely, blogging), fatigue, and feeling like I’m wading through pudding have been leading me to think that I’ve been going through a bout of minor depression.
Phew. Strangely enough, it feel good to get that off my chest. Since coming to realize the trend in which my emotions have been going, I’ve started to make small manageable changes in my thoughts and actions. Thankfully I have started to feel better, and come Wednesday when the results of my interview are delivered, at least I will have a clearer picture of where life is headed. As unfortunate as depression, mental illness, and feeling ‘off’ is, it is all too common (1 in 5 Canadians will experience some form in their lifetime). Although everyone will have their own way of feeling better, here are a few things that I have found useful:
1) Talk to Someone You Trust- sometimes just talking through it can be of extreme benefit.
2) Do Something, Anything You Love- express yourself in a way that normally makes you feel good. Writing, drawing, cooking…
3) Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body- gaining the motivation to do so can be difficult, but refocusing your energy can be so beneficial. Follow along to a yoga video on YouTube or recruit a friend for a jog.
Whether or not you can relate to this post, I hope it provides even a glimmer of insight into how crucial mental wellness is. Before I leave you, I wanted to share this amazing quote from a book I recently read:
“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” ~ Pema Chodron (From her book When Things Fall Apart)
No questions, just your thoughts
Note: This post is based on my own personal experience. I am not a medical doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist and all opinions are my own. If you are seeking help please contact your healthcare provider.
Get your veggy on: