Something I really struggle with is taking a break and taking time for myself. I’m not very good at sitting still but at the same time the constant thinking, doing, ideas and the pressure that comes along with that exhausts me just as it would anyone else. I have been incredibly lucky this year with the amazing opportunities that have come my way and I have enjoyed every second of them. BBC breakfast was amazing and so was the Fixers Feel Happy Fix and Ignite, just wow this year has been incredible.
Unfortunately life going well does not mean that mental illness disappears, my health does not occur as a direct result of my life. I’ve been quite unwell lately with both my eating disorder and low mood and it has been really difficult to keep up with the demand and pressures that life has thrown at me. I was feeling overwhelmed by the number of people I needed to reply to on my phone and also the pressures of leaving the house and being sociable or speaking at events.
I really struggle to put my health first, the perfectionist in me wants to please people, appear well, achieve and keep on going until I completely burn out. Last week I realised that it would be far more effective if I took a break, had a rest and then threw myself back into life feeling refreshed and it was the best decision. I was worried about losing days but I didn’t, I gained days. I decided to do a digital detox and participate in the world around me without being glued to my phone. I travelled back to my hometown and visited the centre that helped me to leave my house during my worst days. I took flowers and baked a cake and we all had lunch together and chatted and a few of the young people sung a song which was really beautiful. Then I went on to my Goddaughter’s house and spent 3 nights there, she’s only one and I spent my days playing with her. I took her to music group, swimming, shopping and a farm park as well as pushing her on the swing in the park. I enjoyed lots of conversations with her parents about anything and everything and watching films and TV with them in the evenings. I just had a really lovely break with no pressure and no stress, in a little bubble full of warmth and love and it just reminded me of my values and aims in life.
I thought that taking a break would hold me back and risk my campaigning but taking a break actually helped me so much. It is more than okay to take a break and I am so incredibly glad that I did. I certainly have something to say at my DBT group next week when we give skills feedback.