Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
It ended up not being a blog post last week. I had to take some me time due to personal circumstances that made the week and the one before rather hard.
Living with a mental illness is a full-time job, and often it is a full-time job you try to leave at home and not bring on about your day because of the stigma you might face. Managing mental heath is often a bumpy road. It can be a speeding treadmill where the only change in speed is up, eventually something’s got to give and 9 times out of 1+ it is you.
It is hard to try to get back in control when you are taken for that ride. For me, I always tend to think that the best way is through. I run at the wall, I will power through it; ignoring small symptoms that I always recognise in retrospect. The next wall will be ticker and maybe I can run through that one too. Keep on running and hit the next, just a little bit harder. Keep running. Keep ignoring. Unfortunately your skin and bones does not grow into steel in this process. Eventually a wall will be thick enough to cripple you and bring you to your knees.
I complete this process over and over, even after recognising the pattern. Because I am human. I make mistakes. The important part is to get back up again and how you go about it. What I have learned is that I need to ensure that I put my mental health above everything else, when I don’t things go wrong often disastrously so.
Putting your mental health first, does not mean that you will go about your day just doing what suits you and never compromise. Putting your mental health first means to exercise discipline, it is to go to bed early even if it is weekend, because you know routine is good for your mind. To put your mental health first also means that sometimes you will skip the gym, not just because you don’t feel like it but because you know if you go and underperform it will make you feel even worse. Taking care of your mental health means cutting out people who aren’t good for you, even if you have a “hell-of-a-great-time”, sometime even if they are family. It is also cancelling plans that you might once looked forward to but now cannot bring yourself to do.
Having that aside, to put your mental health first also means not cancelling plans when you “just don’t feel like it.” It is going to the gym when you would rather watch Netflix, because you know it will make you feel good. It is separating the “I don’t want to” or “I feel like being lazy” from the “If I do this now, I will be worse off because of my mental state,” and take the appropriate action.
Taking care of your mental well-being is hard work and it is knowing yourself, so that you get a breather between the punches. All you can do it practice, learn something and get better; the important thing is to keep in mind that to be happier you should embrace the journey and stop worrying about the destination.