The most important part of managing my mental health is the time I give myself to re-charge. This has been really difficult for me in the past as I’ve literally had to force myself to stop everything I am planning to take care of myself meaning I’ve missed out on birthday parties, work, family events and more. I think the hardest part of re-charging is admitting you need to in the first place, but – for me – I find that if I am feeling particularly anxious or depressed a full week of plans can be overwhelming, or unexpected plans can send me in to a meltdown.
A bigger challenge in all of this is accepting that the people around me will still have plans and talk about them around me, my partner will even have people round to our flat on my re-charging days and I find that very difficult to cope with as I want to join in, but whenever I do join in it makes me more exhausted than I was before and that often makes me grumpy and hard to be around. It’s hard for me to be the “bad guy” and ask that people aren’t in my flat when I need some time to myself, but sometimes my needs have to come first and I have to put my foot down. There have been a few times when I have lost my cool because I wasn’t prepared to have people in my space and I hate being that person.
I think that with out giving ourselves time to re-charge we would be walking zombies and absolutely no use in any situation which is why I always make sure I have at least one re-charging day a week otherwise I probably wouldn’t make it in to work the next week due to extreme exhaustion. This never used to be the case, but I find that my anxiety brings a whole new level of exhaustion because my brain never switches the fear and paranoia off. I’m constantly worrying about something or crying because I heard a noise from outside so someone must be trying to get in to my flat. Spoiler: They aren’t. It’s so tiring to be on edge in this way 24/7 which means that right now in my life, re-charging time is so much more important.
Even if you don’t have a mental illness I would still recommend taking some time out to relax and re-charge because stress will catch up with you and that’s the worst thing of all. Stress can cause a number of different medical conditions, including mental illnesses so it’s best to try and avoid it where possible, or at least take a break from it.