I can feel it coming on when my mind and body are depleted from the balancing act of all the roles that I carry. I can be a bit out of sorts on the days my husband has an unexpected sickle cell crisis in being admitted the hospital, and I have to navigate the arrangements between home life in the spur of the moment. I have grown to be more calm throughout the years in developing a system although it still can be a bit stressful in those situations . It can be unreliable in those circumstances for negotiations of child care on top of the other deadlines that were already established. Yes, I can admit that the roles of being a wife and mother of four can be a challenge at times. If you add in having a spouse with a chronic condition, a toddler with autism, twin toddlers, fulfilling the love tanks of my eldest two in not being left out, home life, and business I have to catch my breath! I still on those days have those who depend on me to be the devoted daughter, granddaughter, and friend to talk to for a warm laugh in conversation. There are those who reach out to me to be a listening ear for comfort in sharing their troubles. I am not complaining of being able to fulfill those roles. I feel honored to be connected with each one of my loved ones and closest friends in being apart of their lives. It’s a passion for me to be of support in providing motivation and encouragement to others. That’s my life’s work and passion in any capacity to give inspiration. I can’t hide being a bubbly energetic spirit. If you see that I am not my usual personality you’ll know that I’m so not in my comfort zone at that time, or I’m with people I feel uneasy around. I know that there are times that I have to take a mental break. I know when it’s time for me to pull back in catching my breath. I know when it’s time for me to move somethings to the back burner. I’ve grown to be more in tune to my surroundings of who and what I entertain. I take in account of what’s toxic, and what to let go of in owning my peace in keeping my sanity. I’m not ashamed to admit to myself that I’ve had enough interaction within my empath personality in taking a breather for a mental health break from all that I encounter and juggle. I make sure to obey my spirit in taking a mental health break when needed.
A mental health break isn’t just for times of stress. It’s essential to be in tune with our mental health on a regular basis. Mental health is the part of us that we think we are hiding, but it shows in our everyday interactions. It’s important to have a mental health check up. If we see that we are finding ourselves irritable, shaky, emotionally drained, and physically tired it’s okay for us to just woosah. We can’t just drop our load as caregivers to those truly need us. Our family members who truly depend on us the most can’t help it if they have a special need. The balancing act is learning how to take care of them while still being able to take care of ourselves. The individuals in our lives that we know have the capability to take care of themselves in handling their issues we have to allow them to do so by not being enablers in releasing them to solve their own concerns. We can’t allow anything to still our joy. It’s a gift to make others feel good, and it’s great when they see us as genuine in enjoying our company. We can’t forget that our love tanks have to be filled to. We can’t give water from an empty well.
Listening to your body. Be in tune with your mind. Here are a few ways to take a mental break:
- Unplug. Take a social media break. Unplug from the temptation of checking notifications. Unplug from the urge to post every hour. Turn off ignoring notification alerts and messages that aren’t of major importance.
- Have a moment. Find sometime in your day to create yourself a break to be still in not having any interactions for at least 30 minutes to an hour of peaceful quiet time. Allow the kids to have some independent play or room time to give you your space to regroup.
- Pace yourself. Don’t feel the need to complete everything in one day. Do a little at a time especially during stressful spurts so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
- Laugh it out. Laughter is medicine for the soul. Watch a funny movie or hear stand up from your favorite comic. Watch a funny sitcom, or watch an animated film that you and the kids enjoy. Let loose from all the seriousness in just having fun sharing jokes,playing a fun board game, or enjoy the outdoors. Smile while looking at the kids in some of their antics. Instead of snapping join in if it’s some clean fun. They would appreciate that rather hearing you snap in frustration.
- Remove some things off of your plate if you see your plate is being full.
- Do what you love! Are there some things that you enjoy doing that really take you away in an escape from the norm? Do them! Feel free to just take a moment to do what you really enjoy.
- Be a little selfish, but do it in a good way. You share so much of your time, energy, and other. Buy yourself a special treat, and have it all for yourself. I know for me anytime I have anything my kids come running to get some. I loveingly share even if it’s my last crumb, but I’ve grown to have a “mommy treat” just for me to. It’s our natural instinct as mothers to share. It’s okay to do something just for you, and let go of the guilt feeling. You share so many other things, so you’re entitled to have a few things just for you.
- Give people back their problems. You can’t be everything for everybody. We all have a priority list of who and what’s of the utmost of importance. It’s a balancing act in juggling that along with so many outside relationships and friendships. Be aware of toxic personalities who have a history and cycle of issues who are constantly pulling at your resources and attention. This is important especially in stressful times. It essential for times when we are being pulled in so many different directions to block out distractions. Allow people to take ownership of their problems, and how to solve them. It’s not healthy to find yourself as the go to fixer. You also aren’t to be used as someone’s entertainment fix either.
- Let it out! You don’t have to hold it all in. Find a trusted friend to talk to when you see that you are super stressed or need a release. Write out your feelings in a journal or blog. Find a creative outlet to express your feelings.
- Ask for help! Don’t feel the need to do everything alone. Reach out for help. Delegate responsibilities of household chores or other so that you’re not carrying the bulk of the weight.
We all need a mental health break sometimes. It’s imperative to be in tune with our mental health, and we should be honest with ourselves with our needs. We need to be honest with any mental health concerns. Reach out for professional help in counseling or therapy if you still feel emotionally stressed beyond the efforts mentioned. Talk to your doctor about feelings of depression, anxiety, or extreme mood swings. Remember to love yourself by taking care of yourself inside and out.