I don’t know about you, but life has been moving really fast these last few weeks … err … months. There’s a lot of change in the air in my world, and with that comes a lot of time spent mulling over things in my brain. Which can be a good and a bad thing.
We’ve heard a lot about taking care of our mental health these last couple of pandemic years, and for me, I didn’t fully understand what that meant. I’ve been wired to work ‘round the clock. I have a difficult time saying “NO” to things. I like to occupy my time with work and tasks because I’ve always believed in the “I don’t want to waste my day” mentality.
I think part of my desire to keep busy was so I didn’t have to think about things. When something would happen in my personal life, I would brush it off and let it go and occupy the part of my brain that should process the negative occurrence with work or a project. I found myself suppressing feelings and thoughts. I was breaking myself and I didn’t realize it.
I’m going to get a little personal here. I met my partner in November. As I’m writing this (June 21), we’ve shared seven wonderful months together. I learned in January that in order for me to fully let him into my life, I needed to work on my mental health. I’m fortunate to have great insurance that lets me seek out therapy. I’ve been seeing a therapist these last six months and have spent this time diving into my past, discussing my past
traumas, unpacking all of this baggage and learning how to cope with intrusive thoughts about myself and my abilities. I’m not cured by any means, but I have so much more clarity now. I have clarity in the way I love and expect to be loved in return. I have clarity to build a solid work/life balance so I don’t hate my job. I’ve been able to talk openly about my feelings – something I wasn’t able to do before January. I’ve learned to trust and grow and breathe and be present.
Taking care of our brains and our hearts is necessary. As the heat of the summer wears on, Covid cases surge and gas prices keep climbing, I encourage you to figure out ways to take care of your mental health. Stress is real. But we have the strength to take care of ourselves. Go for a swim, read a book, cook a new meal, watch trash television – find something that soothes your soul and lets your mind take a break.
And if you feel like seeking help for your mental health, talk to your employer and do a quick Google search. It’s worth it.
– Sean Jones, WPC president