Recently, I have decided to simplify my life for the benefit of my mental health. For the first time, I have pulled back from many things and I have realized that I give to much to others and very little to myself. I jump into people's problems and lives upon their request for help, and I so enjoy being the listening ear by providing valuable information about mental health when it is needed, but it has become to be to much.
I noticed in the last while I have been meeting A LOT of people over coffee to hear about their issues and I provide my advice based upon personal experience. I am careful to not claim to have all the answers. I met five people in one week and by Saturday I was drained, tired and completely mentally unhealthy. I felt run-down and slept for two days and I noticed that I was just running on empty.
How I Simplified my Life for my Mental Health
I recently adopted a beautiful dog named Ryder and as I spent a lot of my time with him, I started to realize how much I enjoyed his company. He did not have any mental health issues to discuss, did not ask for my advice and he simply walked with me making me smile. I wake up early every morning excited to see him and when I look at his little face, I just cannot help but smile even more. I started to realize that dog walks and spending time alone without people was actually quite gratifying.
So what have I learned about simplifying my life for my mental health over this past month?
- I actually enjoy being alone with my new companion as walks and time on the couch offer me great solace and time to clear my mind;
- I have learned that I must have boundaries and learn how to say no, even when it is difficult;
- I now use the phone a lot more for the purpose of talking with people who want to meet with me in person; and
- I do not feel guilty for not being the one to 'save' people and in most situations people do have some form of support and I can direct them to resources in the community.
However, this is different for my Teens2Twenties group as they are my priority, I still tell them to call me if they need me at any time because quite often they do not have any support as many of the adults do. I know to still set boundaries with them, but my heart is so soft for all youth that there will rarely, if ever, be an occasion where I say no. For them it is different and this feels perfect with me.
Simplicity in your life for your mental health is imperative and I encourage you to find your own simplicity. When we are caring and understanding individuals, we often give too much of ourselves to others, so truly consider giving back to YOU!