Mental Health Monday: When Do you do YOU?!
I know that today’s post should be something motivating, because it’s Motivation Monday. However, I want to try to keep this blog as transparent as possible: I have not been motivated one bit lately. Sure, I got my workout in and I ate my planned out meals, but motivated? Not in the slightest.
So, let me ask you this: When do you get to do YOU?
Mental health is just as important as any other facet of health and wellness. In fact, it may be the most important, in my personal opinion. Lately, my mental health has been suffering. As you know, if you’re a frequent reader, I recently started a new job. And I’m miserable.
But here’s where the real mind game sets in: when are we supposed to say “screw it” and do something for ourselves?
I come from a family who has always been taught that we don’t quit. We don’t miss out on an opportunity. We don’t quit something until we have a new possibility lined up. And we don’t put ourselves before our responsibilities (aka finances).
A day in the life…
So here’s how I’m feeling lately: I wake up around 5:30 and drive an hour to work. During that hour drive, I have some time to think about my current job and attempt to fill my head with positive affirmations in hopes that it will allow some of the current panic to subside. I pull in to my parking space, take 3 deep breaths, and tell myself that I’ll make it through the day and things are going to be different; that they’ll be better.
7:15 rolls around and it’s time for one last deeeeeeeppppp breath. In and out. And then my day begins…I fill the role of 6th grade science teacher.
My first class is pretty good–thankfully because it’s early and most of them are still waking up. So I have about an hour where things seem fairly decent. But, unfortunately, it’s all down hill from there.
I become a person that I don’t even know–yelling at 12 year olds, taking things personally, sending kids to the office, letting them get the best of me, and lowering my standards.
What started as the desire to passionately teach and get kids excited about learning, has quickly become, “well I want to do this, but they’re not going to be able to due to their behaviors, so I guess we’ll do this easier activity…”
My day ends with me counting down the minutes until those kids leave, a massive headache, and pure exhaustion–physically, emotionally, and mentally.
So much so, that usually when I come home, I don’t feel like talking to my husband or doing any of our normal activities together such as lifting and dinner. Usually, as soon as my husband asks how my day was, I can no longer keep my fake smile and positive attitude and instead, burst into tears, not even being able to find the right words to even describe my day. I can’t keep my eyes open past 7:30 and am usually passed out an hour later.
What’s a Girl to Do?!
And then we bring back that question: When do you get to do YOU?
Is it right of me to quit and leave one hundred sixth graders teacherless? Children that have had so many other important people get up and leave their lives. Do I suffer through with a smile on my face in the hopes of affecting a few of their lives?
Or do I put myself and my health first?
This is a constant struggle with chronic illness, as sometimes having an illness makes you feel like a selfish person. When is it okay to put your needs ahead of others’?