I’ve written before about “running hot” on this blog before. It’s when I’ve been heavily involved in projects for a long time, and then become stuck in high gear. Finding my natural rhythm again becomes difficult, so my need to slow down becomes more and more difficult to achieve. I become more aware of tasks at hand, and feel their weight on my shoulders with an acute ache. And so I trudge on trying to get tasks done, only to find the returns on my work become more and more diminished. Running hot is no fun at all. To counter this I do two things.
First, I schedule vacation weeks after busy church seasons. This lets me reset and find my balance again, which has been a wonderful discipline for me.
Second, I try to take a mental health day after ABCNJ’s Annual Session. The work up to, and execution of, that event consumes my mental makeup. Stepping away to calm down after it’s over is an absolute necessity.
This year I kept putting off taking my mental health day because the tasks before me just kept piling up and I never felt free to step back. Add to that mix devoting my day off to caring for my infant son, which is a day I love but carries with it a social burden 1, and resetting was difficult.
My failure to take a mental health day took a toll on my ability to function as a human being. And this past weekend, I finally became a basket case. Let’s run down some examples of this.
My wife and I decided, last minute, to take Bump to Trunk or Treat. It was a community event and I felt I should be seen at it as a supporter of the town. As we were getting readyto leave I found myself frustrated that I could not find my house keys anywhere. This went on for several minutes until I discovered them in my pocket. I should have known heading out was not a good idea at that moment, but we trudged on.
When we arrived we discovered that I’d neglected to bring along a blanket for Bump. This was ok because his costume was warm, but was still a huge fail on,y part. While at the event I could barely converse with people, always a sign that I’m mentally exhausted, and while we were out I found I’d left my phone in the car. We returned to the vehicle to discover I’d left the headlights on. I’d also managed to drive over to the event with our trunk popped open. Not a good 45 minutes for me.
Then, on Monday, my wife and I headed up to WaWa to get gas and coffee. This worked out fine until we left, at which point I noticed I’d popped the trunk again 2. After shutting the trunk I dropped my wife off at work I took bump home and we had a great day. Then after my wife came home we all went out to run errands and it was just like walking around in a fog. I was pretty much useless.
I’d been trying to hold out until next week, when I’m taking a week of vacation to rest, but the last two days showed me I can’t wait. I’m just non-functional, and there are things I need to do before my break so I don’t feel pressured to do them when I’m supposed to be off. So, because I want to be productive for the rest of the week, today I’m taking a mental health day.
Go away world, I’ll be back tomorrow.