Recently I wrote that one of the side effects of my medication has been weight gain. Well, I started a fitness and nutrition plan, and though the change was hard – working out every day and eating in a new way – I was doing it. I lost a couple of pounds the first week. Nothing amazing, but enough to keep me going.
Midweek I did something to my knee. I didn’t really notice it at the time. (When you are this out of shape everything seems to hurt when you workout). Thursday I went to an event that required me to stand for a few hours and by late afternoon there was a bit of a hitch in my giddy up. Friday was worse and by nightfall I could barely go up the stairs to my bedroom. So I had to take off working out yesterday and today. I want to stick to the plan. I want to work out, but I am not going to do any more damage to my knee.
Mental health is a lot like physical health. Sometimes you have to take a break. Maybe that means getting a bit more sleep. Maybe you aren’t up to dealing with situations where there are a lot of people. Maybe you need a few more nights in. That is okay. Sometimes we push ourselves too hard, expect too much, and our mental health suffers.
If the situation becomes severe enough – perhaps because we didn’t take that time off from trying to be absolutely fabulous – we may end up in an inpatient treatment facility. This, too, is okay. What better place to rest? Don’t view it as a punishment. It isn’t. It is a place and an opportunity to get better.
This week I urge you to check in with yourself. Are you pushing yourself too hard? Are the symptoms of your illness being exacerbated? Take care of your mental health just as fervently as you do your physical health because it is just as important.