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All or nothing?

Mental health

Is it always all or nothing? Do we purposely fill our time, so our calendars are overly full, or are we a yes person where coincidentally everything just seems to happen at the same time?

Sometimes it’s easy to just say yes to all we’re asked to do, sometimes we want to say yes but have made other commitments, sometimes we reach a breaking point and can no longer say yes and need to take time to review what we’re committed to do.

In December I reached a breaking point, not because of over-commitment, but I did take some time out to do the things I enjoy. Walking my favourite local route, attempting to go to the theatre
(the show was cancelled on the day due to a COVID-19 outbreak), going to different gym classes, going to a comedy gig, looking after my nephews and taking them ice-skating, and seeing friends. I had a total of 3 days in December where I didn’t have anything in my calendar.

I love to fill my time, to sit and be idle is one of the worst things I could think of doing. Recently I sat from around 1am through to 7am doing absolutely nothing in my car. Waiting without entertainment, waiting, and trying to stay awake, waiting for something to happen. I ended up catching up on a podcast and playing sudoku on my phone. Why wasn’t I in my bed fast asleep? Well, I was waiting outside an A&E department for my mother – a little trip she had in our lounge resulted in 14 stitches and a broken talus.

I’ve had to re-evaluate my calendar, which has taken on doctors’ appointments, hospital appointments, food shopping, keeping up with housework, maintaining existing commitments, and working full-time.

I’m not complaining, this is me letting you know that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed whether you’re doing GCSEs, A-Levels or university, trying to maintain friendships, working part-time or full-time, completing apprenticeships, being a carer, or attending or helping with youth groups.

If you feel overwhelmed it’s okay to talk about it, talk to friends, family, leaders, teachers, doctors and managers. The people you’re surrounded by are there for you.

To continue to be happy and healthy remember to reflect on what you need. In the busyness that’s life, take some time to do something you enjoy – bake, knit, get out and about for a walk, enjoy an at home spa, play a sport you enjoy or even treat yourself to that extra-long lie-in!

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