Mental Wellness Challenge – 2020, November 27
7 more days have raced by for me… the older I get, the faster they go… most of the time…
Last week I challenged you to:
- Make time for someone. Make some time to listen to someone share about their day or their current experience. Practice acceptance and understanding.
- Laugh out loud. Listen to a humorous story, tell one… but laugh out loud.
- Make a list of the supports in your life – if you already have one – check the list. Check phone numbers for the supports in your life. KNOW how to be able to get to the supports you might need.
I was successful with my own challenge last week. I took the time to listen to a friend, to laugh out loud and to check up on my list of supports. Was a good week that way… had lots of challenges otherwise.
I’m tired. I’m really tired.
I have lots of stressors in my life right now… some that directly affect me, others that are caused by circumstances some of the folks in my life are facing. I keep thinking about circles of influence – wisdom – accepting the things I can’t change, changing the things I can – but the stress is still there. Of course, there’s all the COVID related stuff too… limited interaction with my students, the increased numbers of cases in the area, the hope of a vaccine – the reality that our politicians weren’t aggressive enough in putting Canadians first… (My opinion here – and I know that in the big scheme of things – its likely a good thing that other countries move through the first iterations of the vaccine… and that 3 or 6 months won’t make a big difference in the overall outcome…) The understanding that this isn’t going to change for the next few years… Yada – yada…
I know that I have a break coming up in a few weeks… class will conclude – Christmas will come and go… and I’ll have some time to charge up. Looking forward to – and kind of dreading it at the same time. I’m not a scrooge – but Christmas isn’t… um… easy for me… it brings up tons of memories – both good and bad… Christmas feels heavy for me…. It wasn’t always that way for me – something changed, mid life I suppose, but that’s the way it is for me now.
Something I do when I am feeling really tired is make some time to be outside – in nature I suppose… lately I have been so busy with commitments that I have not really had a pile of opportunity (OK – so I call bullshit…) The truth is I have had time to make time to be outside in nature – I just haven’t. I know that’s a truth. So I am going to do something about it. Yes, I have been busy with work, courses, commitments and all that – but I have also had a lot of YouTube time too… Back to being outside – connecting with the earth… I believe that it IS important for us to ground ourselves. Electrically speaking – we ground systems to increase safety – and I believe that being physically grounded to earth helps me, my body – get referenced. When I teach about why we ground electrical systems – I teach that we ground systems to “Limit the potential rise above earth.” as one of the reasons… there are 4 others but maybe more some other day… By referencing an electrical system to earth – the amount of dangerous energy is limited to some value… for an example – in your home – you have 120/240. The greatest electrical pressure above earth is 120V – although there is a greater potential available between two certain conductors of 240 volts. This reference to ground makes the system safer for the user. I draw this safety comparison – something like this. When I make sure I am grounded – feet on the ground – touching the actual earth – that connection helps me to limit how much I tend to drift away, get excited, get worked up, about my current circumstances. It helps to limit my ‘dangerous energy’ or my ‘dangerous potential’. So – I am going to make time to do some of that…
I’ve also noted that I am tending more to my – victim – place… When I get into this space – I am more inclined to be really passive with the way my life goes. Contrast this with being responsible for the direction of my life and taking a more active role in how I interact with my life… and I know I have some work to do here. I know there’s a pile of reasons this is happening… excuses really… shorter days, winter season – (SAD related stuff), and those things are real – for sure… I know that I do better when I pull myself up and take responsibility and as much control of my experience as I can. Life is going to happen, when I am at the helm, I am more able to direct my experience away from tumult and into more productive spaces.
Ya – OK Kev, but I’m tired – I’m really tired. I feel heavy, I wake up tired… I go to bed early.. I’m doing the thing a guy is supposed to do when he’s tired… (Again – I call bullshit) …
I am fatigued… OK… I ALSO KNOW… 100% KNOW that I always feel more energized after going for a walk, cutting some firewood, accomplishing something (even grading papers… ☹) … Here’s my problem for today I suppose – “How do I get from feeling so tired/fatigued that I don’t want to do anything – to getting outside, going for a walk, working out, DOING SOMETHING?” This little problem – right here – this little piece is a mountain – and this little piece is a clue for me – a clue that I MUST PAY CLOSER ATTENTION TO MY CIRCUMSTANCES… this “laziness” is 100% a sign of depression. It is for me anyway.
When I see this – I know the only solution to it, is to take exercise, like a medicine. I DO NOT LIKE TAKING MEDICINE. I would much rather live my life without the need to take any pills – the truth of my experience – right now – is that I need the support of my medications and I – I need the support of taking exercise. TAKING EXERCISE. TAKING EXERCISE… like a medicine… and the thing I know is that once I get into what ever it is I am doing – I start to enjoy myself – I start to feel a bit better. For a while anyway…
I have some – let me call them stumbling blocks – right now… I have a knee that hurts when I walk and doesn’t play well… and I will be honest – I have been using the sore knee as a
reason excuse to not walk or do as much as I should… I know that I can wrap my knee or use kinetic tape to support my knee… so there’s a bit of a work around… What I know I need to do is – like Nike says – “JUST DO IT!” .
I need to exercise my self-responsibility and get off my butt and MOVE MY BODY. Sure – I need to be careful that I don’t go nuts with my knee being sore and all those sorts of things… I need to be firm with myself… (My internal dialog right now is saying – but its cold outside, your knee is sore, the ground has icy patches… and so many other excuses. Crazy eh…)
I need to exercise a wholesome firmness with myself. FOR SURE – I can jump right from – I know I need to move to “take exercise” right to ‘You’re a loser – dumbass – get off your fat ass and do something you lazy dog…’ (Wow – that was way too easy…) .
Lots of work here I see… I hope sharing my “needs improvement” task will help you in some way.
This week I challenge you to:
- Go for at least 3 walks for the week. Every other day maybe? Walk to work? Touch the earth and raise your heart rate at the same time.
- Address one place of clutter in your life – experience. If you don’t have any clutter – congratulations – me – I have lots of clutter – emotional clutter, physical clutter… lots of clutter… but take a little time to tidy up one “bit” of clutter. And then – Take a moment to take drink in the success of those actions.
- Be intentionally grateful for something – each day. Gratitude is such an incredibly powerful thing in my life, I challenge you to seek out one thing in your life to be grateful for each day.
That’s it – I challenge you.