Balancing and Mental Health

After two weeks of isolation, my mental health collapsed.

It was the first time in recent years that I felt so desperate and wondered if I should end it all. 

I’m a fairly active person who likes to interact with people, but since I no longer go out socially, I just get things on my to-do list done. Active energy consumption for daily activities is significantly reduced. Apart from work, because everything I can start or stop at anytime, the boundary between days and nights completely eliminated. I was just doing the same things, even if those that satisfied me, but everyday was just another copy of the previous day was nothing to look forward to and I didn’t see an end to such a life. 

As a result, bedtimes were getting later and later, and my attempts to adjust my sleep schedule from the week two onwards didn’t work; even if I went to lay in the bed before 1am, I would lie there and stay awake until 4, and then I couldn’t take it anymore. A new sun had risen from the eastern horizon, my previous day wasn’t over yet. I‘m tired but awake when it’s completely bright and then it makes it even harder to sleep. 

I couldn’t bear it any more on Sunday morning, I had been losing sleep and there was this overwhelming feeling coming over me that I simply felt desperate. When I realised this, I knew it all had to stop, starting that day. So I jumped into the shower, cleaned myself up, got dressed and got ready to do my first urban exploration in 14 days.

When I arrived the city, the weather was perfect, the sun was shinning and I’ve never been happier to see all the active people. I went to the contemporary art gallery where there were some new exhibitions, some right up my alley. I stayed there a few hours, resting and enjoying myself. I called my friend, had a few conversations, did some cardio that I hadn’t done for long time. I burned four times as much active energy that day as I did on some of the days I stayed home. I went home early, read, studied and went to bed early as well.

I woke up early the next morning, went for a nice brunch and finished almost all my study task before starting work. It was a great start and I started to release the restrictions step by step. This bad experience made me realise for the first time how important mental health is, it is the art of balance and even if you’re doing the things you love, there can be many factors that you need to take care of to maintain good mental health.

I couldn’t fall asleep easily again after that day, but I’m trying to do more mindfulness and use new techniques to get better and earlier sleep, and it worked.

Tommy 28 July 2022

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