Taking time has been tough for me in the past couple of weeks. I found myself in a sort of depression, feeling anxious and detached from everyone and everything around me. It’s been especially hard because I’m on holiday and I should have been enjoying every moment of my European break. Instead I’ve been in a state of fight or flight. To be honest, it has been scary as hell. I didn’t feel like myself at all – instead I felt caught in a fog of bleakness. Everything positive seemed to have been sucked from my being and I was left feeling nothing but negativity.
Thanks to the self awareness I’ve honed with the Conquering Life program I was able to recognize, address and tackle the issue. The first step was reaching out to the people I trusted and explaining to them what was going on. Talking about personal and intimate things can be really difficult but it is so incredibly powerful. The more I talked about it and explored my panic the sooner I realized that it was more than a fleeting fear over one thing. I have been heading down this road for a while. Time for taking time…
Something I’ve learnt about myself in the past years is that I can detach emotionally when I’m stressed and under pressure – it seems to be a defense mechanism that activates when I have things to get done and “no time” to be emotional. It’s something that Conquering Life has helped me to work on. However, over the past few months I’ve been so stressed and working so hard that I didn’t pick up on the signs. I was slowly detaching and steamrolling ahead – every task completed wasn’t a satisfying ‘Ahhh’ moment, instead just a quick ticking off before I dove into the next task.
Speaking to my aunt, in one of the most helpful conversations I’ve had in the past couple of weeks, I realized that I actually hadn’t been taking time for myself in a long time. I’d planned a big holiday but I’d planned it around other people – people that I love and want to spend time with but always with other people. Since my next semester of classes are due to begin I’m intensely aware of how important it is to find time to work on my own care into my schedule.
Neglecting yourself might not always have instant effects but it can definitely have effects without you knowing as I have clearly learnt this month. I have so much more understanding and appreciation for how overwhelming depression can be. It isn’t a matter of just being positive, taking a trip or getting some exercise – you feel like you’re in a constant battle with your body for yourself. It’s a matter of taking time, having/getting support and it takes being kind to yourself.
I don’t think there is any magic way of simply snapping out of depression or even preventing it but I do know that there needs to be less stigma and more understanding. I hope that I can take this experience and not only generate more care for myself but for those who suffer frequently. Conquering Life helped me become strong and self aware and with the tools I have learnt I was able to make my way through the fog.
Taking time for yourself and self-caring does not make you selfish!
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