Well, here we are: the dog days of summer. For a lot of people, this time of the year is the last gasp of doing something fun and exciting before the fall begins. For me, it’s a chance to take a deep breath and try and reset. Even though very good things are happening in my life, the summer has been anything but relaxing. At a time when things are winding down, I’m still looking for those lazy days where things are calmer and quieter.
I guess this post is a reflection of sorts. Usually, I reflect on things when they are finished and the dust has settled. But in the midst of one of the most stressful times in a person’s life (yes, I’m moving), I find myself reflecting on many different things. I think about my day-to-day life, and how it’s going to shift. I think about how the way I move through my home is going to be different. I reflect on the fact that as much as things can feel the same, I have to contend with the fact that they’re objectively different.
It is exhausting to have all these thoughts floating around in my head, and that’s affected my mental health. I’m jumping from one thought to another, unable to prioritize or decide what needs to get done first. When everything needs to get done, how can you get anything done? I’ve felt like I was being 10% of a person at times – not giving enough to the people around me, but also not giving enough to myself. And in doing so, I’d blame myself for not being enough.
But there is good news here, folks. I know I sound like I’m venting, but I’m not. These are things I’ve learned about myself, and about stress, in the last few months. It might sound silly, but the connection between a stressful time in life and deteriorating mental health is a new one for me. I’d always thought that when times got hard, you put your head down and got things done. And while there’s nothing wrong with doing that, it shouldn’t come at the expense of your mental health. Your health matters more. YOU matter more.
As I said at the top of this post, we’re in the dog days of summer. I’m not out of the woods of moving yet, but I’m closer to the end than the beginning. And when I’m done, I’m going to celebrate. I’m going to try and avoid the word ‘should’ (which, as we all know, is an unhelpful word). I’m going to think about where I’ve been, where I am and where I’m going. I’m going to remember that life has different phases, stages and seasons, and each one has a purpose.
Maybe I’m rambling because I’ve been in a constant state of motion for months now, but I’m feeling better having gotten this off my chest. The thoughts in our head, they need to get out. Feelings need to be expressed, emotions need to be shared. Because when things pick back up again (and they always do), we’ll need to be ready as best we can. Good luck to everyone else gearing up for another busy time – you got this!
How are you handling the dog days of summer? Do you enjoy this time of year, or are you waiting for it to be over? Let me know in the comments!