Life with a mental illness is a funny thing, and sometimes you just keep going through the motions of life.
When I am engaged in life, things are good. My writing flows, I get everything on my daily list done, and my focus is on point. I wish every day is good, but the reality of having a mental illness is that you will have days when you just go through the motions of life because of things like depression or anxiety. At times it just might be because it’s been a long week.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t be productive.
So that is where today’s blog topic is going. In your life with a mental illness, there are going to be times where you have to go through the motions of life on a given day. What does this mean? It means that you may have to do the things you need to, but you might not be here on earth mentally.
I find myself doing this often and I found myself doing it yesterday. I had an early start to my day. I woke up at 4:30 am (which I am far from a morning person) and I got going with my day. My morning was filled with tasks outside of my house and with the lack of sleep I got the night before, I decided to turn my mind on autopilot and go through the motions of life.
I just did the tasks that I could without worrying about things that are normally flooding my mind in my waking hours. It’s a strange feeling when I make the decision to go through the motions of life because there is a peace in my mind. It’s almost like being a robot, and I put one foot in front of the other. I don’t over think every second of my life, and the results of this type of day aren’t always bad.
I find that I can be very productive on an autopilot yesterday. I was able to write a blog post, a good one, in between tasks that morning. I usually need total focus to write a blog, but it worked out well enough that I could post a legit subject that seemed to be popular.I could post a legit subject that seemed to be popular.
I was able to write back comments on my blog from the night/early morning before I woke up. I was effective in completing my tasks up until got home almost five hours after walking where I finally crashed taking a much-needed nap for a few hours (this is a rare occurrence in my life but given that slept very little the previous four days it was expected.)
Even when I woke a few hours later, I did some tasks like working on a chapter and getting some reading for my business communications class done. I wrote a second small post about where my blog The Bipolar Writer is going. When I hit my limit, I was done for the day and spent the rest of my time binge-watching my favorite shows.
My point of this blog post is simple. Even when you have days where you have to go through the motions of life, it doesn’t mean that you should give up on your day. At any point yesterday morning I could have just given up on the day and make the decision to go back sleep before the tasks of my morning were done. In fact, in the middle, I did take much-needed rest, but I was still effective.
The other side of this is when you absolutely have to check out completely, don’t feel bad about it. Life with a mental illness is far from easy and you will experience days where getting out of bed seems impossible and checking out is possible. So, if you can, stay in bed and have a mental health day and maybe sleep in. Sure, in the long run, it is not an effective strategy to live life with a mental illness.
If you can go through the motions of life, so it the best you can in that day until you reach the limit. The biggest thing is knowing your limit. If not take the day to work on your mental health by doing tasks like meditation or yoga. It could also mean just binge-watching Netflix all day, well then give yourself a break. Know your bodies limits when it comes to your mental health.
One thing I have learned on my Bipolar One journey is giving myself a break from life at least one day a week where my only goal is getting my mental health back on track. Even when I feel like I have no choice but to go through the motions in life, I “just do it” to steal the Nike phrase. You might surprise yourself that you can still be effective, I know I did yesterday.
I like to always end my blogs with a question and I am interested to hear from my fellow mental health bloggers.
What are some of the things you do when you “go through the motions of life” when you are mentally checked out of a day?
Have you ever found yourself effective despite checking out and going through the motions of life?
Always Keep Fighting.
Photo Credit: Anubhav Saxena