A girl with too many thoughts...

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Allowing Yourself To Rest

Being at constant war with your own mind is exhausting. Unfortunately, that's not something many people understand. Unless you have personally experienced it, you will not necessarily know just how draining it is to be battling with your thoughts day in, day out.

Yesterday, I spent the entire day in bed. In fact, I've pretty much spent this whole week not really doing much. The question is, should I feel guilty about this? Or should I just accept that I needed it, that I clearly didn't feel up to doing much, so instead I listened to my body and mind, and I rested...

There seems to be a certain stigma around taking days off or allowing yourself to rest because of a mental health problem - almost as if it isn't warranted. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Like with any other health problem, a mental health condition can leave you feeling run down. And is it really any wonder? It can have a significant impact on your body physically too, something which I have already blogged about here.

In school, I felt like if I took a day off because of my mental health, I was 'skiving'. I could never be honest about why I took the day off - I always had to come up with some 'proper reason' why I was missing a day. It's like I couldn't just say 'I'm not coming in today because I am struggling particularly badly with my OCD'. No, it had to be an 'actual' illness. So, I would make up an excuse. I would lie and say I had a cold, or a headache, or an upset stomach. Then, of course, I would just feel guilty for lying. When I returned, my friends might make sarcastic comments; 'so, did you have a nice day off?' - clearly believing I just didn't come in because I 'couldn't be bothered'.

So why is it that mental health conditions still aren't recognised as perfectly valid reasons for needing to take time off? Why is it that we can only justify resting if it is due to a physical illness? Why must we feel the need to come up with an excuse, rather than revealing the truth as to why we are taking a break?

Personally, I believe that mental health conditions should be regarded in the same way as any other illness. If your mental health is causing you to need a rest, then rest. This is not something which should carry guilt with it. Nor is it something which we should feel the need to justify.
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