It’s really easy to distract yourself nowadays. I know lots of people that always busy their minds with the television. My distraction of choice tends to be the internet and/or movies. When I was working all the time at a high stress job (both physically and mentally) I used distraction as a way of ignoring how unhappy I was. The days would go by and it would feel like all I was doing was working, going home and numbing myself with a computer or movie so that I could get my life to speed up through the work week. Obviously this was not a sustainable way to live. My financial responsibilities trumped my wellbeing. Every once in a while it would all catch up to me and I’d have a breakdown. The sad part was, these mental meltdowns would usually happen during weekends. It took me a long time to realize why that was; after all, if a person works so hard throughout their work week, why would they lose it during their prized weekends? When the weekends came I was finally able to process how shitty my week had been and how unhappy and trapped I felt at my job. I was able to process my emotions on the weekends, which was good; however, the downside was that it left me feeling powerless due to my insistence that I had to stick with the job.
Therefore, I wasn’t actually fully processing my emotions. I was just seeing all the negatives of my situation and it was burning me out so much that I felt powerless to change anything. It was definitely a dull state of depression. If I’d been in a state of mind to step back from the situation and really think long and hard about what all of my options were I would have been able to pull myself out of this state much sooner than I did. There are ALWAYS more options than we think. Talking to a good friend or partner is one of the best ways to lay out all of your options if you’re stuck in a bit of a rut. My partner and I both decided we needed to stop subjecting ourselves to this stressful job (we worked at the same place some of the time) and focus on our own priorities for a bit. We had saved up a bit to live on and are incredibly thankful to be living rent free with family. Taking a break and moving back in with family in order to minimize ones expenses is nothing to be ashamed of. I actually used to be a bit ashamed of the thought of moving back home for a break. Sometimes you just need to clear your mind, and getting bogged down with rent and what not only piles more on top.
Since taking time off work I’ve been trying very hard to deal with things when they happen. If something effects me emotionally, instead of drowning it out with my favorite tv show, I now try to focus on it, call it for what it is, process it as quickly as possible and move on. When I was working I was under such constant stress that my immediate reaction to everything unsettling was anger. Letting things go was incredibly hard. Now, I’m getting over things quick and moving on. I’ve given myself the time and space to process my emotions and it has definitely improved my temperament and happiness levels.