The Blog

It’s Time for a ‘Time-Out’

*Photos courtesy of Taylor Oakes for

I am human. For every 5 or 6 good days, there has to be a bad one in there somewhere within the week. I am positive, yes, but sometimes life can really get to me. I tend to say ‘yes’ a lot: yes to my job, yes to my training, yes to coffee dates, social events and family functions. Once in a while I recognize the opportunity to say ‘no’. But sometimes, especially this past week- I ignore those signs and commit to everything that everyone (and myself) has asked/expected of me… until I snap.

Sometimes when I’m in public at the grocery store, let’s say, and I see a child throwing a tantrum in the middle of the produce aisle with flailing arms, loud cries, making the most obscene spectacle imaginable I think (first) “oh that poor mother”; then second “I really wish it was socially acceptable for adults to do the same.” Can you imagine how good it would feel to just explode and express all your feelings the SECOND you felt them?? The reality is, we can’t as we are to be civilized, mature, capable adults. We acknowledge that there is a time and place to express emotions, and that yelling and screaming in public doesn’t actually solve anything. In fact, we may have a whole new problem on our hands and face spending the night in a padded room somewhere!

Fortunately I am of sound mind to have an adult meltdown in the privacy of my home. Hey, I am not afraid to admit sometimes it feels amazing just to let it all out. Once the tears are dried, face is washed (ice cold water, it feels great) I buckle down to figure out the root of the problem. More often than not, I realize I am simply overwhelmed. Although I like my life busy, sometimes the mental pot just boils over. From the outside looking in it can all look like an amazing, full life- but sometimes a person can feel like they’re drowning. I am no stranger to anxiety/depression. Although I still have dips in my mood and anxious moments, I am getting better at evaluating what ails me.

This past weekend I experienced what can only be described as BURNOUT. I know this, because I have suffered from it (several times) before. Unfortunately this time I failed to see the signs leading up to my adult-meltdown.  Once I had cooled-off, I took the time to acknowledge the following:

  • My work schedule is ever-changing: I work casual in 3 different departments and my schedule is different every week, and my whole week can change within a day depending on the needs of staff at the hospital; I am constantly having to adjust my life day by day, week by week.
  • I have recently taken on a completely different training regime that is extremely physically taxing on my body.
  • I have also been making fairly drastic changes to my diet over the past month to accommodate my new training.
  • I have been sleeping similar amounts, though because of work/other schedule obligations my guess is that my average 6 hours a night just isn’t cutting it.

All the above listed are a recipe for a good ol’ burnout. Whether I am aware of it or not, my body is under STRESS.

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If you yourself have ever felt supremely overwhelmed, or unexplained changes in your mood/personality ask yourself:

  1. What am I REALLY upset about?
  2. Is this something I can fix (if the problem is identified)?
  3. What are the external stressors in my life (if the problem is unidentified)?
  4. Who is the most reliable person I can talk to?
  5. What are the issues that effect me the most? Will they impact me in the long term?

I am no psychological expert, but all of these really do help. Not everyone likes to talk and share, but sometimes it helps to vent to someone impartial to your situation to help you get through/validate all that you’re dealing with. It can be your spouse/partner, best friend, parent, even a therapist. I have found help from all the above- on various occasions.

Relating back to this past weekend’s situation, I realized the number one thing for me to do was REST. I needed to slow down, to decompress. It is difficult to pencil ourselves in from time to time. We make time for everyone, everything else in our busy lives that we forget about us! It’s impossible to give 100% all of the time. The world won’t stop if we remove ourselves from the next social gathering if we just need to take a break. Sometimes adults need a time-out too. In order to give our best, we must care for ourselves first.

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