Last week, I wrote about how I check in with myself while experiencing different stages of my mental illness. I talked about how I could feel a depressive episode starting and the ways I try to take care of myself in those times.
About 12 hours after finishing my blog, I decided it was time to switch things up and break out of the routine that I’ve gotten used to over the past few years. I had a few days off from my restaurant job for the holiday, so I decided to drive to New York to visit friends from college. I didn’t plan it out ahead of time, and I honestly didn’t think I would go through with it. I made the decision to leave about 8 hours before getting on the road, and I’m so glad I did it.
Normally during a depressive episode, I would never do something so spontaneous. I’m so lucky to have an amazing and supportive partner who encouraged me to take that time for myself. I also have amazing friends who encouraged me and let me come stay at their apartment with essentially no notice. Even when I was coming up with the idea to drive 500 miles across the country, I didn’t actually think I would do it. I was weighing the benefits of staying home and having a few full days off compared with the benefits of going to do something I knew would be fun, but would require me to take action. Of course, taking a couple days to go spend time with my best friends who I haven’t seen all together in almost a year was the better option.
I had so much fun, and the spontaneity of it helped me feel more “normal” again. I’d been feeling stuck and overwhelmed, and just being able to take a couple days to do something I wouldn’t normally do helped turn that around.
If you’ve been feeling stuck in one place lately, take time to let yourself have fun. Take that day off and get out of town, go hiking, spend time with friends, treat yourself to a nice meal. Do something new and have fun!
As always, stay safe + stay healthy.