On Being Balanced

I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl, and always have been.  Sometimes this is a good thing.  When I commit to something, I do so wholeheartedly.  I make projects that I am invested in a priority, and I am willing to go above and beyond to make them work.  This makes me a committed student and employee as long as I care about my classes and job.  If I can get involved in things I am passionate about, this is a definite strength.

At other times, my intensity becomes an issue.  I tend to over-commit.  I tend to dig my heels in and try to do something on strength of will alone.  Every part of a project feels like my baby, so I struggle to delegate or ask for help.

Also, I’m not good at balance.

Two weeks ago, I was feeling so much better.  I had some energy back.  I wasn’t dealing with so much background anxiety.  I made it to work on time, went to all of my classes, and ate fairly well.  I was starting to feel like I had escaped the slump and had my life back under control.

I dived back into things headfirst, and promptly over-scheduled myself.  I wanted to do ALL THE THINGS that I had been missing.  I wanted to socialize, attend lectures, and go to club meetings.  The first blush of normalcy after a period of depression is always a little intoxicating, and I got drunk on it.  I over-scheduled my weekend, shorted myself on sleep, and left absolutely no time to recharge.

Needless to say, last week didn’t go so well.

So, here I am, reminding myself that I am an introvert.  As much as I love having friends and hanging out, I need unstructured time to myself.  I need time to write and make music and read fluffy nonsense.  I need time alone without a to-do list or expectations.  I have to find a balance between social time, professional time, and “me” time.

I am also recovering from a long period of depression and a more recent small relapse.  I have to take care of myself.  I have to eat well and sleep well.  I have to move a little every day.  I have to watch my self-talk and monitor my habits for signs that things are not going well.

This weekend, I did better.  I worked some on Friday, but chose not to go to the career fair.  I spent Saturday at home, allowing myself the unstructured time I needed to recharge.  I spent Sunday socializing and working on homework.  Today, I woke up feeling well-rested and ready for my week.  I met with two of my professors this morning to talk about classes I missed, and now I’m settled into a to-do list full of homework and chores.  This evening, I’ll work for a few hours, finish up the homework, and go to bed with a clear conscience, ready to head to class bright and early tomorrow morning.

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