Wednesday, January 26

Recovering from exhaustion, I have become very self-protective. How do I swim again? | Life and Style


After years of struggling with a punishing combination of emotional instability and overwork in high pressure jobs, I have finally gotten sick, quit, and am finally on the road to recovery, with a new understanding of how to better take care of my mental health. and the value of a healthy body.

I’ve been appreciating the simple pleasures, good old friends, and the benefits of a quiet life, but it’s a particularly overwhelming time to start swimming again. Although I am now aware of people and situations that are not good for me, I have become very self-protective, and the pandemic did not help me. It is very easy to decide that it is too crazy and cruel out there.

I am concerned that by avoiding what feels too challenging or scary, I may settle into an unnecessarily restricted life and limit opportunities to explore new experiences and people who could do a lot to restore my confidence. Do you have any suggestion?

Eleanor says: Sometimes when I wonder if I’m doing well, where “that” is all, life itself, I like to splash in some water. You do not return; nothing that has a purpose. I like to think of Ivan Ivanovich swimming in the rain, “waving his arms and sending waves, swimming and diving, trying to get to the bottom. ‘Ah! How delicious!’ he screamed in his joy. “

You have done something brave in realizing that you wanted life to change, and even more brave when you change it. It’s natural to wonder now how you can best preserve your happiness after working so hard to find it. But it may be too easy at that point to start treating recovery as a task in itself; next in a long list of projects with a “or else” attached. I need to relax but my health will not improve. I need to be at peace but the anxiety will return. This kind of thinking prevents us from splashing happily; It keeps us on the banks wondering if splashing is the best thing to do.

I think your task of finding the best balance between “in here” and “out there” may be the same: it is not best solved by reasoning on this side of the decision and then implementing a solution. It is best solved simply by splashing. You don’t need a unified correct answer about how much interaction with the world is best for you; you just need to be guided today by what feels delicious.

It can be hard to see that when you’ve been through a lot, because trials make us so sensitive to the possibility of them happening again. They deplete us so much time, health, and energy, that we become fiercely protective of what few reserves we have left, looking for any threat that may further deplete us. It becomes very difficult to accept that there could be something like ‘just splashing’, whatever decision we make no You need to do it exactly right, because everything starts to feel high risk.

But the goal is not to have a life in which nothing will deflate your energy and your sense of peace again. The goal is to know that when that happens, you’ll be fine. You could try something that scares you and you wish you hadn’t; you could make a new connection and discover that it hurts; For any form of venturing “out there” that might hurt, you’ll be fine. No decision will catapult you to hit rock bottom again, and no harm can undo the happiness you’ve worked for.

When you know that, decisions start to feel a little less risky. You don’t need to be guided by what is “too” self-protective, or if the world is “too” cruel. You can just lead with what feels good, now.

You can start small, with a new connection or a new hobby. Try to see it as a decision that you are making just for today, one that you can undo tomorrow. That’s all you have to do; feel the way to go little by little.


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