Back before we had kids when I worked full-time (for pay LOL), I would occasionally take a “mental health day”. Depending on the job and my mental state, sometimes it was planned, but every once in a while I’d have to do it spur of the moment. Once we had Jones and I was working part-time, I’d still (about once every 6 months) take him to daycare on a day I had off. Some of the time off would be spent on getting necessary stuff done, some would be spent on me. I’d shop, I’d read, I’d splurge on small indulgences. It all went a long way towards helping me stay balanced and happy.
I haven’t done that since I quit work. I figured that as soon as Shoo was in preschool, I’d have about 15 hours a week that were mine and that I could use those for my mental health. Somehow, between my volunteer work, my paid work, my running, the boys, and the stuff that must be done on the house, I never take time to do things for myself, except for running. I’ve found myself constantly on the edge of a breakdown. Running has been keeping me on the right side of that edge, but being under constant stress meant I was only one crisis away from going over the edge. Add in the fact that I’ve been shorting myself on sleep in order to keep up and you have a recipe for disaster.
Tuesday night we realized there is a mouse in the ceiling of our basement where it’s going to be difficult to trap it. And I lost my shit. Seriously, a two year old temper tantrum would have looked mild by comparison and I know a lot more curse words than the average 2 year old. Luckily, the boys were asleep and Beer Geek got to be the only witness.
Thankfully, Beer Geek was able to take the next afternoon off to be with the boys and I went shopping. It was nice to wander the mall with no to do list and no time constraints. I ended up getting some running tights, some new moisturizer, and a few other things. I’m still tired and there’s still a lot of stressful stuff to be worked through (and I think the damn mouse is still there), but I’ve dialed back my stress level enough that I’m not quite so close to the breaking point anymore. And that’s a good thing.
Moral of the story? Running is awesome. It’s a great stress release. But sometimes you need to find time to do other things in life that you enjoy. Now if I could just find time to read a book…