For me, the first day of school usually brings along with it the (self-imposed) expectation that I need to both make and check everything off a mile-long to-do list.
Like every thing I couldn’t get to over the course of the summer needs to be completed by the time the kids get off the bus.
I was totally in that mindset last night. I was planning everything I had to get done today.
I woke up early today and started making my list.
I checked a couple of things off of it before I had to get the kids up for school.
And then around 5 :30 a.m., and hour after I woke up, the light bulb went off.
I feel silly not figuring this out earlier.
But as I was watching the sun rise out my office window, I realized I’m dealing with a small bout of depression. I’m super emotional and I’m weepy and I’m very, very down.
And I’m exhausted.
Like the celebrity-who-checks-into-rehab-for-exhaustion exhausted.
So I whittled my to-do list down to two things. The two things I know I need to do to stop the beginning of this round of depression from snowballing into a bigger one.
I worked out for thirty minutes. And then I gave myself permission to rest.
And as soon as the kids got on the bus, I came inside, changed back into my pajamas, sat down on the couch, and watched Netflix until I fell asleep (which took approximately five minutes).\
I recharged for a few hours.
I’m not 100% now, but I sure feel better than I did this morning.
Tomorrow I plan to get more done. But I don’t plan to get everything done.
Working out and rest, the things that will help my body and my brain the most are the first two items on the list.
After that, maybe one or two more things.
But I’m not setting myself up for more stress (and highly likely failure which likely leads to more depression) by setting myself up with unrealistic expectations.
You don’t have to be dealing with a bout of depression to give yourself this permission.
If you were home all summer with your kids, it’s okay to need a break. It’s okay to want a break. And it’s okay to take a break. However that break looks for you.
Give yourself a day to reset.
And if a day isn’t enough, take another one.
Take a whole week if you need it.
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
And if your cup is empty, you aren’t weak or a failure.