I like to be busy. It makes me happy.

My mind is busy and I’m constantly thinking of what I could be doing when I’m doing something else. That’s fine. I’m used to that.

It’s not so good when I cross that line. When busy turns into ‘too much’. When the familiar feelings of overwhelm creep in. I know the signs. I start to feel exhausted but unable to sleep. I can’t focus too long. I make silly mistakes at work or I get more clumsy at home. I’m a bit irritable.

Any new information feels like an overload on my already loaded mind. I know where it leads and I’m not going there so I take action.

I stop. Reset. Think about how I can help myself this time. What do I need?

I tell someone. Anyone. Sometimes a few people who I know can help. Always a friend for the support. This time a colleague too so they can enable some space at work. Then I reach for my journal and get writing. Sometimes it’s a list or sometimes a narrative. I just let myself write. Get what’s in my head onto paper.

Then I eat. Nourishing food. And then I try to spend some time outdoors. Maybe a walk. Or just sitting. But outside in nature. I want to be in the world not with it! I try and be by myself.

There lies one of my triggers – the opportunity to be alone in my life is not a common practice. It’s something I really have to work on. Remind myself to do. I love my family and my life but I love myself too and that needs care too.

I trained to be a mental health first aider last week and I loved the course but my god it was intensive! Studying subjects such as depression and suicide does that to you. I realised that my life has been affected so much by poor mental health. Not just my own but my family and friends too.

It’s good to reflect and I feel so grateful I have lived through those experiences so I can move away from my own trauma in order to help others. I feel like I’m on my way but I recognise I need to keep myself firmly on top of my priority list. Without good mental health, there is no health.

Where do you feature on your priority list? And how do you manage your own overwhelm? Let me know.

As always be kind to yourself and each other.

My quiet place