SIGNS YOU NEED A BREAK – Episode 1

So this blog is the first in a 6 blog mini series looking at different signs that you need to take some time out for yourself to reset your mind and recharge your body.

The mini series will focus on different signs:

  • Losing interest in things you’re usually passionate about and bring you joy
  • Short temper and easy to provoke
  • Taking everything seriously
  • Constant overthinking
  • Emotionally overwhelmed
  • Always exhausted / tired

This is the first blog so we will specifically be looking at “Losing interest in things you’re usually passionate about and bring you joy“. We’ll be looking at:

  • Why we lose interest
  • Types of people that lose interest
  • What we can do to reconnect
Why we lose interest

So first of all, if you’re reading this thinking “I’ve lost interest in this and that!” Please don’t worry immediately. Just because you’ve lost interest in something, doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something wrong with you.

As we grow and change as people, so can our interests. The first question I’d recommend you ask yourself is, “do I have other things in my life that I am interested in and that bring me joy?”

If the answer is yes, then chances are you’re absolutely fine. And if you get chance (now this is something we should all try to do) just take a moment out to be grateful for the things that bring you joy and happiness 🙂

However, losing interest in things that you usually love, that bring you joy, can be a sign that you are either working too hard or your life is too busy. In this situation the balance in your life isn’t quite right.

We need to recognise when we are too busy to ensure we make time or ourselves.

Next question, if you stop doing the things that bring you joy and happiness, where is the joy and happiness going to come from in your life?!

We all need things in our life that bring us joy, to give us balance.

Also, and this is a bit more serious, stopping doing the things you love, losing passion for your interests is also a sign of depression and or anxiety. So I must stress that if you think this is happening to you, don’t do what I did and suffer in silence, go and talk to someone you trust and go to see your GP.

To open up and share with you, my interests, passions and joy come from my family (I’ve only put that in because I know my wife is reading 😉 and of course I’m joking), my music – playing, listening and going to gigs, – and football – again, playing and watching.

Over the couple of years leading up to my breakdown – or BREAKTHROUGH as we like to call it now, – there was a steady pattern of losing interest and stopping doing the things I loved.

The dark curtain of depression was slowly blocking out all the colour and light I had for these things. It’s probably fair to say it wasn’t those things specifically I didn’t want to do, the depression was making me lose the will to do anything.

As I didn’t recognise these signs and do something about them, I eventually ended up unable to get out of bed, to get washed and dressed, eat and drink, to do anything. That’s not to say there isn’t hope for anyone in these circumstances, there absolutely is. But if I could have my time over I would definitely want to do something earlier in the process.

types of people that lose interest

OK OK, I have a bit of a confession here, as I’m misleading you a little with this heading. But I really believe there’s a good point to make here.

When it comes to losing interest in things because of being too busy, or suffering from depression or anxiety, there is no type of person! Now I know I sometimes do this and I’m going to do it again to repeat myself. When it comes to losing interest in things because of being too busy, or suffering from depression or anxiety, there is no type of person!

Mental health doesn’t discriminate, it’s something we all have and it’s so important to take care of it.

If we want to look at stigmas, which I also think are important to talk about, people that are losing interest in things they enjoy are:

  • unable to cope
  • weak
  • not up to the job
  • a let down
  • acting like a bad friend or unsociable (if the thing involves other people).

All of the above are simply NOT TRUE!!!

I really struggled with the classic ‘men stigmas’ when it came to my mental health, and it’s only after roughly 9 months of counselling that I’m able to start to realise this.

If others are coping and you feel like you’re not, here’s a few things I like to remember:

  • Everyone is fighting their own battles, you might just not be able to see them. If had a pound for every time someone has said to me in response to my mental health issues, “I never would have thought you would have these issues”, believe me, I’d be a rich man!
  • Others are not necessarily stronger than you, they may simply be better at dealing with stress through actively managing their responsibilities, time and self care.
  • Others may be lucky enough to have not reached their breaking point yet. There’s a great analogy, I have used before in a previous blog, that I was told about dams holding back water. It goes something like, the smallest weaker dams can only deal with a small amount of water before they start to break. When they do break, there is a little damage but they can be fixed fairly quickly and all is back to as it was. A larger stronger dam can deal with vast amounts of water before it starts to crack. However, if it does break, the fallout can be devastating, but it is possible to build it back up, stronger than it was, it just takes a bit more time. So remember, you’re stronger than you think!

The message I’m trying to get across here is that stress, depression, anxiety or any other mental condition, do not discriminate. They are not picky or choosy. They don’t just prey on the weak. Mental health is something we all have and is something we all need to take care of!

what can we do to reconnect?

So as always seems to be the way, there is a word for this and that word is “Anhedonia” or as the website whatsyourgrief.com describes it…..”Meh!”

This condition can basically be described as reduced motivation or ability to experience pleasure.

Anhedonia is a condition that can be described as being ‘Meh!’

Right, now we’re going to look at ways to reconnect. But before we get started with that, the first thing I’m going to say is to give yourself time and be kind to yourself. If by taking positive action, your spark of interest doesn’t shine right away, dont beat yourself up about it. Just give yourself a positive environment in which you can fall back in love with your passions again.

OK, so what can we do?

Well according to whatsyourgrief.com , here’s a list of things you might want to try:

  • Think. Does it feel like disinterest or avoidance. If you can get to the source of the roadblock, you can navigate around it.
  • Do it daily or as often as you can. By doing so you will start to train your sub conscience too.
  • Schedule time. If you don’t commit to doing your activity and schedule specific time to do it, then you will never do it. This is important, so make the time.
  • Join a club or find a buddy. Social connections are so important for our mental health, most things are usually better when done with someone else and it will help keep you motivated.
  • Get back to basics. Try to remember what it was that made you fall in love with the passion in the first place and see if you can recreate those feeling.
  • Try a new outlet. If you really cant find the passion in the thing you’ve lost passion for…then try something new. Try and find a new passion that brings you joy and happiness, you deserve it!

Take care of yourselves.

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