Sometimes I'm feeling sad and I don't want to talk about it. My feelings encompass me like a large blanket. Friends will call me on the phone, text me, email me and ask "how are you?" And depending on my mood I might say fine or I might say bad. But there are sometimes that I do not want to elaborate on how I am. I'm tired of being in my own head and I'm tired of listening to the rambling thoughts in my brain. And I just need a break from myself.
I am trying to engage in self-care and that's totally okay. I am not obligated to share my deepest thoughts with my friends at all times. Part of my self-care coping mechanisms involves keeping feelings to myself so that I can process than without overwhelming my loved ones.
I might, in these instances, post tweets on Twitter about the thoughts that enter my consciousness. Still, that doesn't necessarily mean I want to have a lengthy discussion about my feelings; it means that I need a vortex to put my overwhelming inner-dialogue into.
Don't get me wrong, I am a talker and I like to articulate my feelings out loud in therapy, to close friends and family. It feels good at times to say how I feel and get the words out of my brain and into the world. Some people write in a journal, which I also love to do, and others vent on social media. There are different methods of coping with anxiety and depression. As human beings, we can be mindful of what works best for us and then use those coping strategies. What works for me isn't necessarily going to work for you.
But just like with every activity in your life there are times when you need a break. There are moments when I need to shut down as a defense mechanism him to cope with the intense feelings that I'm having. I was speaking with my friend the other day who also lives with bipolar disorder. I asked him what he does when he doesn't want to deal with his feelings and needs a break. He said, "I know this might sound silly, but I play Candy Crush." I will admit I laughed out loud after he said that, but I said: "no I get it." Because sometimes we want to do something mindless just to not feel. So I begin to Make a mental list of the things that I like to do that turn my brain off.
2. Use my vibrator
3. Watch a funny show on Netflix
4. Call a friend and tell ridiculous jokes to each other
For an over-analyzer like me, it's imperative that I have the tools to turn off that portion of my brain like a light switch. It's necessary and important for me to have that break from my pervasive influx of thoughts. When I take mindful steps to shut my brain down. It's important for me to engage in this form of mindfulness so that I can effectively take care of myself.
Checking out from your feelings isn't ALWAYS the answer
Of course, there are times when you need to talk, and that's okay. It's those times when we reach out to a friend, call or text that person and tell them "hey, I need you right now." It's totally acceptable and reasonable to ask your friends for support when you are feeling sad; that's what friends are there for. Utilizing your support system is important.
Now, let me ask you: what do you do to take care of yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed? Do you watch a trashy show? How about reading a mindless novel? What makes you feel calm when you are struggling with your thoughts?