How having a rest day helps my Bi Polar

With the world being more and more fast paced it is important that we look after our mental health.

 

How do you do that though when there is so much going on. I am going to give you my biggest tip and real-life experience of this.

 

I’m currently sat in my hotel room, watching the clouds roll over Whistler mountain as Baz is heading up to the top of the mountain to catch some powder as he snowboards down.

 

WHY am I in the hotel room and not out enjoying what looks to be like a “bluebird day”? (Snowboard/ski lingo for clear blue sky day, pretty much a perfect day) because I needed a rest day.

 

I know, I know, why would you want to rest on a beautiful day like this!!! Trust me I have asked myself the SAME question! why would I want to miss out on seeing this!!!

 

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Trust me I was in 2 minds over it.

 

So I thought I would do what I do best and write a blog about it, and the importance of rest days from a Mental Health point of view.

 

I’m not going to get technical on you about this, I’m going to explain it from my point of view, simple and clear, logical and sensible, from my own past experience.

 

Have you ever started a new vigorous sport, or started at the gym or a new class and just loved it so much, that even when you were tired you just got up and did it, kept going and going because you loved the feeling of being in the moment?

 

You KNOW you need to take a rest day, and perhaps do something a little less low key, a walk, yoga, or even just some stretching or mobility work, but you love the rush of working your body to it’s limits and feeling it!

 

I woke up this morning and felt tired, sluggish and ached a little. I knew in my mind that taking a days rest would be the best thing for me, but then I looked out the window!! Blue Bird Day!!!

 

Amazing – my mind then started to change. I wanted to get out there and experience the wonders of the mountain on a clear blue day…who wouldn’t right! Sod the tiredness, I can sleep when I’m dead right!!!! I’ll choose to ignore my body and just get out there.

 

Let me take you back a little here. First off you may or may not know that I have Bi-Polar and OCD they are both mental health conditions, both of which cost me my job as a police officer with Kent Police where I served for 10 years.

 

I was medically retired from the job due to my condition. Of course, things have gone from strength to strength after that with Rock Solid, and I would not change what happened for anything at all.

 

In case you do not know Bi-Polar means that you have extreme highs and extreme lows. These can happen with triggers which usually is lack of sleep and or extreme stimulus (like sports or high adrenaline). You can check it out here if you like https://www.bipolaruk.org/

 

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You see we came to Whistler 4 years ago (2012 – see pic), (the year I was medically retired) and we loved it. We hammered the slopes and we boarded, we apres skied, we did all the tours, excited and nervous every single day. I could feel myself getting more and more excitable.

 

For me, one of my triggers is lack of sleep and stimulus http://laparkan.com/buy-vardenafil/ from activities, and on that trip, I had jet lag AND I was in highly adrenalized situations for 15+ days. It was something I had never done before and it meant that it took a lot of mental and physical power to even get on the slopes let alone the chairlifts!

 

This lead to a little concoction of a major high/manic episode. At the end of the holiday back in 2012, I was in a manic mood (high) that I had moved us to Canada within a week of being home – I was unstoppable.

 

BUT then the low came and it was one of the worst I had ever faced. Self-harming, bad thoughts, depression, problems in mine and Baz relationship. In the September of 2012 after being back only 6 months I was retired from the Police. That 6 months was crazy, high, low and dangerous for me, something I DON’T want to go back to.

 

Now you have a little background info, back to the rest days. Rest is important for ALL of us, regardless of mental health or any other disorder. For me it is imperative, and I have to think with a logical and rational brain. Ego can sometimes take over when we KNOW we need to dial things down a little.

 

“I don’t need to rest, I’m ok, just one more day, I’ll plow on through, I don’t want to miss out, what if I forget how to do it? Rest if for babies!”

 

If you look at it like this, you cannot run an engine on a high amount of revs for a long time, it would break early right? Whereas if you use the gears as you do in a car sensibly changing up and down when needed the car would run longer, and smoother right?

 

The skill of being able to listen to your body and what it needs is one of the best skills you can ever learn in my opinion. A skill which I have honed to help me. I used this skill today to rationalise between rest and going out and possibly getting hurt, knocking my confidence or even pushing myself into a manic episode.

 

So what am I doing on my REST day today – i’ll take a massage, go for a walk, read, and listen to some music. Something to calm the BODY and the MIND.

 

Here is a good tip for you – If you see your REST day as part of your workout or training then for you it will not appear to be something that stops you from doing what you want to do.

 

Peace out

L x

 

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