Taking Time Off for Mental Health

Guys, sometimes life can get very overwhelming… And for me, I have struggled with anxiety and depression for a long time, which can often make normal life function very difficult to accomplish. Read my post Remember the Good to learn more about my past struggles and victories over mental health.

Anyway, I’ve been dealing with some major issues mentally and emotionally for a while now, and it is progressively getting worse… There are times when I feel like I am completely better, and there are times when I fall into a hole again. Without going into a ton of detail, my husband and I have been very prayerful about what steps we need to take to help me heal. We came to the conclusion that I need to take a little time off from work. Now, if you are a loyal reader to my blog (or you know me), you know that my job is performing in a show nearly every night as a singer/dancer. I often have rehearsals in addition to performing in the show, so that can sometimes suck up my time. I have been very stressed about trying to keep the apartment together, being a good mom, doing the show, and trying to keep my mental health in check… It’s been rough.

Lots of you know that I am BEYOND passionate about the performing arts. I can’t imagine what my life would be without being on stage on a regular basis, but I think that is part of the issue… After lots of prayer, I believe Heavenly Father wants me to take time not only to do some healing and focus on myself, but also to learn my value beyond my talents. Thinking about not singing and dancing makes it hard for me to find any purpose or worth in myself, but I am determined to find the humility I need to completely align myself to God’s will.

At the moment, my plan is to only take a month off from the show. I believe Heavenly Father wants me to perform, but taking a little time off will be beneficial in so many ways. Some of the things I’m dealing with can be intense and scary in nature, and there a lot of things happening that I just need a break from.

If I’m being completely honest, it absolutely breaks my heart to leave the show, even if it isn’t permanent. Sometimes my anxiety comes to a peak when I think about not doing it, so I’ve been praying about that, as well… I have decided to come up with some goals to accomplish every day there is a show happening. It’ll keep my mind off not being there, and it will help me to become more productive. For example, since I dance in the show for nearly two hours, I will make sure I exercise for at least 30 minutes by going on a walk or run, doing an exercise video… something like that. I will also make sure I take a good chunk of time reading my scriptures and catching up on laundry. ALSO, I could get a ton of work done on my book!!!! The possibilities are endless, and I actually find myself a little excited to think about the things I could do during this month off. But the most important thing for me to focus on is to heal. We’ll see how it goes!

Thank you so much for reading… This was a somewhat personal post, but writing about it is a very good way for me to start my healing journey. I appreciate all of the support from you guys!

-Aleese C. Hughes

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