A while ago I went out with an old friend for coffee. We hadn’t seen each other for years and so we seized the opportunity to catch up. The last time we saw each other, we were little children running around in the schoolyard, so it’s safe to say we had a lot to talk about.
My friend, who is older than I am, told me how she graduated from college, has a wonderful job, has three beautiful children and is moving along in life like the rest of us are. That’s when I asked her how she’s able to balance her work and family life. To me it sounded as if the weight of the world was on her shoulders. It seemed like a lot of work for one person to take on.
And it was. She explained to me how difficult it was. How at times her days are “work, work, work, sleep repeat”. How the needs of her children and family always came first meaning she never has time for herself. And how she yearned to spend time with her friends, going on a date night with her husband or just having a day for herself. That’s when I realized we were literally having coffee during work hours.
I had to ask, “so how is it possible you’re here with me having coffee?” I asked. That’s when her face lit up and she explained to me that she’s taking a “personal week”. I guess she saw how perplexed I looked and so she continued to explain that she decided to take some time off to focus on herself and her mental health. I completely understood. We spoke some more, ate some more and said our goodbyes. I hugged her tightly and she whispered in my ear “take care of yourself, there’s only one you”.
Her parting words got me thinking. I don’t think I ever thought about my mental health. When I think about health, I think about it from the physical aspect and never the mental. I was proud of my friend for taking some time for herself to regroup. There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you need to tell family members or colleagues that you need that extra help and support. We are fortunate to live in a community with many resources made available.
And now I leave you with the same parting words: “take care of yourself, there’s only one you”.Sarah Tabbara,
Marketing & Sales Executive - Social Unicorn