Having mental breakdowns can be hard to digest. Not knowing what to do or how to process it can be very stressful. This summer I had the most epic summer but also the most stressful because it was jammed packed. The moment I got out of school I never really got an opportunity to relax. Summers are supposed to be endless days of sleeping in, going to bed late, catching up on a book or even just hanging out with friends. That was not my summer. Don’t get me wrong, I had an epic summer because it was. One for the books, but I was just so busy.
My family and I went on a family trip, and then I went to Ghana for two weeks. As part of my organization Khloe Kares, that trip was also packed with speaking engagements, visiting schools, and passing out school supplies to kids. I got home from Ghana, and two days later, I left for a summer program at Otis College School of the Arts for a summer intensive curriculum.
After class every single day, I would be up until midnight getting assignments done. When that program ended, I left school to hop on a plane to head to New York for three days for a conference that I organized.
I was home for maybe five days this summer. I am so thankful for this summer, but by the time I got home, I had a breakdown. I was ready to just throw in the towel to everything I was doing and any extracurricular activities. I sent my mom a text saying, “I’m so tired and I can’t do anything else.” I literally was drained. I never had an opportunity to just rest. My summer, though it was eventful, it made me feel like I was losing it. From one place to the next, I had no time to process what happened. Being drained made me feel like I was going crazy. I was forgetting things, and I felt like I couldn’t get anything right.
Below are three things I did that helped me take care of my mental health during this time, and if you’re struggling, I encourage you to consider trying them, too.
1. Recenter yourself: Taking a moment to get focused and recenter myself has been the most important thing for my mental health.
2. Talk to your loved ones: Talking to family was also helpful. Having someone who I trust to help me work with my emotions has helped. I’m still trying to get some self-care time for myself but being about to talk to someone when I felt like I was spirally helped a lot.
3. Self-care: Find things that bring you joy. Set time aside to do those things. Something as simple as going for a walk, doing crafts or reading.
This summer taught me a few things. One, it’s important to know when I’m feeling stressed or over-worked. I was having a hard time getting simple tasks completed and it was because I had too many things going on at one time. I was so busy focusing on a million “to-do” items that I ended up neglecting everything. I learned what I could and couldn’t handle.
Secondly, it’s important to learn how to communicate. Since I was so busy, I didn’t want to burden my family with all the things I needed help with. When I finally had a breakdown and told them what was going on, they were right by my side to help me pick up the pieces. My family was more than happy to help me. The whole time I thought they would be upset with me or disappointed and it was the opposite. They wanted to help me because they knew how busy my schedule was.
Lastly, when you’re overwhelmed, take some time to get organized and prioritize things. I realized I needed to organize and set a priority list of what needed to get done and when. We often look at a busy schedule and can’t handle it. If you get organized and set things in place, you can tackle anything.