Relaxation Is Important to Your Mental Health
Have you ever heard someone say, “Don’t yuck my yum”?
It’s a catchy bit of wordplay that has a simple meaning: Don’t tell me all the reasons you think I shouldn’t like this thing that I like.
We all know people who love to yuck other people’s yum, right? With this sort of person it can seem as though whenever you are for something, they are automatically against it.
They tell you why you shouldn’t like the kind of music you like. Or they suggest that you have bad taste if you like a certain author, television show, or movie. Or they disparage the kinds of food you like to eat, clothes you like to wear, or even the friends you like to hang out with. If you like Star Trek, they will tell you all the reasons they think it is inferior to Star Wars (or vice versa).
Folks who are perpetually yucking other people’s yum are certainly tiresome and hard to be around. But when it comes to yucking your yum, the worst offender might turn out to be you yourself.
Getting in Your Own Head About Your Hobbies
Our society places a lot of value on ideas like productivity and busyness. In fact, in some circles, being impossibly busy has become a kind of status symbol. You might be a person who feels a little edgy any time you are doing something that can’t be defined in terms of productivity.
Or to put it another way: You might be a person who finds it terribly difficult to relax. But the inability to slow down and take time for yourself has the potential to negatively impact your overall mental well-being.
A primary way this happens is through the self-sabotage of yucking your own yum. You convince yourself that an afternoon spent reading a mystery novel or some comic books, puttering in the garden, or casting a line out into a nearby lake is a waste of your valuable time. Or you might decide that hunting for that last object you need to complete a collection that is meaningful to you—a baseball card, an action figure, a specific piece of pottery, a first edition—is a silly endeavor. You might decide that learning something new—playing the piano, sketching or painting, preparing complicated meals, or what have you—will take too much time away from your day-to-day responsibilities.
Deciding your favorite activities are nothing but time-wasters is nothing more than yucking your yum.
Take Time to Enjoy What You Enjoy
Arguably, it is a sad commentary on our society that we have to explicitly remind you that rest, relaxation, and fun are important parts of life. In fact, they are essential parts of life. When we don’t take time out for ourselves, we put our mental health at risk and start to experience things like burnout, chronic stress, insomnia, irritability, and—ironically enough—lower productivity.
But how can you overcome the idea that taking time for yourself is the same as wasting time?
We have a suggestion that might seem counterintuitive: Put time for yourself into your schedule just like any other responsibility. Maybe you mark out Thursday nights as the night for watching a movie, whether at home or at the theater. Maybe you schedule a couple of hours every Saturday to have a cup of coffee and read something you truly enjoy (try to choose material that isn’t work-related). Maybe you pick one day a week to have lunch with a friend—the same friend each week or a rotating cast of folks you enjoy spending time with.
Scheduling relaxation might feel odd at first. But if you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. Why do we put things on our schedule? Because they are important and we need to attend to them.
And that’s our point: Relaxation is extremely important and we need to attend to it. So putting it on your calendar makes perfect sense.
Mental Health Disorders Can Yuck Your Yum, But We Can Help
If you are struggling with a mental health disorder like depression, anxiety, or a trauma-induced disorder, we can help. At Peak View Behavioral Health, we offer personalized and compassionate care grounded in evidence-based practices and our extensive experience. We can help you improve your overall mental well-being—and help you maintain those gains over time. Better mental health can help you find more yum and less yuck in your life.