The Recovering Farmer

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Emotional Gas Tank

I know. Sounds weird. What exactly is an emotional gas tank? I have mentioned it before. Just like your car needs fuel your emotions need fuel. How about your body? What happens if you don’t eat or don’t eat properly? You get physically tired. You become run down. Your immunity goes down. You are more susceptible to sickness. So, too, your emotional health is directly linked to keeping gas in the tank. When the emotional gas tank runs dry you will find yourself becoming irritable, angry, low patience, no desire to socialize, lack of motivation, always feeling tired, among others. So the challenge is to find ways to keep, at the very least, some “gas in the tank”.

I had mentioned before Christmas that I was going to seek the help of a professional. Practice what I preach. So I had my first appointment in December. Leading up to the appointment I spent considerable time and effort in analyzing what I thought might be going on inside my brain. I read material on mindfulness. I did an inventory of what was creating my blue feelings. I made excuses. It was the time of year when I always seemed to struggle with my mood. I dreaded the thought of going back on medication. I thought I had done it all and expressed a frustration to the psychologist that nothing seemed to work. He suggested to me that it sounded like my emotional gas tank had run dry. He asked me when the last time was that I had done something for myself. He asked me what type of activities I enjoyed. Facetiously I suggested to him that I needed him to contact my wife and suggest to her that I needed to go south for the next two months to golf. Remember, I love golf.

I left that appointment with a great amount of relief. Obviously I had over complicated the issues. Now the challenge was to find some way to fill the tank. About the only sport I like is golf. Tough to golf in the snow. Especially when it snows every single $&^%(# day. Oops. Got side tracked for a second. Then I remembered that Brandon has an indoor golf center in the winter. In fact it is only two blocks from my office. So after New Year’s I brought my clubs to Brandon (you know how you look like an idiot walking down the sidewalk in Brandon carrying your golf clubs) and now make an effort to spend some time there every day. I think it is working. Not the same as a golf course with nice warm sunshine but, hey, spring is right around the corner, right? Make it a good one.

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