Trace the lightness and find it again

Have you already reached for your third coffee of the morning? And still ‘muddy in the head’ and listless, even though the desk is bending or the household is crying out for attention? Right now, many of us are struggling with spring fatigue. The blossoming nature can inspire us and recharge our batteries. But this doesn't work for everyone: if we are deeply exhausted, the longed-for lightness cannot simply be conjured up. A first, often helpful step is to recognise your own exhaustion and give yourself more self-compassion and breaks. If the low level of energy and strength lasts longer, a visit to the GP's surgery is recommended. Only then can physical causes be ruled out or adequately treated.

The feeling of lightness strengthens our mental health. If we lose our lightness and everything just feels heavy because we are constantly exhausted, we urgently need to take care of our mental health so that it doesn't fall by the wayside. In addition to recuperating by socialising and taking breaks, we can take action ourselves to get back on track with lightness:

  • Utilising the concept of the upward spiral

  • Self-experiment for more lightness:

  • Dance course

  • Choir singing

  • Questioning performance thinking

Utilising the concept of the upward spiral

In the context of depression, we talk about the downward and upward spiral. Lack of drive and a depressed mood reinforce each other. Social withdrawal and a lack of external stimuli further intensify the mood, which can lead to depression. Those affected who do not actively counteract this become increasingly passive and isolated. They slip into a downward spiral.

In the event of prolonged exhaustion, in addition to taking breaks and socialising, we can also consciously use the upward spiral and use it to gradually find a new balance. Because how we behave and what we think and feel are closely linked: walks in the fresh air, appointments, good conversations and me-time can have a positive effect on our mood and well-being.

Self-test for more lightness

When writing about mental health, I always like to pick out the topics that are currently relevant to me. And I like to try things out for myself to improve my situation and share my experiences and new insights with my readers.

My desire to explore the topic of ‘lightness’ in my writing, but also in the form of self-experimentation, resulted from my motto and wish for 2024: a deep longing for more lightness in my life. This wish was born out of the experiences of the past year surrounding the publication of my book ‘Wenn Licht die Finsternis besiegt. Shaping life, family and relationships positively with bipolar disorder’. I experienced so many new and exciting things, was challenged and often excited. I went public with my mental illness, which I had kept secret for 20 years for fear of being stigmatised. To inform and encourage other sufferers and those around them. And to reduce reservations and thus stigma towards people with mental illness in our society.

A mammoth task, especially if, like me, you are retired for health reasons, severely disabled and also have care level 2. And what happened? *Pfffft*. I ran out of steam in October. I was so exhausted and exhausted, I could hardly get out of bed and could only manage the bare minimum. And it stayed that way, even when the year came to an end. In this scenario, I started to think about my wish and the question of my motto for the new year (I've been doing this for a while. In 2023, my motto for the year was ‘mental growth’). And my motto for 2024, as soon as I had found it, also described my greatest longing. Finally more lightness again!

I realised that lightness wouldn't turn the corner on its own. So what could I do to track it down? Invite it back into my life? Clearly, I thought about things that I had enjoyed in the past and decided to revitalise them. That's why I've been taking discofox dancing lessons with my husband since January and singing in an early bird choir since March. And I'm practising letting go of my performance mindset every now and then.


You can find the whole exciting, cheerful and light-footed story, including two haiku poems and musical cows, in Nora Hille's latest column in the online magazine femalExperts:

Mental health: On the trail of lightness or dancing, singing, letting go

Have fun reading!

Nora Hille Weizen 2022 unbearbeitet

About the author

Nora Hille, born 1975, married, two children. Studied history, literature and media studies. 12 years working in the field of communication/PR. Retired for health reasons. Writes as an affected person and experience expert on the topics of mental health and mental illness. Is committed to anti-stigma work, i.e. against the stigmatisation (exclusion) of mentally ill people in our society for more togetherness, tolerance and equality. She also writes literary essays, poems and short prose.