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The Midnight Hour--Why This is the Most Stressful Time of Day

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Emotional Health related image Photo: Getty Images

Before midnight I’m on autopilot. I never let myself get depressed. Yes, I get tired and overloaded--the laundry and bills are annoying, and the animals drive me mad with their incessant needs. The job and the family dynamics are interesting and challenging, and money is an ever-pressing concern.

But it’s not until after midnight that the real heaviness of things can weigh on me. I am either asleep or alone--if not physically then alone with my thoughts. Nightmares can shake me to my core, or I can just wake up to go to the bathroom and find myself in a state of unexpected despair.

The gloom of the weight of all of our responsibilities can often be pushed aside in favor of practicality and survival; after all, if we need to cook dinner there’s not really time for musing on the fact that you may not be able to retire until you’re well into your nineties.

But in the midnight hour, sometimes these philosophical, metaphysical musings can stir deep fears that resonate through our histories and into our futures, causing a giant tidal wave of wonder about all that’s gone on and all that’s yet to come. Being at the helm of your personal ship is a mighty task, whether you work at a bank or in your mother’s grocery store. Daunting and ever demanding, life asks us to step up to the plate. When we’re stepping up to the plate of work and earning, life asks us, “have you fulfilled your creative dreams?” If we’re working on fulfilling our creativity, life asks us, “have you reached out, have you helped anyone?” And on and on until sometimes, alone in the dark, we just need a good cry.

Helpful as it may be, it won’t permanently solve the problem. Life is a stream of riddles and questions flowing constantly into the ocean of our minds, hearts and souls. We need a strong center, a peace of mind, to handle the onslaught of delicate feelings these questions can awaken. We also need good friends to talk to as well, for nothing helps more than talking with a patient and loving friend who will really hear what you are wondering about.

In fact, having midnight madness can be wonderful.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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