Last Monday, I woke up with a head-splitting migraine and instantly knew I was in trouble. I'd pushed myself a little too hard over the weekend workwise and had let myself get dehydrated... there was only one person to blame for the pain that was making keeping my eyes open a monumental effort, and that was me.
Coupled with the migraine, I also came down with a cold/flu-buglike-thing (my immune system has impeccable timing) and spent almost all of last week curled up on my sofa; cradling cups of tea to keep my hands warm, surrounded by a mountain of tissues and desperately trying not to think about all the things I needed to be doing.
Even opening the laptop to check emails felt like it would take that entire day's energy, and climbing the stairs? They might as well have been Everest... I definitely crawled up on them on my hands and knees more than once. Why not just stay in bed upstairs I hear you say? The kettle was downstairs, that's the only explanation I can give.
It wasn't really until yesterday (Sunday) that the pressure in my head (thanks to blocked sinuses) really eased and I could actually inhale through my nose (this is no longer possible today thanks to hayfever, but it was nice at the time). An entire week just gone to waste because first I didn't listen to my body and then my immune system and head punished me for it.
If you're still reading this, you're probably thinking "is there a point to this?"... well there was supposed to be, so let's see if we can find it. We are all so busy these days; whether you're a stay at home parent doing the equivalent of 5 people's jobs, a blogger or artist trying to make people understand that exposure doesn't pay the bills, or just a "normal" person trying to make ends meet and have time to relax at the end of the day.
The world we live in is fast paced and it's relentless. We have 24hr news and it's almost always bad news. We are constantly connected which helps when we need it but then makes us feel withdrawn when we try to relax away from the constant refreshing of our news feeds. Emails are never-ending.. inbox zero? More like zero hope of that happening!
Last week brought it home to me that I was pushing myself too far. I work in 3 very different worlds. I care for a relative and I try to not completely neglect this blog which I've put so much time and love into over the years. Juggling all of it forever was never going to happen and I've now made myself a promise... no work after 6PM. Why 6? Because it's when I start cooking dinner, so from now on as soon as the cooker goes on the work brain goes off. No "oh I'll just schedule this tweet for next week" or "Let me just check something with this client". No more. Because I was burnt up and worn out and I can't do that again.
We all know we push ourselves too hard and we are all well aware of what the effects of that are.. so, I'm going to ask you a favour; give yourself a little time everyday just to relax. Sounds simple doesn't it? But we all know how tricky it can actually be. But let's all put some real effort into letting our brains just have a breather and give your bodies time to absorb what's happening in this crazy world we live in.
Stay safe, x
P.S. Just for sheer irony, I've actually finished writing this post at 6:11pm... oops.