I cannot go 100 miles an hour for a very long time. This is a horrible realization for me, to be perfectly honest.
If I had my way, I probably wouldn’t sleep. I love Doing Things. I glorify the busy. I love hearing about Martha Stewart’s daily schedule, and often try to figure out how I can schedule more things into my day. I love my bullet journal (maybe a little too much).
But every time we go into a busy season, I don’t remember to schedule downtime. I don’t remember to take care of myself. Or my Self.
I go along, happily doing EVERYTHING IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD and then wake up one morning and can’t move. There was one year I got pneumonia after 8 weeks of intensive training at work. Then there was one time when I got food poisoning and lived on the bathroom floor for two days. The day after graduating from high school, I slept for three days straight.
I keep trying to do all of the things forever. And it’s SUCH a hard lesson to learn.
If I won’t take breaks from the go-go-go, my body forces me to.
Last week, I had to take a break. I have been working 60 hours a week, and my body said “ENOUGH”. I forgot to post a second time last week. I stopped using Instagram for a couple of days (which, for me, is a pretty big deal). I canceled everything I could and stayed home.
And I had to self care myself back to normal. I soaked in the bathtub. I laid out (slathered in sunscreen) in the sunshine. I read a whole book and turned off my phone. I sat on the front porch every morning all weekend and drank my coffee and waved at the neighbors and didn’t play on my phone and it was pretty glorious.
I figured I had to start watching the signs so I could figure out when to slow myself down before my body made the choice autonomously.
THREE SIGNS I NEED TO SLOW DOWN AND ASK FOR HELP
- I start falling asleep sitting up. And can’t sleep at night. Or need to take naps. “Inappropriate sleeping” is usually my first indication that I am on my way to needing a brake check.
- I am unable to “can”. The idea of having to make dinner is too much. Going downstairs to go to bed is like asking me to go run that half marathon without training again. The exertion-output ratio is wildly skewed.
- It’s not fun anymore. Things just aren’t hitting the same high notes as they normally do. Kimmy Schmidt doesn’t make me giggle anymore.
These signs can also be signs of depression, which is far more serious than me just wearing myself out.
I have been screened for depression and anxiety (and had blood tests and all sorts of fun things) and do see my amazing therapist on a regular basis. If you think you might have an issue with depression, please don’t hesitate to ask for help.
I know that’s kind of an oxymoron since most people living with depression don’t want to reach out.
But it’s important. You have to get help and you are not a lesser person for doing so. We all need each other <3