This week I’ve been feeling the weight of the workload I currently have, although I didn’t realize I was.
It wasn’t until Sunday, after having had a hectic week of running around finishing assignments, working late and seeing two different friends’ performances on Saturday and Sunday, that I noticed I was clenching my teeth. I realized that I hadn’t checked in with myself very much that week, I’d been a freight train, making sure I was getting work done, earning enough money and being a supportive friend.
It’s important to remember that even machines need to be oiled or rewired (or whatever one does to machines) regularly in order for them to run smoothly and effectively. Anything run too hard for too long will eventually fall apart.
Stress, while an effective motivator with the right doses, cannot be allowed to gain total control of your body. Yes, I need to be aware that I work on certain deadlines and that my bills need to be paid, but, running myself into the ground won’t help to accomplish any of that. I cannot do a good job if I’m hopped up on caffeine, sleep deprived and clenching my teeth, at least not the quality of job that I want to do. As a writer you bring yourself to everything you write and I don’t want my stress seeping into the words of all my work; (except for maybe this piece, because it’s about stress and I wanted you to feel that I was stressed- but without stressing you out). The parenthesis was a little stressful, I apologize.
‘Conquering Life’ helped rid me of a life driven by anxiety but it has also helped me learn to tune in with myself. Sometimes you need to remind yourself to do that. So Monday night, I took the evening off, I baked brownies and watched a movie with my boyfriend before getting an early night. I woke up with renewed energy, in fact I was a chipper as a chipmunk. So much so that my boyfriend asked me if I’d already had coffee. (I hadn’t, I promise) It was like my body and mind were thanking me for the break, and the sleep. I won’t always be able to get an early night or laze about but it’s just as important to make time for downtime as for work.
We all need a break sometimes and we all need to know that stress is just something else that plays a role but shouldn’t constitute our lives. Our brains and our bodies need time to rest, even if we haven’t been involved in physical activity, mental exercise and stress can be just as draining. After a week of work your brain can feel as though it has run a marathon and it’s our job to look after ourselves. It isn’t selfish but rather incredibly necessary. So if you haven’t taken a break in a while and you feel like stress-walls are closing you in, take a moment and Conquer Life by breathing and relaxing, if only for a pause.