Starting off on the right foot
Self Balance and Exhaustion:
Hi there and welcome!
I am so excited and pretty terrified to write this first post but want to start off with a light topic that I feel will be relevant with the cold winter days creeping back in and the college/ school year just getting back into busy routines for some people.
Why do we constantly take on more than we can handle? Even with the best intentions, taking on too much and overbooking ourselves all the time inevitably leads to burnout. I’m definitely guilty of this and my body gives me hints when I am on the way to burnout. I’ll often go several months at a time, keeping super busy at work and after work and then packing up my weekends with plans to see friends, exercise and pretty much just squeeze in as many activities as I can and not even feel tired at any stage.
Something strange always happens after a few months of this mayhem. I will have a day booked off work, or even a few days if I am going on a holiday, and literally right before I am due to finish up in work, out-of-office automatic replies at the ready, I get a cold! The first two times this happened, I just laughed it off and put it down to just being ‘typical timing!’ It was only when I started reading up on exhaustion and how our bodies deal with it that I realised we often push ourselves to go into this ‘crazy-maniac-overdrive mode’ for weeks at a time and when our body (subconsciously) sees some sort of break on the horizon (holiday or few days off work and normal life), it stops fighting the desire to constantly overwork and stay focused and alert. At which point, it’s so exhausted that your immune system pretty much goes on strike for a few days to recover and rest.
After discovering why I have always spent the first 3 days of my sun holidays red nosed and sipping on lemsips, I decided to try stop this over-exhaustion from happening in the first place and figure out what little changes I could make to my week to help me feel more balanced. Here are some helpful things I do to keep myself on track throughout a hectic schedule:
- Take baths people- they’re amazing for your mind and will ease tired muscles. Even for just 20 minutes, after a stressful day. If you really want to treat yourself throw in a few candles and pour yourself a glass of wine or chamomile tea if you suffer with anxiety.
- Say ’No’ to plans sometimes- you don’t have to go to everything and see everyone at all times to be a good person or a good friend. The people who care about you will understand if you are having a ‘me- day’. Sometimes I just go into town on my day off, get my nails done and go for a coffee alone and I swear it gives me energy for the week after! Don’t be afraid to be comfortable in your own company. It’s something I used to be afraid of, but find it can be really rejuvenating to just be alone with your own thoughts every now and then and of course, treat yourself to a little retail therapy or nail treatment!
- Go to a cafe for your lunch break from work and read a book, switch off your work-brain.
- Exercise! Go run or cycle around the block or along the seafront and clear your head. Pretty much any type of high or low intensity form of working out is guaranteed to make you feel good.
- Get outside: again if you can do this during your lunch break from work it will 10000% make you feel more awake when you go back to work.
- Meditation: If you’re into it, can work wonders for a stressed brain. I bought the ‘Calm’ app on the app store a few months ago and try to listen to it a few times a week if I can. It just helps me chill out, unwind and sleep better at night. Or, if I listen to it before work, it puts me in a good mood for the day. I had to pay for the app (I think it was €19.99 for the year) but do the free trial to see what you think. I never buy apps (who actually buys apps!?) but I read that Calm was voted the best app of 2017 so I wanted to give it a go and it really is so good!
‘Almost everything will work again if you unplug it, including you.’ (Calm app quote).
Thank you so much if you survived my whole first blog post!! Hope you found it useful. I am completely new to this so feel free to drop me a message if you have any feedback.