The quote really says it all. I’ve been running myself down repeatedly over the last couple of months . . . years. The pressure and fatigue build up then become harder to eliminate because you can’t carve out enough time to do it. The greater the exhaustion, the longer the vacation that you need. Although, we don’t really do vacations right because those always result in stress. So, what can we do?
- Don’t be afraid to take a mental health day if you need it. We’re made to feel guilty about this and we worry about the work building up. So, try to settle assignments the day before you plan on your recovery day to minimize the stress that will greet you at the door. Make sure not to do work or run around the entire time. Get some errands done, but take time to rest and replenish your strength.
- Low key hobbies like puzzles, reading, painting, and anything else that doesn’t cause you to go running around. While exercise and sports can give you a boost, it doesn’t hurt to have a few things to do when your body is rough shape. This prevents you from sleeping the day away, which can throw off your sleep pattern and make you stress over not being productive.
- Keep healthy snacks in the room you are more likely to be in. This reduces the times you go to the kitchen in search of food and grab things that might be too heavy or unhealthy. Nuts and dried fruit are my personal favorites. As I said, this doesn’t and shouldn’t stop you entirely, but the snacks help take the edge off. This means you will grab less from the kitchen too when you go there.
- SLEEP! This is very important and difficult for many people. Biggest point here is that you can never really make up lost sleep. If you only get 4 hours one night then you’re not going to sleep 12. Best to do is take measures to improve your sleep such as weighted blankets, keeping the room comfortable, sleep apnea devices if needed, and making sure you have good pillows. You won’t regain the lost hours, but you will regain your energy for the future.
- If your energy is being drained by thoughts and worries then find somebody to talk to. It helps to drag such things into the light where they can be analyzed and seen for the sniveling parasites that they are. You can talk to a therapist if you have the option or maybe you have at least one friend who is always there to listen. Don’t recommend finding a complete stranger to vent to. That could be awkward.
- Drink water! Seltzer works too. Seriously, why do I drink cold water and feel like it’s hitting every cell of my body?
- Go outside without technology. If you bring your phone then only use it as a camera for cool stuff. No social media posting until you get home. Just find a place to walk around and be left with your own thoughts. Parks are great if you’re a suburbanite like me. Other people have forests and various swaths of nature at their fingertips. Lucky bastards.