15 August 2019

STEP BACK TO STEP FORWARD


^^ Image by Oscar Nord on Unsplash / Quote by Unknown on Pinterest ^^

I've had a bit of a blogging hiatus recently; not through choice, but through just having a Homer Simpson style 'monkey with cymbals' banging loudly in my brain. This post is for you if you are feeling all the stress right, overwhelm and tiredness right now.

I often write blog posts on the other side of something I have been through; today, however, I am writing this smack-bang in the middle of it, because I want to talk with real honest emotions about some things that I am feeling and going through in my head, without accidentally 'airbrushing' them in any way at all.

Yesterday I bit the bullet and went to the doctors (my pride and sheer stubbornness means this can take a while sometimes). I went because I feel like my body is turning against me. I sat in the waiting room and silently tapped away at the 'notes' section on my iPhone, listing all the symptoms I am having, before I went into the doctor; I have a tendency to get a bit anxious and forget things, so a list is helpful for me. It is important to mention here that I never just take myself to the doctor on a whim, it is usually when I really feel I need more advice, rather than a panic about something. Some of my symptoms have been going on a while and, as much as I kind of knew what she may say, I thought it best to run some of them past her.

My symptoms were listed as: extreme fatigue, frequent palpitations, dizziness, lack of concentration, the inability to balance very well (generally feeling a little bit 'out of it' coordination wise - I don't have much room for manoeuvre here because I am bloody clumsy generally!), aches and pains and weight gain for literally no reason... oh yeah, and I have had numb toes for months

Explaining all of this and feeling like I was about to turn my toes up or cry in frustration, she asked me to list out to her what my daily routine looked like... 'okay, doc', I said...

4.45am/5am - alarm goes off
6.30am - gym
8.15am - home, breakfast, shower
9.30am - drive to work
10am - work (housekeeping)
2.15pm-2.30pm - leave work
3pm - home for lunch and shower
4pm - work for business
6pm - cook and eat
7pm - work until I can keep my eyes open anymore, usually around 10.30pm-11pm.

This is the routine for every, single day of the week, except when I am not at the hotel on Mondays and Thursdays, where you can replace the 'housekeeping' section with 'business work'.

The doctor looked at me and raised her eyes. 

I have blood tests next week just to check everything, but the overall message was 'you need to slow down, you need more time where you are not doing anything at all'. She spoke to me for a while about the things that can happen as a result of lack of quality sleep, as well as the constant stress on the body from being 'on' all the time. We all know this right? But, if you're anything like me, you may think that, for some reason, you are immune to any side effects. 

I came home with my tail between my legs, feeling emotionally drained, tired and, of course, with all the symptoms I listed having a field day throughout my body - oh joy! As I hung some washing out, I played the first podcast on my 'to listen to' column and was hit with 'The Freelance Fix' episode, titled 'Morning and evening routines'. Within the first few minutes of the episode there was talk of the importance of slowing down and getting good quality sleep so our bodies and brains can restore.

Did you know that lack of quality sleep can result in:

mood swings
anxiety
depression
micro sleeping (where you fall asleep without realising)
weight gain
low immune system
increased risk of type 2 diabetes
cardiovascular and blood pressure risks
(and may other things too) 

If I am honest, I knew 85% of this already, but to have two people in the space of an hour push it in your face I figured I had better snap out of it.



I think one of the hardest things (for me anyway) is trusting that by taking a step back I will get results, because it seems like I will just be quitting. But I have honestly never felt so exhausted and so all over the place; my ability to function seems to be dwindling away and we all know that burn out is real, so there are no options but to change things right?

Can anyone relate to any of this so far?

So, a plan has to be made and that is something that I will be sitting down to look at this evening. I am going to be looking at my training routine, to make sure that sessions are not as intense and stressful for my body the entire duration I am in the gym. I will also be trying to find some kind of routine and structure for knowing when my work day ends, a way of closing things down for the day that, with a 9-5, would be as simple as walking out the office and going home.

Creating space for me again will mean beach walks, sunsets, cups of tea outside, walking, and being still, instead of the constant rush from task to task, which is totally unproductive as I am too tired to do anything properly. There must be other ways and I am determined to find a way that works for me.

For now, I will call this blog post 'part one' and I will keep you updated of changes as I make them and how I am feeling because I know I am not the only one going through this! There are so many of us, and we all need to find better ways of doing things. 

If you resonate with this in any way please comment because I feel like we can help each other.

Here's to a more productive, less time-hungry and mentally/physically draining week ahead!

Let's do this!
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