Life can have a funny way of showing you that, perhaps, you are overexerting yourself. Lately I felt that, maybe, this was the case for myself. I am a busy bee, I have an office day job, two blogs to maintain, novels to write, am a caring boyfriend, and I have a band on the side. I often got the question: “How do you do it?” Well, most of the time I do all of these things without thinking too much about it. I jot down a daily To-Do and then do the things on my list and look back fulfilled that I once again managed to write down the things that are most important to me and actually do them. Writing doable To-Do lists is a skill I acquired over the years and it’s all about being honest with yourself and asking yourself this question: Is this manageable in the time I have today?
Well, most of the time it is, but now, in all inevitability I found myself needing to cut back in order to guard myself against myself.
Hitting the brakes in time
A lot of people don’t seem to be aware of just how hard they’re making things for themselves and end up with a burnout. I’m glad I haven’t ever had the experience of a true burnout, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t felt burned out. Last week was a particularly bad week for me, with things at work not going the way I wanted them to and all the other things just seemed a bit too much to handle. My idea was always that whenever things are good at work, or at home, you can handle it when things don’t go too well at one of these two. But when you have this feeling that you’re like a taco; you’re trying real hard to keep things together, but you’ll break as soon as something takes a bite out of you and everything seems to become a huge mess, well, then it’s time to hit the brakes 😉
Deciding where your priorities lie
After acknowledging that I was doing too much to handle, I started thinking what the things were I could “drop” in order to lighten my load and make things more manageable. For one; one of my goals was to write an article on my blog every day and to also write 500 words on my novel. But lately I found that writing for my blog somehow relieves me of stress, maybe because I can write about whichever subject I want to, every day. So, I decided to just take everything down a notch and not force myself to write on my novel for a bit. I still do, but at a more enjoyable pace.
One other source of stress that I’ve put on hold for a little bit is my band. Lately I found that I was cancelling going to band practice a little more than I used to and when I did join the guys, I found it extremely hard to come up with lyrics and vocal lines. Upon some further reflection, I found that this was giving me quite some stress. I decided to send the boys a message to explain this to them, mostly because I know it’s not fair to them. I can’t be the best vocalist I can be for them at this moment. They all reacted in a manner that I could really appreciate, with understanding and that I need to take my time to decide what I really want. Which is exactly what I’m going to do.
We also cancelled all our appointments for the weekend, so we could just do whatever we wanted and really relax as much as possible. Saying “No” can be hard, but sometimes you need to, because you should always value your own health and well-being as your number one priority!
I hope the dust will settle a little bit in the coming weeks. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m glad I hit the brake when I did. Peace of mind is a precious thing and you need to guard yourself when things don’t go the way you want them to.