I’ve recently been under a lot of stress. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where it felt like my whole brain wanted to short-circuit. (Not going to give a whole blow-by-blow again, but if you’re wondering what it’s like, you can take a good look here.)
The thing is that I’ve been having to function under increasing levels of stress for the past two years, and I kind of reached a breaking point over the weekend before last. The funny thing is that I’m actually not as stressed this year as I have been for the past two, but at any rate, I haven’t been in a place where I can honestly say that I can truly breathe easier in the past two years.
This is going to be hard to say.
Anxiety is a real thing, and last Wednesday was that thing raising its head in a way I hadn’t experienced in years.
I think it was a build up of little things that kept growing and growing until one extra little thing made me feel like my whole life was getting wasted and that I’d be trapped watching said wastage taking place forever.
The good thing about all this was that this particular freak-out meant that I woke up to the need to evaluate my life and see where I can smooth things over in order to maximize the odds of me breathing easier in the near future.
So. What this means for me is cleaning up house, so to speak. Which mostly centers around me using the three public holidays I have (one on this past Monday and two on Easter) to do a ton of things I’ve wanted to do that I kept putting aside for other stuff.
It’s not necessarily a nice feeling, because right now, I’m feeling like I’m in dire need of a vacation. So in between, I’m taking plenty of breaks and doing things I enjoy. But overall, the idea is to give myself fewer things to worry about, so I can deal with the big stuff more efficiently later.
I’m also instituting changes to my current life-style. Such as… I’m not going to get fired for not looking at mails after hours. So I’m not. Nor am I going to look at mails before 8 a.m in the morning. Nor at lunch. And if I’ve done my duties for the day, I’m going to use my available time to write. (Don’t worry. I am actually allowed to do that by contract.)
Which means I’m going to start setting myself some goals for my job in the same way that I set writing goals. I need a way to measure my progress. (Which will also help me not feel like I have nothing to show for my time at the end of my work day.)
But yeah. That’s where I am at the moment.
How are you doing? Do you also take time to evaluate and adjust? How do you deal with pressure?