I’ve been running low on enthusiasm and energy lately- crashing hard while still pulling myself with one finger, (or toe) to my next task.
As I’ve been waiting to hear back from jobs and hoping to make plans to change environments, I’ve been keeping up with various projects at the same time… usually out-of-breath.
These past couple of weeks have been tough. My body crashed to the point where I was perpetually tired, and I tried pointedly to make myself rest and recover…only to spent 1/3 of the time curled up in a fetal position hoping against hope that I would find a way to relax enough to sleep.
Usually this just ends in me waking up within 5 hours on high-alert thinking that I have missed something or that I am incredibly lazy for even trying to rest when there is still so much to do. And that’s only 20% of the time when I’ve successfully managed to actually fall asleep. Usually I just end up resting my body with my eyes closed and my mind on overdrive. I only truly know that I’ve fallen asleep if I have a dream. (And at that, my dreams are usually intense enough to make me more exhausted before I even wake up.)
I live off of objectives and productivity, so it’s hard for me to rationalize the need for relaxation or informal socialization.
Truth be told, when I do relax, I have no sense of moderation.
I want to lay down and not do a damn thing for a prolonged period of time with zero interruptions or questions… you could say that if it’s not a true vacation, I’m not into it.
But even within given vacation times I STILL manage to find a way to make it work-oriented. So, yeah…I don’t ever truly take a break.
Some people like to chalk this up to a hustler’s ambition, but I know myself better than that. I know that this is really just a coping skill that I have learned to stabilize the anxiety and guilt that plague me daily. And I also know that I have hardly any boundaries when it comes to adding additional tasks to my already-overflowing lap of things to do.
Ways that I have started to try and combat these feelings of inadequacy and the intense addictive highs of overworking myself have primarily been by scheduling downtime into my planner. I will purposefully go to an event with another human being that is better at relaxation so that I WILL SETTLE DOWN.
I will also work on my computer from a full charge until it dies, and then force myself to take a break from it for the entire duration of it’s recharging. I literally will not stop working until it hits zero or turns off. And then I will refuse to touch it until it has come back to a full and robust 100%.
These two ways of coping may still seem type-A and slightly neurotic, but they are the only things that work for me thus far. I have to find ways to wean myself into breaks and allowing myself downtime.
I have tried to “cold turkey” my workaholism and it didn’t turn out well. I just end up wanting to binge on other vices that I have sworn off, and that’s not a risk I’m willing to take. My lack of moderation affects all aspects of my life, and it definitely fortified the part of my life that glorifies and romanticizes my unwavering ability to work until I drop.
These baby steps are all that I can manage or fathom at the moment. And I have to pat my back for even trying. If you’re going through the same- I’m virtually patting yours too.