I’d like to tell you about my weekend before last which didn’t go according to plan! I had a list, (I always have a list) of things to be done – every single day. That’s how I operate, I need organisation and lists in my life to feel complete and productive. So my weekend was planned out… some not so exciting chores including washing and housework but also lots of work on my business including the launch of an online project. So that was going to be challenging enough and then I discovered a problem with several pages on my website. If any of you use WordPress, you’ll feel my pain… (I have a plugin that ‘disappeared’ leaving several pages looking like a child had designed it as well as many missing paragraphs). So I was feeling slightly stressed about that as you can imagine.
It went wrong on the Saturday morning when I bent down to pick up a sock I’d dropped when emptying the washing machine. That simple action changed the course of my weekend, because all weekend I was in agony after ‘doing something’ to my lower back. It wasn’t even a heavy sock, it was one of those silly little trainer socks!
So throughout Saturday I struggled on as best I could but it was flippin’ uncomfortable. Sitting on my office chair was the worst position, so I spent quite a bit of time kneeling on the floor to take the pressure off whilst typing! So washing was achieved but housework abandoned until Sunday. At long last my project was launched which was a huge achievement for me. I slept okay that night because flat was comfortable, but by Sunday morning I was feeling pretty miserable and sorry for myself because I realised I wasn’t going to be able to manage the housework or sit at the pc for hours as needed. Stu (husband) was great and offered to do all the housework by himself but by this time I’d considered plan B…
Plan B was less stressful for both of us. Plan B was to lounge on the sofa for the best part of the day, reading my book while Stu watched sport on TV and the kids were busy doing homework and chatting to friends on their phones upstairs! Then we had dinner on our laps while watching a film (Interstellar if you’re interested – fantastic film but have tissues ready!).
Now any of you who know me, you know that I NEVER do this. NEVER EVER. I barely ever sit on our sofa, or go in the lounge for that matter, so that Sunday was a very strange phenomenon for me. But do you know what, I enjoyed it. A LOT. And I needed it. A LOT! I didn’t realise how much until I did it.
I’d been working my butt off the previous few weeks getting ready to launch my online challenge and it was such a relief to have it done but as yet I haven’t been able to do any significant marketing for it. The website problem was beyond me so I submitted a help ticket and had to simply wait. There was so much I needed to do and there was a time when I’d have just struggled through it, being very stressed, eating lots of chocolate to keep me going and playing the martyr. But do you know what, it just isn’t worth it! So the house needed a clean… it annoyed me but I didn’t die because of it (finally got done this past weekend). The website looked crap (since fixed)… it wasn’t good for visitors but I didn’t die because of it and my project was launched but no-one knew about it (still haven’t got round to marketing it, oops)… frustrating, but I won’t die because of it.
BUT if I’d allowed the stress to build up, if I’d pushed myself too hard it could have finished me off. Okay, maybe not to the point of falling off my perch like a dead budgie, but you get the gist… I could easily have made myself ill with worry, (I’ve done it before but I’ve seen the light, wink, wink…).
Within a day or two I already felt so much better in myself and my back is almost fixed. I guess it was reminder to tell me to slow down.
So this is my long winded way of reminding you to consider the pressure you are putting on yourself. Whether it be work related, your home, your kids… We all need some self-imposed pressure of course to get things done, but do you need to cut yourself some slack to recuperate? Life can definitely bring challenges but are you stressing over things you simply can’t change? Have a think on it – give yourself permission to take a break if you need it, even if it’s only for an hour, so you’ll be ready to focus your energy it where it is needed the most.
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments. Have a great week!