Monday, February 22, 2010

Overworked and Under Stress

I am so very tired. I went to bed last night pretty early, but I still feel like curling up in a big ball under my desk and taking a nap. I think some of the extra work I have been doing, plus the stress from other areas of my life, has finally caught up with me.

There is good news though, my current freelance project is wrapping up. I have 95% of it done - just a couple more loose ends to tie up and I should be all set! I admit, it feels really good to have that pretty much under control. I have another project I am also working on, but since I have a little downtime between this one finishing up and that one needing to be in full swing... I plan on taking advantage of that time for a little R&R.

One of the things I think is really important in busy times is to take care of yourself. I work hard to try to eat healthy and get plenty of sleep. Ever heard of the expression, “Take care of your tools and they will take care of you”? It’s a good one and very apt. In this case my “tool” is my brain and my body. If I don’t make an effort to take decent care of myself, I’ll burn out - it is as simple as that. If I work myself to that state, it doesn’t matter how much extra money I make, it isn’t going to do me any good if I’m coming unglued.

I’ve done quite well on the eating side of things. I’ve been able to make some simple dishes that I enjoy and that are easy to reheat and eat. No fast food for this gal - after all, fast food is rarely healthy, is too expensive and most times, it isn’t even ‘fast.” No thanks! Instead I’ve been living on hearty soups, simple dishes and a lot of healthy snacks. It’s been great! I’ve even lost a little weight.

The sleep side of things, however, isn’t going as well...

I’ve scheduled naps, I’ve planned my schedule so I can get to bed early... all in vain. When you have insomnia, there isn’t a thing you can do. My problem is that my brain is racing - I’m awake thinking of what is going on in my life, what needs to be done, where I have to go, how much work is ahead and so on. I toss and turn and my mind is full of all that stuff, so even though I am going to bed early, it is still several hours before I can truly fall asleep.

I know it is effecting me. In the last couple of days I can tell that I am on edge and not myself. I’ve said and done things that aren’t really like me, and I know that's the reason my office floor is looking so dang comfy right now.

I have found one thing that helps though, and that is keeping a pad of paper and pen beside the bed. Just being able to get up and write down what is on my mind helps tremendously. Last night I was laying there with my eyes wide open thinking ...and thinking... and thinking... It was awful! Finally I turned on the light, grabbed my notebook and started writing down all the stuff that was keeping me up. I made a list of tasks that I needed to do today, I jotted down some thoughts for a couple of important emails I knew I had to write, and I also wrote out an idea I had about delicate situation that came up at work. Basically I got the information out of my head and onto the page.

Once I admitted to myself that this was what I needed to do, I felt better. My brain was able to relax a little. Eventually I actually went to sleep.

The reason I bring all this up is that I know from my own experience the same thing can happen when tackling finances too. When I first started working on mine, I had many a sleepless night. I was up thinking of solutions and things to try, things I needed to look into, and people I needed to talk to. Once again, I found that writing it all down helped. Don’t get me wrong, keeping a pad of paper by the bed it isn’t a cure for true insomnia, but it is a simple and inexpensive way to help your brain calm down in busy times. It is certainly worth a try!

Photo by: Richard Pluck
via flickr

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