I talk about self-care in my day job. A lot. And I try really hard to practice it myself. But the past two weeks have been particularly challenging and I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do about it.
Let me backtrack a bit. When I feel stressed, I tend to carry it in my shoulders. They get tense, tighten up, and creep up towards my chin. Usually the muscle tension lasts for a few days, sometimes a few weeks. It depends on the stressor(s). Other people get break-outs, have upset stomachs, or headaches, etc. under stress. But for me, I know I’m stressed when my shoulders are a mess. Even hubs confirmed, they were “the worst” they’ve ever been the past two weeks. Strangely, they were only bad during the week. On the weekends, time I usually set aside for writing, my tension was gone.
Aha! Day job = stress, writing = less stress. Woot!
No, I’m not quitting my day job and writing full-time, among many reasons because paying the mortgage = way less stress. It does make me smile to think that putting extra time into something I love has helped me relax.
Instead, I’ve been reconsidering the things I give my time to. The world of work can be empowering and it can also be very demanding. There is always more to be done, with never-ending to-do lists, paperwork, and unexpected issues that suddenly become urgent or annoying. For instance, this week, my work email wouldn’t open via my laptop. Argh. As Rosanne Roseannadanna liked to say, “It’s always something!” (Here you go.)
I haven’t totally decided how I will reallocate my time, but it feels good to put it out there that CLEARLY something needs to change. There’s only so much time, and so many things are clamoring for it. Choose wisely and reassess as needed.
P.S. And remember, writing = happy.
How do you know when you’ve taken on too much? What do you do to protect time for your writing?