October has been one of those months where the hours were too few, the demands never ending, and the midnight oil spent – along with my sunny disposition.
And guess what? It gets worse from here as everyone scurries to meet silly season deadlines before South Africa shuts down for December. Have I had such busy times before? Certainly. Am I opposed to doing more than my fair share? Not at all. So apart from a few unnecessary meetings, why was this past month so stressful and draining?
The absence of ‘me’ time. By this I am not referring to packing the husband and kids off to wherever so that I can lie in a warm bath, with cold cucumber slices on my eyes and a glass of bubbly on the side (on second thought…).
I missed constructive creative time. For one, I did not journal. Journaling is an excellent way of clearing cupboard space upstairs, even if you are not a writer. It is astounding what the subconscious stores. By writing down every thought as it comes (no need to bother with content structure – just let it flow), I not only get to face and deal with issues that keep me from advancing personally or professionally, it also releases a flurry of creative ideas.
I missed out on my early evening walks. Again – a great way to clear the head and make small talk with fellow walkers. I missed the sunsets and with that the time to reflect on the day and to mentally prepare for the next.
On the very few occasions I had lunch, it was while wading through emails. There should be a law against having a meal in front of a laptop, especially as this is linked to our hindquarters increasingly resembling the size of our office chairs (or so I hear).
More important than any of these missed recharge opportunities: I did not make time to celebrate.
Business-wise the past month was very successful, but it has gone in a blur of activity and where I would normally make time – even just over a cup of coffee with a friend or associate – to celebrate and fill up the gratitude tank, all I am left with is annoyance at allowing the poor planning of others to sweep me along.
But: A new month approaches and the final stretch of 2017. With a few much-needed boundaries and re-establishing good habits, I’ll be as good as new.
What about you?
P.s. 1 November is National Stress Awareness Day – a perfect opportunity to take stock and schedule that vital ‘you-time’.