I am not a huge fan of just “surviving” life. Over the last year and a half I’ve made a valiant effort to be present, grateful and fearless to ensure I am not simply treading water, but actually living my best life. However, sometimes no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to maintain this level of positivity and you have to go into survival mode. This is where I’m at right now.
Coming into this job with a big distributor, brand new, during holiday season, has proven to be one of the most mentally and physically exhaustive things I’ve ever had to tackle. I’ve been working 12-15 hour days, trying to learn new concepts, hit incentive numbers and all around not screw up. When you throw little aggravations like computer crashes or car troubles into the mix, you’re guaranteed to have a meltdown.
I’ve also been stretching myself too thin during my off days, travelling back and forth to Tri-Cities for 36 hours over the weekend or hosting company from out of town. In what little bit of time I have leftover, I attempt to have a social life, and that tends to include gluttonous consumption of food and alcohol.
The point is, I am not taking care of myself and I’ve finally it a wall. I’ve not worked out since I got this job a month ago, which is the longest I’ve went without hitting the gym since 2013. I’ve been on the go constantly, meaning I’m grabbing Starbucks if I’m lucky, but typically I don’t get to eat until I plop down at a bar at 7p. As someone who loves to cook, I’m really missing my morning ritual of coffee, gym and breakfast. My body needs 9 hours of sleep to be fully productive, and at the moment I’m lucky to get 5-6. I’m so exhausted when my alarm goes off, all I can do is lay in bed for 30 minutes before I’m completely behind schedule.
I’ve also been spending too much time investing in distractions. Whether it is social media addiction, binging a tv show or toying with dead-end relationships, I am trying to deflect my attention from how badly I feel like I’m drowning, when in fact I should be holding as much of my energy as possible close and investing it all in myself. For whatever reason, my mode of survival at this point is distract and deflect, and I need to flip it to focus and forward growth. My problems aren’t going away just because I’m pretending they don’t exist-in fact, they’re getting worse.
Bearing this acknowledgement in mind, I am actively making some changes. There will be no rest for me until January as far as work goes, because in my industry, you’re not even allowed to ask off for a day during the months of October, November and December. But I can start making little changes that will make a big difference. If I limit my play time, that will be of the greatest help. Not only will this result in saving money, but I can also ensure I’m getting enough sleep, which will hopefully lead to being able to get up and hit the gym before work like I used to. These positive changes will make me more focused and hopefully improve my work productivity and efficiency. I also need to make my health a priority again and start meal prepping and packing food for the road. I feel gross. I’m not drinking enough water and eating too much fast food. All that needs to come to a stop.
Most importantly, I need to stop being so hard on myself, and if you’re feeling like you’re also burning the candle at both ends, this would be my best advice to you. Give yourself a little grace. I’m the first one to crap all over myself for my failures and never acknowledge my progress. Sometimes you’re just doing the best you can. I could never have known how stressful this job would be until I got into the thick of it, and I’ve just had to learn how to duck and weave at every punch that’s being thrown at me until I can get skilled enough to handle it with ease. We’re all going to continue to fall down, but congratulate yourself every time you get back up. Take note of failures, just enough to correct them as best you can. And listen to your body. Sometimes a night on the couch is more needed than an hour in the gym.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m trying to make extra effort to be grateful for all these hardships. It wasn’t that long ago that I was unemployed and praying for this kind of problem. Everything has a season, and this chaos will soon pass, opening up space for new dilemmas. Til then, let’s all just try to keep our head above water until 2021.