By Megan Dreyer
Do you ever feel under pressure to always have everything sorted? To appear together and on top of things? To be in control of every aspect of your life? To be joyous and in a good mood 24/7? To be up for anything and give your all to everything and everybody?
I know I do.
But that’s not sustainable. It’s not normal. It’s not healthy. And actually, it’s perfectly okay not to be those things or do those things all the time. This is something I’m slowly learning and I think my body is the main reason for realising it.
“You’re ill again?"
"That escalated quickly!”
”You always get the worst of it!”
“You haven’t been well for weeks!”
These are some of the comments I often get from close friends and family. And they’re not wrong. The hard truth is, I push myself too much and don’t really pay attention to what my mind and body need. And where does that leave me? Into week 4 of a spreading infection that has wiped all my energy and left me in pain. Was it worth it? Not even slightly.
Perhaps if I had taken a few days to rest and recover in the beginning, I wouldn’t be here now. Perhaps if I’d gone to the doctor when it wasn’t improving, I wouldn’t feel this way now. I know I would be one of the first to encourage a friend to check in with themselves, to rest, to take a break. So why do I find it so hard to take my own advice? I’ve had this mindset of ‘the more I do, the more I’ll achieve / bigger difference I can make’... but what difference am I making now?
Balance is so important. If I wake up feeling tired every morning because I’ve been working all of yesterday, not had much down time and had a bad nights sleep because I couldn’t switch my mind off... how productive will I even be the next day? Instead of working harder, I should work smarter. Instead of feeling guilty, I should enjoy my evenings off. Instead of lying awake at night worrying, I should rest and recharge. Instead of booking up my social calendar, I should say no and have time to myself. Instead of trying to work through my current situation, I should rest and allow my body and mind to recover.
These are all fairly obvious things and which deep down, I know. But it’s a lot harder to put into practice and well, the days become weeks, the weeks become months and before I know it, I’m back at square one. But I’m going to make the conscious and proactive effort to practice what I preach and try to live a more balanced life. I will listen to my mind and body and give myself down time. I won’t be so concerned with the opinions of others or feel guilty all the time. Because I know what my mind and body need, I know I’m giving it my all and doing the best job I can. And who could ask for more than that?
So I just want to encourage you to check in with #Me every so often and do what you need to do to be the best version of yourself that you can be.