Can you even believe that? THIRTY THREE VERY LONG HORRIBLE DAYS.
I was officially diagnosed with Flu (thanks, vaccine), Strep and a sinus infection so my body just kind of freaked out. But that wasn’t really the main culprit. You see, I was three months into a brand new, full time job, on top of my already almost full-time Travel Business, also caring for a 4 year old who was home from school for almost TWO WHOLE WEEKS because of Strep (SO GROSS), and other household duties above and beyond that.
Daniel was traveling weekly. Clare was in school full time. (My wife and mom heart has been crumbling at this.) Everything was so busy and so lonely, but I had to hold it together and press on and for the first time, I really felt like my grip on this was slipping. I’m usually the boss of this!! What was even happening?
I got to where I couldn’t sit up for more than 5 minutes at a time. I had a scary vasovagal episode (umm, thought I was 1000% dying), among many other weird symptoms that didn’t make sense. I was tired all the time–like first trimester tired–but I am noooot pregnant! I went to Urgent Care and my regular doctor four times over the course of this and every single dang test came back totally normal and healthy.
At one point, Daniel suggested I get a massage, which was honestly my first clue-in as to what was going on. It was the only day I felt any kind of relief. Ten minutes into my glorious 70-minute retreat, all the heaviness and tightness in my chest had disappeared. TOTALLY. (Until later that day, ha ha.)
Then, the answer. One day as I was literally laying in the bathroom with my phone, (Because–let’s just say–think of a horrible symptom you’ve had when you’re sick that involves the bathroom. I totally had it at some point. Seriously. Even that one.) and I was watching one of my favorite Disney Vloggers, Olivia, talk about why she was in a wheelchair recently during some of her Food and Wine Vlogs. And as she began to talk about what was going on in her life, I sat straight up. Everything she described was exactly what was going on with me. And you know what it was?
Stress can kill you, bro.
But like…what? I don’t have stress issues. That’s CRAZY talk. No way. Not me. I can handle my business.
Turns out, NOPE. And THAT IS OKAY!! I’m actually totally normal.
I think in my mind, it’s still hard to wrap my brain around that because, sort of how allergies don’t REALLY seem ‘sick’ to me, I know full well that’s total junk. Allergies ARE sick, and stress CAN kill you. I don’t know why I don’t take this seriously enough. It definitely has my attention now.
The only way to get better, was to resolve some things. And honestly, once I kind of realized this, I immediately started to feel better.
I’ll say this really loud for those in the back, and also so I can really hear myself: YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. BRO.
You have to. Adulting is hard. Parenting is hard. Having a career is hard. Having TWO careers is hard. Sometimes just getting out of bed is hard.
So here’s how I’m getting my resolve.
- Admitting you have a problem is the first step, amiright?!
- When I feel that onset of tiredness, or the waves of the stress coming back, I stop what I’m doing and just lay down. Think. Pray. Meditate. Listen to something soothing. Take deep breaths.
- I got on a quarterly schedule with my massage lady at Viva Day Spa. It’s something I can plan, afford, and fit into my schedule and IT HELPS.
- Clocking out at 5pm. I can’t do this with my Travel Work, but that’s okay. This still helps!
- Vacation–in my industry, this is often right around the corner. I have full plans to TOTALLY unplug. I need that. My brain and my soul need that, too.
- Asking for help. Like the blessed service that is HEB Home Grocery Delivery! (ALL THE HEART EYES! And cue the Angels singing.) This hard because for so long our budget was SO tight I feel like I have to be the hero and make everything fit and work. But now that we have a whole other paycheck, I can delegate things and hire out help where we need it. Which is great because my house looked like a total dumpster fire at the end of those 33 days. (How were we even still alive?) These conveniences help me be a better mom, wife, chef, taxi driver, blah blah blah, you get the pic.
- Creating my own office space. We have one office space, which Daniel SO graciously let me squeeze into, but it’s just not working anymore. We are both often on the phone and a lot of times I end up at the dining table anyway, or he has to a phone call in another room. We both need space to create and grow, so I’m taking a small portion of our tax return and making this happen by converting our guest room to an office. I am beyond excited!
This might be the MOST important one:
8. Making time to play.
Last weekend? Daniel was gone again, so I used some hotel points to take Clare on a mini-staycation. We just went down the road, but we did so in style. Comfy pajamas, happy meals in hand, treats from the gas station, and OF COURSE Clare’s Fancy Nancy Tea Set so we could really make it a party.
We had the BEST TIME! I truly went kicking and screaming putting her into PreK last Fall. I could NOT have asked for a better place to put her-we love love love it and she is thriving. But I miss her so much during the day, and this kind of thing, is so special and needed.
I’m not perfect at this. I will continue to stress out, but I think I have a handle on how to recognize this better, and put some preventative measures in place.
And seriously readers, PLEASE. Take care of yourself, too, okay?