Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
Have you ever found yourself at a point where you don’t know whether to go on or give up?
Have you ever woken up one morning without the energy to get out of bed?
Trust me, I have been there.
6 months or so ago, I thought I had everything in my life figured out. As a freelance writer with several clients of my own, I could comfortably make enough income to pay my bills, sort out my younger siblings in school, and sometimes help my parents out. I had been living this way for over a year and I even felt very lucky to be earning a living out of something I loved to do.
But there was a downside…
I was stressed out; working too hard and I thought I was strong. I felt a sense of achievement out of the fact that I could work so hard, mostly 15 hours a day; sometimes less sometimes more. I could not say no to my clients because as a freelancer, I knew how hard sometimes finding new clients can be. I could not say no to my family or friends because I thought I could handle the pressure.
One morning I woke up and couldn’t muster any energy to get myself out of bed. I lay in bed all day long. The next day was worse. I was also going through a break up but being strong me; I could not talk to anyone. I was stressed, depressed even and I had also burnt out.
I knew that I had been bottling in a lot of resentment and hiding behind a lot of work to mask my pain, my stress levels, and my depression. I felt inadequate, mad at the world for not understanding. I lost control for a week or so. Anyone who has been depressed will understand the feeling.
Soon enough, my works started going downhill. I had no motivation to work or to do anything. Most days, I would just wake up, order fast food, and lie in bed. My work suffered and I even lost a few clients. I found myself struggling to survive.
Lucky enough I found someone who saw through my pain. I can only say she helped me work through some stuff. She also made me understand that I was burnt out and stressed and I needed to take some time off and invest in myself in order to re-energize.
I am an introvert and I sometimes find it hard to talk about my feelings. I am the kind of person who always say I am OK even when I know I am not. It is one of my weaknesses.
I took a week off and visited with a friend who works at a certain coastal island in my country. I took morning runs, went swimming and just let go. I allowed myself to enjoy my surroundings, appreciate myself and rejuvinate. I also met and interacted with a lot of people (thanks to my talkative and extroverted friend).
So I prayed and meditated; literally talked to myself. I needed the willpower to show up. And I found it.
I started writing two articles each day and showing up. I started learning to say NO and even let some of my ‘abusive’ clients go. Now I write 4 to 6 articles a day working 8 to 10 hours weekdays. I am still learning.
Why exactly am I writing this? I don’t know.
I think it is therapeautic in a way. But I also want to tell anyone who gets this; please don’t push yourself too hard.
If you feel that you are working too hard, listen to your spirit and cut back on the hours. Let go of abusive clients and manage your work schedule better. Show up but enjoy yourself once in a while and rejuvenate!!