So, last week I hit the wall. After standup on Thursday, I paced around the office, feeling my face get red, feeling angry, frustrated, and near tears. I didn’t want anyone to notice this, so I grabbed my coat and stormed around the streets of downtown Ann Arbor until the cold air, the exercise, and the distance braced me enough I could face my colleagues.
While I was stomping around, I wondered what the heck had killed my composure. Sure there was stuff going on, but there’s always stuff going on. I was cranky at standup, and feeling slightly embarrassed for having been snappy, and mostly feeling overwhelmed. The only answer I could come up with was to buckle down and get stuff done. So, I worked hard that day, late in part to make up for my 1/2 hour stomp around town, but also to complete the set of “urgent” tasks. I had lots scheduled for Friday, and I squeezed in a breakfast meeting with a former colleague, knowing I was pushing it, but trying anyway. Friday was more fun than Thursday, but then on Saturday I was a complete dial tone.
After a pretty relaxing weekend, I woke up today (Monday) actually sick, as opposed to wrung out, headachey, and cranky. Now I think I have an idea of why I was so brittle last week, just didn’t have the energy to maintain my equilibrium. Of course, there’s the alternate explanation, that my emotional state invited in the illness. I’m thinking that since I had to work to figure out why I was so mad, that it is the former. But who knows.
So, trying to learn something from this:
- when stressed, prioritize and underschedule! Yes, I could fit in that last minute breakfast meeting, but that doesn’t mean it was a good idea.
- better to take care of myself by listening to my mood and my body, rather than soldiering on, bullying myself through whatever it is.