As some of you might know, I have a tendency to take on far too much work. I have two jobs that, combined, constitute the equivalent of a full-time position. I study business economics part time, write a book (or two, or three…), dance 6 hours a week, in addition to doing translations. For the latter, I’ve had a gig up on Fiverr since… November, I think?
For the first few months nothing much happened – I sold perhaps one gig per month or so – but then towards the end of January things started to take off. Since then I’ve moved up to Level 1 and then onwards to Level 2 all of a sudden. Level 2 requires a good rating and 50 orders within 2 months, something which seemed utterly impossible in January.
Unfortunately this also means that, well, I’ve worked a lot. It didn’t exactly help that this was the most stressful period at work either, with two work weekends (two different AGMs that I had to help host, since I’m in the administration) in a row and plenty of preparation, in addition to a whole bunch of teaching prep and dancing at an event.
I sort of noticed it was a bit too hectic when I felt physically ill a bit more than a week ago. I can’t even describe it properly, it was as if someone was sticking me with needles or something. My heart was racing a lot more than it should, and I felt really fatigued. I’ve had tension headaches for at least the past week, if not more, and even now that I’ve been able to have some time off, it doesn’t go away.
In other words, not smart. Do not do this. If you find yourself having NO time off whatsoever, apart from the time it takes you to sleep and prepare dinner, and you don’t really have the time to prepare proper meals and exercise… do something about it. You might think you can hold out a bit longer, but you can’t. Not without consequences. For every day you keep pushing forward, it takes longer to recuperate. I said I would never become one of those who always work, work, work and risk their health for it. Well, turned out I was wrong.
For the past two days, “vacation mode” has been activated on my Fiverr account, and it’s been nice. I did get two custom orders, however, since it doesn’t prevent people from messaging me, but still. They’re not extremely big, and I made sure to set a longer deadline just in case. I also found out that, you know, eating proper food instead of snacks and whatever else that doesn’t need to be prepared but also doesn’t fill you up, tends to give you more energy. Who would have thought…
So now I’m in a different kind of “getting back on track” project, in conjunction with my workout plan. It involves learning to say no to work I don’t really have time for. (I’ve had a tendency to take on too large projects with too tight deadlines) Stepping outside the door and merely admiring the few. Stretching a bit now and then, taking some deep breaths. Taking care of my mind, doing as much as I can to let go of the stress that has built up for the past month. Basically getting rid of the tension headache and doing emergency repairs, in other words.
I am definitely not going back to where I was a week and a half ago, when I realised what I was doing to myself. Getting those clear physical symptoms that hey, this isn’t right, was… frightening. I can deal with feeling stressed and tired (perhaps that’s the problem), but realising that this could damage my health seriously was not a good feeling. (Duh…)
On the other hand I’ve earned quite a bit of extra money, so I won’t stop working on Fiverr, but perhaps some moderation is in order. I’ve managed to pay off quite a bit on my credit cards – not nearly enough, of course, but it has helped a lot – so that will make life less stressful in the future.
Well, I have to get back to work. Later today I’ll meet a friend for a cup of coffee, then I’ll exercise a bit, do some work and finally relaaaax. Will be nice 🙂