This week gone has been one of the most intense I’ve had to date. Several shoots (both photo and video), press releases and write-ups, recording sessions, client deadlines and a long-overdue driving test pushed me to my absolute limit. And then it pushed me through it.
I’ve noticed myself frequently experiencing lapses in concentration, anxiety attacks, difficult mood swings, dips and constant fatigue. And, I felt angry about it. I’ve always kept my hands full and the fact that I was suddenly beginning to cave under the intensity of it all was a bit startling.
And then, it hit me. It felt like a ton of bricks had fallen from the roof of a skyscraper and onto me — on the pavement several storeys below. I was at an event and within a space of ten seconds I suddenly felt myself breaking down. I had to leave, get away from everyone and fight myself to stop this feeling. I ended up walking for thirty minutes in the freezing cold, completely numb to everything. I wasn’t thinking, wasn’t looking up. I could’ve gotten run over on two occasions because I was so freaked out.
I needed to take a step back. This wasn’t good. Something needed to change.
We’re constantly moving, fingers in several pies, meeting new faces, and it’s insane that it’s normal. It’s insane that we’re moving so fast that it’s hard to actually take things in. It’s hard to absorb the things around us because, by the time we’ve done it, the situation has already changed. If you’re not moving with the times, you’re falling behind. And THAT tires me the fuck out.
I can’t handle it. But what I can handle is how I make myself feel when I can’t handle it. We’re human. We all have our weaknesses, our flaws and imperfections. And we shouldn’t shy away from them. We shouldn’t put ourselves under so much pressure to do well and succeed that the thought of failure is genuinely scary. I admit, I’m the biggest hypocrite. I’ve always pressurised myself and turned molehills into mountains. It’s part of my being but I’m accepting that. Oddly, accepting it helps me stop it. It helps me deal with how I deal with things and allows me to be okay with myself. It’s okay to fail, and it’s okay to feel the pressure. It’s okay to break down, and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. Those feelings are the indications you need to realise you’re burning out. This is when you need to sort out your priorities, move some stuff around and take a break. Take a break that allows you to clear your mind and calm it down. Do something that relaxes you and stops you from overthinking.
I took a couple days to myself and granted they ended up being quite busy, the fact it was personal time that required nothing and no-one, really helped. My head was clearer and I felt better for it. So, you shouldn’t feel guilty for needing time for yourself. It’s natural. You can’t go gung-ho all the time. No-one wins in that situation, least of all you. Be selfish. You’re allowed.
I did, and as it turned out… I’m the kinda guy that passes his test on the first attempt.
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