I had ignored my Energy Gauge for way too long.
I was so caught up in working hard at my job, proving that I could add value, that over the years I burned myself out.
I am absolutely certain that this contributed to my chronic fatigue at the time, among a whole host of other health issues.
A Typical Conversation with My Workaholic Self
“I really have to get this done today, so I need to keep working until I finish it.”
“But I’m so tired. All I want to do is sleep.”
“Well, I can’t sleep because I have a deadline, and this needs to get done now. I’ll drink more coffee and grab a candy bar.”
“Isn’t this report good enough for the client? Why does it have to be perfect? Can’t I just do a couple of tweaks and hand it in?”
“No. If it’s wrong, the client will complain, and my team will lose confidence in me. There is no way I will let myself fail. I’m working until I get it done, and it’s going to get done right.”
Health Should Come First, Not Last
The problem was that I was not factoring my health into my lifestyle equation. It wasn’t even an afterthought. I was refusing to give it any weight at all in my decision to work or not to work in any given moment.
Ironically, the very fact that I was ignoring my health in favor of work eventually led to such a severe energy drain that my work was negatively impacted. Of course as a workaholic, that finally motivated me to make some changes.
What I learned the hard way is that wellness should be fundamental in determining one’s lifestyle. And a very simple check-in with my Energy Gauge on at least a daily basis could often prevent illness from occurring in the first place – that is, if I followed through on my findings.
I'm Listening Now
This morning I ran for three miles in the woods, in an effort to step up my aerobic conditioning. Then I spent a few hours driving around to take care of my commitments for the day.
By the time I got home all I wanted to do was sleep. So instead of writing this blog in the afternoon like I had planned, I took a three hour nap.
But because I took that nap, I now have the energy to work late tonight. I'm also finding so much more joy in working now than if I'd pushed myself when I was too tired.
© 2014 Dr. Kristin Rose