Friday, March 15, 2013

On Walking a Tight Rope

It's no secret that I have felt overwhelmed lately.  In general, CFA season is always a really hard time for me as life begins to feel like a tight rope that I am precariously balanced one.  I've walked this tight rope the past 2 springs, balancing work, studying, and seeing family and friends, and have come out on the other side of it with a pass and a sense of relief of getting through that difficult phase.  Now this year, heaped on top of those commitments, I am trying to balance a crazy travel schedule and what feels like a never ending list of moving-related tasks.

Over the past couple of months, I've handled it ok.  Sure there have been cracks in my "I can do it all" facade.  Those cracks mostly manifest themselves in tears at inopportune moments and settings, from sitting at the gate at the airport with my mom on our way back from Charlotte to eating dinner at a crowded restaurant with Phil to sitting at my desk at work (which is the worst of all as I have zero privacy since my workspace is completely open).  But when the cracks showed, I gave myself a pep talk, and carried on.

Well this week I just sort of hit a breaking point. While attending the conference in Florida was a good career opportunity, the long days spent in a windowless conference room coupled with dinners out that lasted until 10:30-11 pm left me just plain exhausted.  And then I found out I have to go back to Charlotte once again next week and I thought - ENOUGH!

There's nothing I can really cut back on right now.  I can't say no to trips like the one to Charlotte next week.  I can't stop studying 18 hours a week for the CFA.  I can't abandon my moving to do list, nor can I ask for help as they are all things I need to do (luckily my company pays for a moving company to pack my goods which is a huge relief).  But what I can do is take a mental health day.  And that is what I am doing today.  Granted, it won't be this uber relaxing day of leisure and rest, but it will allow me to get a good night's sleep, get caught up on some moving to do's, and get a head start on my weekend study hours.

I have a full weekend ahead of me which includes meeting up with Amber today for coffee, attending my old boss's birthday happy hour tonight, helping to run a potluck breakfast for run club tomorrow morning (totally kicking myself for offering to help but I felt bad resigning from the board so felt I should take on something), and most importantly - attending my going away party on Saturday night.

That's a lot to pack into one weekend so my hope is that by taking today off, I can enter the weekend feeling a bit more relaxed.  I especially want to feel calm and rested tomorrow night so I can fully enjoy my going away party!

So here's hoping today's mental health day is a restorative one for me! 

Do you take mental health days?  This the first unplanned day off I've taken from work in a very very long time, but it feels very necessary.

25 comments:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

If anyone deserves a mental health day it is DEFINITELY you! I do take maybe 1 mental health day every year or two... it's usually more like a sick/mental health day, as in I'm not feeling the best and I'm insanely overwhelmed and will definitely get sick if I don't slow down for a second. Mine also tend to involve social obligations, as in if I know I have nothing to do that weekend I won't take one but if I have a big weekend coming up I'm more likely to try to rest mid week. Sometimes it is just necessary!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I cannot wait to give you a big ol' hug! You deserve this day and I hope you get several hours of down time!

abbi said...

Enjoy your day! Sometimes a mental health day is definitely needed!

Marlys said...

I am so glad you are taking a day off to re-group! This will be so good for you! I think you should have been given the day off being you spent so many hours in Orlando and even had to leave on Sunday! You definitely put in your 40 hours this week! I pray you feel rejuvenated by the end of the weekend!

Becky said...

SO glad you are taking today off! I'm off today as well because Alli is coming in later (and then we're meeting up with Mandy!) and I didn't want to have to deal with rushing out of work early to pick her up.

Take a couple hours just for yourself today - perhaps to read or knit? You deserve it!

Abby said...

I am glad to hear you're taking the day off - you need this!!!! I'm sure you've wellllll hit 40 hours this week anyways !

You never stop! It amazes me. I wish I had your energy to keep going

Leigh said...

I do take mental health days because sometimes it's the best thing for me to take a step back and get out of the office for a day or half a day. Does amazing things for me!

I hope you enjoy your day and that you have a great weekend :)

Stephany said...

You totally deserve this day off, even if it will be a busy day. At least you won’t have to deal with work! Enjoy your day and give Amber a hug from me. (That is, if you haven’t already seen her, haha.)

Raquelita said...

Mental health days are good. I realized when I went to San Diego that I had worked every single day (admittedly usually only for 3-6 hours on Saturdays and Sundays but still...) since the first week of January. No wonder I felt so burnt out.

I hope you enjoy your day off today and that it rejuvenates you! Have a wonderful weekend!

Amber said...

I definitely take mental health days! Most of the time they are days off in lieu of the overtime I've worked but I have 4 vacation days left this year that I'm planning on using throughout the summer to take random Friday's off just to recharge! I think that's SO important and a big part of work-life balance.

I hope you have a really fun weekend even though it will be such a busy one!

Carolina John said...

I'll work from home some days when I need a mental health day. it keeps me separated from the crazy around here.

Get some rest! It will all work out in the end.

Jeanie said...

Boy, do you deserve that and yes, you should! I'm glad you are listening to your body and soul and doing this.

I don't do mental health days as often as I should but I have done them and will again. Sometimes the pace of life can be overwhelming and as you said, those things won't stop. But you can, even if only for a day or even a few hours. So bravo! Smart move. Treasure it!

J said...

Yeah I think I need a mental healthy day too but Im really busy at work right now and I can't yet. Maybe in another week or so. Hope you enjoy your day off! Your schedule sounds pretty hectic!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

What a simple, yet brilliant idea, Lisa. I don't think I ever would have thought to take a day off from work and yet, it provides you one thing you're otherwise short on: time. Good for you - I hope this is just what you need to come out of the weekend feeling well rested, well studied and well shared among your friends!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I may have taken one recently, but I do not get paid time off so it kinda sucks. But I need them. Now that I have to pay for daycare I really only try to do one a school year. Have a good weekend!

Cherry Blossoms said...

Good for you to take a day off! I think it was a good decision! I am sure your party will be bitter sweet. I wish I could attend but I can't wait for you to show me around Charlotte!

Barb Geier said...

I was never good at taking mental health days and now I regret it. You must be running on vapors!!! Take care of yourself. Have fun at your party!

San said...

I am always hesitant to take a day off just for me.... but I think you absolutely deserved and needed this extra day to get things done before your move. Since work won't give you any breathing room, you gotta demand it.... MENTAL HEALTH DAY FTW!

San said...

I am always hesitant to take a day off just for me.... but I think you absolutely deserved and needed this extra day to get things done before your move. Since work won't give you any breathing room, you gotta demand it.... MENTAL HEALTH DAY FTW!

Lisa-Marie said...

I think it shows how mentally strong you are that it took you this long to break.

You definitely need to give yourself a 'brain break' day every now and again! Take care of yourself lovely x

Shoshanah said...

I don't normally take random days off, except we can't carry over vacation at work. Which means every year I wind up with an extra day or two that I'll randomly need to take off.

And hope you and Amber have a blast together! Wish I leaved reasonably close enough where I could come too!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Phew. I got tired just reading about all of the things you have to do! I am amazed that you can do it all and am surprised you have been so strong; I would have broken down ages ago! I think they health day is a much needed one and I hope you enjoy(ed) it! I don't really take mental heath days, but I DEFINITELY use my vacation hours, so I guess that is my mental health break! Have fun with Amber!

Caroline said...

You definitely deserve a mental health day! I hope you're feeling a little better now and have a blast tonight at your party! Thinking of you!

Melissa said...

You NEEDED that mental health day. I feel the same way. I am taking one today, but it was lucky that all my plans ended up being cancelled last minute. Being nonstop all the time takes a toll on our body, but also on our minds. We NEED to just decompress. Even if it means working from home, it's somehow so much more relaxing. Hope you're feeling a bit more like yourself again!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Mental health days are very important and they keep you from getting sick. I think taking care of yourself is most important! Good for you!