I (Amy) have felt like a bit of a fraud lately. We have a blog where we write about life balance and wellbeing and quite frankly my balance has been out of whack for a while now and it has impacted my wellbeing.
Some areas of my wellbeing actually felt OK…
- Financial wellbeing was on track – we have managed to save whilst we are not going anywhere due to lock down
- Intellectual wellbeing is being developed – doing some adult colouring, listening to audio books and learning Spanish on the Duolingo app
- Environmental wellbeing was OK – we’ve done some more decluttering, the houseplants are surviving and we are managing to live sustainably for the most
- Social wellbeing is clearly not great but I am keeping in touch with friends and family regularly
- Physical wellbeing is getting better – diet is improving, 7-8 hours sleep most nights and I’m running a few times a week which is helping
- Spiritual wellbeing is steady I have been practicing yoga, meditation and gratitude journal most days
However my emotional wellbeing has been off and my occupational wellbeing has been somewhat undesirable of late! Now as much as I would like to be a lady of leisure, unfortunately I have to work. I have tried to take actions to help with my occupational wellbeing – I schedule a lunch break for 30-60 minutes which I take most days, I’ve tried booking focus time to prevent the back to back meetings (doesn’t always work out that way but sometimes it gives me a bit of a breather) and I work longer hours Monday-Thursday with the aim to take Fridays off and have that extra weekend time to re-charge before the next week ahead (but the work load has meant that for several weeks now the most I get off is the afternoon).
I’ve felt for so long that work is something I have little to no control over – I need my job – I don’t want to let my boss and colleagues down – it is what it is – I’m working on a project – it has deadlines – we are all working remotely from home which doesn’t help but is the only option we have right now – there aren’t enough of us to deliver what we need to do but everyone is stretched etc etc etc … and so the pressure and stress has built up and built up to the point where I feel burnt out.
When work is tough but life outside of work is OK you have the resilience to deal with work, but life outside of work is not OK – we’ve been in lock down for a full 12 months now – we’ve not hugged our friends and family for a year – we’ve been no further than the next town from home for 5 months! The resilience is depleted and with an intense workload and relentless project deadlines it had all got a bit too much.
The good news however; is that I’ve acknowledged it before I quit or go off sick. I had a meeting with my boss and project manager last week and explained how I was feeling. I explained how other project colleagues were also feeling and I explained that the situation was not sustainable. It felt really hard having that conversation. Part of me was proud for formally raising it, part of me was self critical for not being able to cope! But they listened and they took action and we are working together to find a resolution. It made me realise that in every situation there is a choice. You may not be able to see it immediately. You may get to break point before you identify the options – but there is always a choice and I am grateful on this occasion that my choice to speak up has been listened to.
Sometimes we just have to listen to our own advice, strive for balance not perfection and forgive ourselves for being human!
How are you doing? Let me know in the comments below.