After long bouts of work—months and months uninterrupted—I become a slug person; small hurdles spike my anxiety, my anger flares at the slightest confrontation, I notice fewer jokes, fewer attempts on my part to make people laugh. My memory goes to all hell too and I can’t seem to concentrate on prolonged amounts of anything. Books fall off my radar, I stop listening to music. My phone is in my hand at all times, scrolly-anxiety-inducing apps become impossible to avoid.
I know the cure: work less! Take a break! Stop doing things and do even fewer things than you think you ought to! Take a week! Take two! Stop all forms of work, go exercise and write, go learn how to do something entirely else. But each time I forget my own advice until I’m at this point, where I am now: basically useless.
I watch other folks take periodic and consistent periods of time off so that they don’t explode but I always push myself to the very brink. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I’ll almost start crying in the afternoon or stay up until the middle of the night thinking about something dumb I said. Maybe that one thing upset that guy and soon you’ll have to—ughhhhhh!
I need to hit the emergency break.
But, after that, I need to stop this. I have to start taking consistent pauses, book my time off way in advance. I always feel guilty taking any time off whatsoever but I’m not that important! Things will happen without me! That is okay! Aggggh!