If I had to pick one word to best sum up my life over the past couple of months, it would be "unbalanced."
I used to work out almost every afternoon. I used to get up 20 minutes earlier every morning, just so I could squeeze in a quick yoga workout to start the day. I used to spend at least one weekday night working on creative stuff---music, crafts. I used to take off at least one weekend day, not doing any work (and sometimes not even turning on my computer), just to recharge my batteries. I used to be able to read (for fun!) for a few minutes after getting into bed, before falling asleep.
I used to have time for lunch, at least occasionally.
Lately, I have allowed my job to completely take over my life. The last time I did yoga was over break---I'm too exhausted to get up even 20 minutes earlier because I crawl into bed so late, which means no time to read. I can't remember the last time I took a day off of work, including weekends. Nor can I remember the last time I did something even remotely related to a hobby. The only thing I've continued to do is work out, but I've dropped back to every other day, and there are lots of days when the only time I have to work out is right before bed (which I do, but it's not ideal).
What's been my "reward"? I've already been sick twice since the new year, and I never get sick. I come home completely exhausted, mentally and physically. Earlier this week, I was so mentally exhausted that I really could not think or concentrate---or function. Clearly this is not sustainable nor healthy!
Last night, I resolved to do better. This week from hell ending should help a bit, but I can't use busy weeks as an excuse not to take care of myself. I've recommitted myself to doing yoga every weekday morning. (This morning was the first one back on the yoga track, and it's already made a difference---I feel calmer and less overwhelmed.) After this week, I'll get back my afternoon workout slot, which should help immensely. And this weekend, I am taking one full day off, and spending the other day doing only a couple hours of smaller, enjoyable work tasks---putting together some conference slides, writing documentation, making up long-term research plans (lists! charts! yippie!). I plan to spend part of the weekend reacquainting myself with a few craft projects, so that I can get back into the habit of working on them regularly.
The lesson I learned, again, this week is that I need this other stuff in my life---yoga, creative time, time away from work---so that I can continue to sustain my work life. I guess we all need these reminders from time to time, especially in this job where it's so easy to let the job take over.