There have been many times during this grad school journey where I have felt exhausted and just wanted a day to lay on my couch and binge-watch whatever show my fiance just got me hooked on. Between work and school (and family and homework and household chores…) there isn’t a lot of time to do that.
The only days I have really forced myself to take off and do nothing productive have been days that I have, or am recovering from, a migraine. (Or when I had surgery in March and spent two days resting…by the end of day two, I was trying to act normal again, and the next morning my efforts landed me in the ER for throwing up blood from an ulcer I ruptured while overdoing it :D)
May and June of this year were pretty chalk full of migraines and not-nearly-migraine headaches, to the point of having one every day. It made school and work dreadful…I couldn’t concentrate, I just wanted to sleep, and I probably drank way more caffeine than I should have to get me through my shifts. I — thankfully — only had to call off one day because of a migraine (and thankfully had enough PTO banked to pay my for the day anyway).
It stinks being sidelined and not feeling 100% every day, but it just reaffirmed for me the need to take care of my body. I need to sleep when I’m tired (and able; not only would my boss disapprove of sleeping on the job, but the bassinets are just a smidge tiny for me to curl up in); I eat and drink when my body tells me to, and I try to balance my once completely caffeinated drinking habits with juice and teas (big shout out to my fiance for encouraging me to try each of the 40 teas we have in our apartment! lol). I exercise more (again, the fiance’s encouragement/fault) and try to focus on schoolwork when my brain lets me (aka, not right now).
Yes, it stinks to be off your game and feel like the only energy you have left is just enough to pull your blanket over your head and roll over to sleep, but I promise, it does get better. Some days you lose to your health (physical or mental) and some days you’re on top of the world. You have to take the good and the bad and make the best of the good (and make sure there’s a glass of wine ready to help you forget the bad). Mental health days are just as important as days to rest and recuperate! In fact, if you don’t take the hour or day to re-invigorate your mental and emotional health, it can lead to physical symptoms that force you to slow down.
So, please, try to listen to the cues your body is giving you, and hopefully you can help your body fight off those days when you just need to lay in bed all day. Granted, I know we can’t be 100% in control of these days (my migraines don’t listen to me or my body), but these cues can help you to recover faster and feel better the days in between. Stay healthy, friends, and drink that glass of wine tonight ❤