Back in October, I deactivated my Facebook account, narrowed the number of people I see in my Twitter client, focused on tech people on Google+ and stopped commenting pretty much anywhere on the web. It could be considered a minor huff. Nearly four months later I can look back and see that what was happening back in October was the beginning of an intense period of burnout.
While I was clearly burning myself out all through October and November, it wasn't until the end of December that it really started to hit me between the eyes. Months of working too long, eating too much, and sleeping too little had taken a big toll on me. I was feeling as unhealthy as I'd ever felt, and it was obvious enough that my wife Kelly emphatically pointed it out to me.
By then, I knew I was in a rut, and struggling to get out of it. I was having a hard time taking time off from work, not because I wasn't allowed to by someone else, but because I wasn't allowing myself. I was so exhausted, I could feel it everwhere. My mind, my bones, my stomach, my lungs. It was hard not too lash out at times over things that weren't a big deal.
Starting on December 27th, though, almost one month to the day at the time of this writing, I forced myself to work out daily. I started out doing elliptical, then some DDP Yoga before I finally settled on DDP Yoga. The daily stretches and exertion have become, once again, my thirty to forty minutes of me time. I put anything that is bothering me into the stretches, pushing myself harder now for exercise than I can ever remember doing before. I've reformed my diet, cut down the snacking. I started limiting the number of hours I work per day on specific projects. I'm not actually working a ton less, but the time I am working is now more focused and productive, relieving a lot of stress.
There is still a lot of work to do to undo the damage, but there is no sense in "hiding". I was burning out and I reacted by trying to cut out the things I thought were wasting my time and hurting me. It turned out I was wrong with what the problems were. It's easy to see that now, but it wasn't four months ago. And I dare say that part of this is a continuation of the worst month of my life in 2013. Ever since May 2013, it's been harder to stay on track, to keep myself healthy. I started a podcast that kind of documents my weight loss travels. I'll probably do an episode tonight after I do my yoga. That's how I'm trying to roll these days.
There will always be some level of stress in my life. I was letting it rule my life and not the other way around. Stress should be viewed as a challenge and an opportunity to grow, not something that wears you down to a nub.
I feel a lot better now than I have in quite some time, and I plan to keep this up. By being more open about it, I believe I will expand my support network of friends. My wife, though, has been awesome about this. She's been great about encouraging me to work out each day, understanding that we can't always eat the same meal, and been great in how we each schedule time to workout in our home gym.
So, I'm back for good this time and looking forward to reconnecting with friends. I hope everyone is having and will continue to have a great 2015.