One story that I’ve yet to share was that about a ridiculous burnout I’ve had a coupla’ months ago.
I love my work and was willing to sacrifice anything for it. I wanted our product to be a success, and was doing everything I could to ensure we always showed our best side. We had a major event coming up then, so I stayed in the office up to 10pm for several nights in a row, and even up into the wee hours of the morning doing product feature-building and enhancements.
I was having fun at first, but it soon took its toll. Code started visiting me in my dreams and I was having nightmares of code breaking – which I was debugging to the point of frustration … and that woke up from my sleep. (No joke!)
I couldn’t sleep well at all, and I was fatigued most of the day … occasionally conking out at my desk in the middle of the afternoon.
And then, it struck. My health background wasn’t good to begin with, so my immune system went haywire. The next thing I knew, I ended up in A&E … twice.
It was that moment when it finally struck that I’ve gone overboard. As in, whatthefug am I doing?!
It was the moment of epiphany.
A life reconstruction was definitely in order. Work-wise, I love what I’m doing and will continue doing it. But the workaholicism had to stop.
I installed some mood lighting in my room and made it more conducive for relaxing. I’ve started spending time with my friends and family again. I’m taking time off to read about things that interest me (instead of playing catch-up with my RSS feeds on my iPad every night). I’ve designated after 11pm onwards to be strictly off-limits for work.
If I was happy before, I’m definitely much happier now – sans the code-related nightmares.
It’s up to you to take good care of yourself. If you don’t, no one else will. And if I don’t take care of myself, I cannot do the magical things I do.
Work is still my happy pill, but like all things – it has to be in moderation. Any overdose, and you’re screwing yourself over.
It’s nearly 1.30am and I really should get to sleep.
Good night, world.
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