This week I was sick. Aside from coming in on Wednesday, I spent the entire week at home, mostly wrapped in my duvet watching the same selection of YouTube videos on repeat and feeling sorry for myself. I’m also dog sitting this week, which means my house is filled with dogs (which is amazing except when you just want to sleep off your pounding headache/aching muscles/clogged up sinuses). Seeing as I only have five and a half weeks left before we leave for our European holiday (which means only about five weeks left until all my six month milestones need to be sorted), having a week of pretty much no work definitely wasn’t what I needed. I hate being sick at the best of times (who has time for it?!) but being sick when I’m already lowkey stressed about everything I need to do typically results in anxiety tears at some point.
I’d be lying if I said I avoided the anxiety tears this time around, but I did decide (after a good dose of stressing) that it was probably better for my mental and physical health to give myself a bit of self-care. I had a lovely lie-in this morning, and delicious toastie for lunch (WITH butter on the outside – it’s the small things). After squeezing in an hour or so of work I lounged on the couch watching property programs on Lifestyle (my favourite). This evening I had one of my favourite dinners (Greek lamb wraps, if you were wondering), had a nice long shower whilst watching a vlog, put on some cosy PJs and a lot of moisturiser, and tucked myself into bed with some chocolate and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and the occasional visit from Poppy the Golden Retriever.
It was exactly what I needed.
It can be so easy to get overwhelmed by to-do lists to the point of not being able to see when you’re actually hurting your mental health. Particularly when deadlines seem to be looming, the idea of taking a day (or even a few hours) off for some self-care feels like it will make everything worse, not better. But, you know what (yes, 1am anxiety Rachel, I’m talking to you), nothing bad happened. I still managed to get almost everything done this week, and the things I didn’t get done I’ll just do next week. Nothing collapsed, there was no disaster. And instead of pushing myself and ending up not only more sick but also potentially contaminating all my friends, I actually gave myself some time to recover.
So this week’s postgrad life isn’t filled with exciting updates, or even anything particularly groundbreaking. It was a week of sickness, reruns, and YouTube. And sometimes that’s ok.