I’m on the 3rd week of my annual leave and I feel amazing! Fatigue, both physical and cognitive, seems to have disappeared and other symptoms have also reduced. Don’t get me wrong, I still can’t walk very well but I feel stronger and more sure on my feet.
The fear seems to have reduced as well. I went to my sister’s house last night and trundled round happily on my scooter without a care in the world. Even though she only lives around the corner I usually don’t feel confident enough to go on my own and imagine all sorts of mishaps that could happen to me on the way. It got me thinking about what had changed and why I felt so well.
Although I haven’t been at work for a few weeks I’m still busy as the kids are off school and my husband works a lot this time of year. I’ve also been on holiday which means outings, late nights and drinking too much alcohol. Although I did need a rest day while I was away I managed it all the rest of the time and came back feeling refreshed and relaxed.
So, given that I’ve been as busy as usual, why is it that being off work seems to be doing me so much good? What is it about work that makes me feel so ill?
The answer is stress.
I was so stressed out that I felt like a coiled spring, ready to snap at the slightest provocation! I don’t think I was coping very well at all and needed a break so much before I killed someone!
I want to work as I feel the benefits outweigh the negatives even though I let myself get stressed out. I like having money to spend and save and I like the structure and sense of purpose it gives to my life. I work part time hours as I worry about my health and have my children to consider and I don’t think giving up work is an option for me.
What can I do then? I used to swim 4 times a week and would love to feel the stress dissolving from my limbs as I ploughed up and down the lanes. The, ”Me time” involved in going swimming is also important for mental well-being. A lack of mobility as well as heat intolerance make swimming impossible now and I’m usually too worn out from working to contemplate physical exercise.
Maybe I need to incorporate some exercise in order to prevent myself getting dangerously stressed out again. I’d love to hear from other MSers about how they deal with stress. What works for you?