I used to believe the weekend was for socializing and/or relaxing – an opportunity to recharge your batteries after the work week. These days it seems that the weekends are a chance just to catch up … to take care of chores and other responsibilities not attended to during the week.
Compared to many others I am actually quite lucky in some ways. I have no kids, no pets, no plants … I have a wonderful supportive, intelligent, loving partner … My only major formal locked-in time commitment is my Educational Assistant job weekday afternoons; my other job as a Web Designer is pretty flexible time wise. I play volleyball 3 or 4 times during the week.
What happens when we don’t get enough rest? We burn out. Our bodies need opportunities to recover from activity … we can become vulnerable to more problems – our immune systems can become compromised.
It’s important to be active, but it’s just as important to get enough sleep every night, and pace yourself. If you overwork yourself, you may become sick. It is important to listen to our bodies … You may have a lot on your plate, but it’s in your best interest to find a way of not over doing it.
My weekend to-do list often involves vacuuming, laundry, grocery shopping and a few computer related duties. If you are a working single mother, you likely have a much fuller to-do list than I … and at the same time it may be even more important that you need to take care of your health, so that you are not missing work and able to take care of all your responsibilities.
It can be a challenging balancing act, but without appropriate rest, the stress will take it’s toll. It may take the form of a cut that won’t heal, the common cold or maybe lay the ground work for something more serious.
When I find myself feeling run down, I know it’s time to slow down. I will postpone or rearrange things, delegate … I know that becoming run down could just lead to illness. I might examine my diet … perhaps it’s too much carbs, or not enough iron.
Our bodies will tell us when we are overdoing it … and if we don’t listen to it, we can often be forced to take a break- the next thing you know you are phoning in sick, missing work, not feeling well and not taking care of things around the house.
Rest and relaxation are an important part of health. It’s as crucial as exercise and diet. If you are not sleeping well or feeling stressed to the point of burn out, do yourself a favour and find a way of getting the rest you need to be at your best. Make it happen … if you can’t seem to find a way on your own, talk with your doctor. You’ll be no good to anyone if you run yourself ragged and end up getting sick : )
~ Pete Szekely ~