Yes, its official. Stress is shite. Does your dinner somehow taste stale? Even when you make a spicy Arrabiata, does it seem like there is no zing? Do you feel either always ‘on’ or like you can’t get out of bed? Do re-runs of Fawlty Towers fail to make you chuckle? Well, you are probably stressed out. The last symptom is particularly worrying.
There is a cure. Personally, after having a totally busy year in my day job as a consultant, I have started to take the power back. It’s the little things that save you. After a couple of hectic years where I got involved in HTML 5 and the W3C Protocols and Formats Working Groups, which meant that I was often working evenings and weekends, started an MSc, I recently started to take my lunch hour at work. Yes, it may not match the more popular historical revolutions, or even the velvet one, but for me it was a revelation.
Another shock to the system was not staring at my computer during lunch, or opening Thunderbird to check mails from time to time during the evening, ‘cos I just /had/ to. I also have decided to finish work at 6! Revelation!! No more catching up on nerd techie lists when I could be watering my plants or cutting up sine waves in my recording studio, or improving my Jazz guitar chops.
It is “mea maxima chillin’ in rancho relaxo” from now on. You don’t get any extra love for working weekends, and the macho bullshit of being always working and being always ‘on’ in our over connected society is no longer cutting any ice with me. Stress makes /everything/ seem over important while slowly bleaching your heart. It creeps under your skin to slowly steal away your sense of peace and balance. You end up cranky, unfulfilled and always chasing your tail and that’s /before/ you get to work. The lines become blurred.. where does your work life end, where does your private life begin? So turn off the phone! Abandon all forms of Information and Communication Technologies! It’s your life really, your employer just rents you for the best bits.