Over Christmas I caught one of the many bugs going round. Not one of the severe ones, but enough to knock me out for 3 or 4 days.
I kinda recovered, but I've been constantly feeling like I might be going down with the more severe lurgy that my PA is just getting over. Distinctly under the weather but in a way that is hard to define. Symptoms worse than I expect but not show-stopping. Which is often a sign I'm fighting an illness that hasn't shown itself yet, or my hormones are playing up.
The hormones came and went, and the symptoms stayed higher than expected.
So I'd been pootling along, almost waiting to be ill. Waiting for the reason my symptoms have been worse to show itself.
And as I sat editing the page of my latest book 'The Pocket Book of Pacing' which covers long term overdoing.....light dawned.
I've been 'long term overdoing'. Possibly for months. Pacing enough to avoid boom and bust, but not enough to allow myself to properly recharge. Constantly exceeding my energy levels by just a little bit, and as a result slowly getting worse.
I realised I needed a proper break - both in terms of brain power and of physical energy use. So I took the day 'off sick' even though I wasn't 'too ill to function'.
I spent it lying down on the sofa and watched a combination of children's movies and Jane Austin (which I can 'watch' with my eyes closed and be gently entertained). And making sure I didn't keep checking my phone or browsing the internet - because that still uses brain rather than giving it the rest it needs. I got up every hour for a stretch or a bit of exercise, or a drink or snack, but then returning to horizontal switch off rather than stressing my system by being upright.
I couldn't believe how much better I felt afterwards!
So I've revisited my pacing basics, and am now being strict with obeying my desk timer, taking proper brain breaks with no phone usage during them, and planning my day sensibly.
And I've also booked a short break soon to help with the recharge.
Slightly embarrassed at the irony of realising I've been overdoing it long term by reading my own draft book on the subject, but on the other hand, I know which book is going on my bedside table as soon as it's printed! I will definitely find it useful!
Onwards and upwards!