Today I wanted to share with you a little bit of my story with trying to find balance in my life. The problem is I’ve always been an all or nothing kind of gal, which is a positive in some situations, but can bite you in the arse in others. I think a lot of people struggle to find the right ratio of time split between work, play and rest. I have certainly learnt the hard way that it is critical to allow yourself some rest time. In fact its probably more important than the others.
Anyway, when I first moved to London I was launched straight into drama school, which for those of you who know is rather intense. I loved every second of it, but you almost have to live, sleep eat and breathe it, it takes over your life. I was lucky as I had a boyfriend at the University of Newcastle, so whenever I went to see him I got to escape from the drama school world. Although drama school for 2 years was probably the most fun I have ever had it would fill me anxiety. There was so much comparison, drama and ruthlessness that would sometimes very tough to cope with. I think this is the point that I started my bad habit in being unable to switch my mind off.
After drama school I worked in various jobs such as Space NK and an advertising firm. This was good, just not what I wanted to do long term. It kept me ticking over.
I can’t quite remember how it came about but loads of my friends, family and people I worked with kept saying ‘Georgie you should be a personal trainer’. To be honest, at first I thought nothing of it and having come from a classical dance background I thought it would be a total clash. However, I LOVED fitness and began to train friends and family at home. There was something about this that was similar to acting, in the fact you are always performing and pushing people through. I decided to get my qualifications and give it a go. All I can say is I have found the industry I want to work in for the rest of my life.
Being a Personal Trainer is AMAZING but there are huge downfalls that are veiled from people outside of the industry. One being that I am a freelance personal trainer as well as working for a gym 2 days a week. This means I hardly ever have a routine or a set schedule and my days are sometimes moved around last minute. Having to worry about where and who you will be with everyday is a stress. The other obvious point is that I am always on my feet, never sat down like an office job, always moving. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t have it any other way BUT its exhausting.
After a year of being a Personal Trainer and trying my best to be successful I got diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue (CF). Now I still to this day don’t know whether this was a result of picking up a tropical infection when I was on holiday or that I worked too hard. Probably a combination of both. However, having CF was debilitating to say the least. I had to firmly slam the breaks on my career as it was a struggle to get out of bed. I found this the most upsetting time, and felt like I was losing everything, which contributed to my stress. It was a downward spiral. I was forced to incorporate large periods of rest times into my every day life, which I hated.
Its at this point I really found out a lot about my personality. I was an achiever, which was strange concept to me as I had never really achieved anything special at school. All I wanted to do was achieve, succeed and have a great career. To the point where rest went flying out the window. I pushed and pushed myself to keep going and then it got worse. Last year I was rushed to hospital 3 times, granted I had an infection from Sri lanka but I only needed to go to hospital because I was so exhausted. I was forced to rest more and cut down significantly on my work. You would have thought this made a difference but NO. Although I was physically resting my mind was in overdrive and it was draining me. I had developed a new level of anxiety about how I was failing. I couldn’t escape I was physically shattered and emotionally drained.
I’m glad to say after 3 times in an ambulance I have began to take rest seriously. I have learnt to say NO to things (which I could never do before), and learnt how to schedule in rest and relaxation into my day. I have also learnt that saying ‘no’ is nothing to worry or be ashamed about, you do YOU. So here is me saying to all of you guys LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, you have to force yourself to rest and don’t beat yourself up about it or think your a failure. Respect to you if you are good at rest, because I’m not, but I’m learning.
I hope you enjoyed this more personal post. I’m actually working on something really exciting that is all about my story to health which I can hopefully give you details about soon.
Your task of the day is to schedule in at least half an hour of me time.
Love Georgie xx