Last Friday I spent the whole day struggling with a blinding headache and terrible nausea. I battled through most of the day (including an unplanned fire drill at work) but eventually had to leave 15 minutes early. Once home, I collapsed into bed and slept for 3 solid hours. I’d like to tell you that I had been struck down by some mysterious illness, but in reality it was probably just the perfect blend of sleep deprivation and dehydration.
There was one positive thing that comes out of my suffering though. As I was laying in bed, head pounding and stomach churning, I came up with an idea for a blog post. I could regale you with the particulars of personal well-being. Obviously, it would be wildly hypocritical of me to try and give you advice on how to look after yourself. However, I am more than qualified to write about “How to fail miserably at self-care!”
Step 1 – Drink as little as possible
Heck, go for broke and drink nothing if you can get away with it. I have been know to reach my evening meal having only had one cup of coffee (and the caffeine just adds to the problems). Sure, your skin may shrivel up like a prune and you mouth may be semi-permanently dry, but hey – that’s what night cream and throat sweets are for (not that I use either).
Step 2 – Ignore all nutritional advice
Seriously, who needs vegetables anyway? I find living off bread, cheese and chocolate has worked perfectly well for me so far so I see no real reason to change. Remember, Haribo are a major food group and of course, Mr Kipling apple pies totally count towards one of your five-a-day.
Step 3 – Deprive yourself of sleep
Sure, 8 hours may be the recommended amount of sleep for a healthy human. I myself like to try and survive on about 6, or if I’m feeling really adventurous, about 3. The trick is to stay up as late as you possibly can watching Gilmore Girl or Reign marathons, knowing full well you have to be up at 6am in the morning . For extra points, completely ignore your alarm so you can wake up and frantically dress and apply makeup in 10 minutes before having to leave the house. That’s living, folks.
Step 4 – Stay busy. Stay stressed
Consider this one a bit of a competition. How much can you possibly take on before you crack? Ideally, you need to find a high-pressure job, work as much overtime as they’ll allow before the caretaker throws you out, have 2 or 3 hobbies (a blog, perhaps?) and maybe sit on a committee. Or chair a committee? Obviously having children will add that little extra element of stress, but there are alternatives if you haven’t had your own little bundles of joy. You can baby-sit a friend’s children or, for the ultimate stressed out feeling, become a teacher and look after 30 of the little darlings!
Step 5 – Have a staring competition with a screen.
For maximum impact you’re going to want to find a job working with computers. Then, when you do get home, spend the evening glued to your laptop, tv or tablet – pick your own poison. Don’t forget those handy little mobile phones for those odd moments when you just can’t get near a screen – when you’re on the toilet, for instance. Oh, and if you do need prescription glasses when looking at screens ABSOLUTELY don’t wear them. You wouldn’t want to run the risk of reducing the amount of eyestrain you can achieve, would you?
Step 6 – Never EVER accept help or assistance.
The most important lesson you will ever learn is that accepting help is a sign of weakness and must be avoided at all costs. There’s no honour in taking pills or potions that reduce headaches or allergies and besides, taking pills usually includes water (see step 1). People may offer to help you with your growing to-do list, but secretly they’re just trying to prove you’re incapable. And they’d probably only get it wrong anyway. Better to do it yourself and slowly drive yourself crazy.
If you follow all these steps, I can guarantee that you will start to feel positively dreadful in a matter of days. Maybe less. If, on the other hand, you want to be a healthy, happy individual, may I suggest you do the exact opposite of all of these.
Learn from my mistakes.
I probably won’t.