In the Face of Fatigue

I have just been through a pretty long and fatiguing week. Normally I might write about how I rose above it all and was the perfect example of what to do in the face of fatigue and stress.But I know that I was definitely not my best self this week (or even now.) And maybe it will help others (and me) if I tell you the few things I observed, so maybe that will help some balance off the karma of the past week. While I tried to be cordial and polite, and have a sense of humour about it all, I also felt unjustly put through the ringer and what a good friend of mine often referred to as my “Norma Rae moments.”

So in the spirit of gratitude, I am extending my thanks for the week because it has certainly made me more aware of the following:

1) By about 1 in the afternoon after a day of two hours sleep, I lost the ability to spell words, like “antique” or “necessary.” Also all grammar rules I had ever learned vanished like my mom’s apple cake during the high holy days. (Yes, it is THAT delicious.)*

2) My stomach didn’t want food, but sugar seemed like a fabulous idea. One day I drank a Fresh juice in hopes for some nutrition, that helped. Another day, well I thought Smarties was a good plan and was disappointed because what I think I wanted were M&Ms.

3) I was REALLY emotional. All those junior high school feelings came up and I believed everyone in the building pretty much hated me and I had no friends and didn’t belong anywhere. (I still kind of feel this way today, but know in my heart that there are those that love me.)

4) The inevitable mind churn. (See #3)

5) No filter. Once you got me chatting about something ridiculous, it was like the valve opened and I couldn’t stop it. 

6) My brain lost the ability to form words.

7) I fell UP the stairs. 

8) It was truly hard to stay positive. 

9) It was truly hard to be patient. 

10) I loved my bed more than anything else in the world.

Things that I did do to take care of myself:

1) Sleep. (See #10 above.)

2) Continued with my morning ritual of Vega protein drink and vitamins. 

3) Continued to do my research for the novel as this is Research Month.

4) Purchased a lot of David’s Tea. I’m enjoying the ritual of making tea during the day. It grounds me. 

5) Wrote in my journal.

6) Tried to remember to be nice to people, particularly in my email correspondence.

Sidebar: What is the etiquette on greetings in email? Seems to have faded away in the last months and I think that this is quite sad. A “hello” or ‘thanks very much’ would suffice, don’t you think? But I digress. 

7) Prioritized and didn’t put pressure on myself to do things that could wait until the weekend. 

8) Started reading Sense & Sensibilitythis article (which I saw today) actually discusses the possible reasons why I intuitively decided to read it because I did notice a calming of the mind.  

Things that I wish I had done:

1) Not go into martyr mode. My apologies to friends who were on the end of that rant. You know who you are. 

2) Go to yoga. That probably would have helped everything.

3) Ate less sugar. 

4) Not beat myself up on all of the above.

5) Be kinder to myself. (See #4.)

So the rumours are true. I am a human being and will not always be the best Melanie in high stress situations. It is sad but true. But I do hope that the above will allow you to be kinder to yourself in times of stress.

I would love to know what are the things that you do to when you’re in high stress to combat it? What are some of the things that you’ve observed about yourself when you’re tired? 


*Note: Please excuse any weird spelling or grammar issues in this post. See #1.





About Melanie J. Fishbane

My novel, MAUD: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017 through Penguin Random House on April 25, 2017. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Here I talk about my writing process, things I love, and creative people who inspire me.
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5 Responses to In the Face of Fatigue

  1. epsnider says:

    Hi Melanie
    Sorry that you are fatigued and stressed, but you seem to be doing all the right things. I am a friend of your moms– one of the Pickled Lilies. I am also a fellow blogger and writer. From the influence of my offspring I too am trying to eat healthy. I started on a program of organic Vegan protein shakes and other goodies. We have a cottage near Bala and every year I promise myself to go into the museum. Lucy Maud Montgomery is one of my favourite authors.
    Good luck in your endeavours

  2. epsnider says:

    i look forward to taking my granddaughters in the summer.

  3. Sarah Emsley says:

    Excellent decision to read Jane Austen at a stressful time. That’s one of my favourite ways to find peace, too.

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