The Roller Coaster Ride That Is October

By: Luis H. Garay

October has been busy…and by busy, I mean extremely busy. It’s busier then I remember last October being. Reading blogs and tweets it seems I am not alone in the roller coast ride that is “October” and it’s incredibly fast journey through this month. The month for me has consisted of acclimating to an office move, a heavy course load (I am finally done with my Law in Higher Education midterm! *phew!*), an increase in work with my graduate assistantship, preparing for the job search (the resume is all new and shiny…metaphorically speaking, of course), and working on projects for various campus leadership roles. However, with the month of October coming to an end, so too does this crazy ride on this crazy roller coaster.

One of the things that this month has taught me is how much at fault I am with not taking care of my personal health. Moreover, I also learned (the hard way) the effects of not taking care of my health.

I am really bad at taking care of my health and making sure I am at my 100% best. I sacrificed a lot of sleep this month due to how much work I had. I was averaging 6 hours a sleep a night. I know 6 hours may not seem like much. I know that others may be able to function well with this amount of sleep. With me, I need my 8-9 hours of sleep a night. I think sleep is something I’ve learned to value post-college. I don’t know how I pulled all-nighters or how I managed to get less than 6 hours of sleep.

I learned the hard way of the effects that come with not taking care of my health. As one would expect, the lack of sleep left me feeling groggy, easily irritable, and zapped of all energy on a daily basis. To compensate for this lack of energy, I would drink coffee and caffeinated drinks. It was not just one coffee in the morning but became an additional coffee in the afternoon or a caffeinated drink in the afternoon with one or two cups of coffee in the evening. Of course this impacted my already lackluster sleep schedule as I found myself tossing and turning at night. The lack of sleep and the heaps of caffeine ultimately led to a fever. However, as I told myself, I could not make time to stop and get a good night’s sleep; I simply just took ibuprofen and loaded up on Airborne hoping that it would stop the fever. It did nothing. It stopped the fever from getting worse as I would feel a little better during the day but the fever would come back in full force by the evening.

Thankfully October is coming to an end and with its end the bulk of assignments for all my classes. Of course I’m not in the clear for the rest of the semester but what I will be more conscious of are my bad habits when it comes to sacrificing my health and well-being. There is nothing wrong with getting an extra hour of sleep or taking a break for a couple of hours to rest from homework. Even now, it has been several nights of getting a good amount of sleep but in some ways I still feel a little sick. That just goes to show me that had I been more attentive to my health and what my body was telling me I could have avoided this whole sickness all together.

How have others found their health and wellness to be like during this month? Are there some days or weeks that you sacrifice wellness for work? Let me know at @LuisHGaray!

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