By Philly Baines
This blog has a dramatic backdrop. Hurricane Ophelia is passing through, the sky is an apocalyptic red and I’ve caught the plague. (Well the flu that seems to be passing around school.) I feel terrible. What’s making me feel even worse is that I’ve got a deadline this week and I’m scared I’m not going to be there for my partner to make great work on time.
When ill, I can get emotional. Whilst I’ve been dealing with a barbed wire throat and aches in all my joints, my big sadness and frustration is that I feel I’m inevitably about to fail at school. There’s a deadline for a great opportunity promoting a charity, and in this crucial 4 days before the crunch, I’m gargling TCP and religiously taking paracetamol. My partner is cracking on at it alone and I’m letting them down, but of course rationally speaking, if you’re ill, you’re ill.
Whilst my flatmates try to avoid heating our home until November to keep bills down, I’ve cranked it right up. I’m freezing one minute then sweating the next. All the while this deadline looms. I message my partner saying I’m not sure when I’ll make it in. They’re really understanding but I still feel terrible about it. If it was a one-person project and I was only damaging myself, it would be fine, but my illness could affect someone else’s success, which feels horrible. But then again I rationalize. When you’re ill, you’re ill.
This time being under the catastrophic weather has got me thinking. I’m not doing enough scamping, I’m not working on a personal project I set out to do, I’m not doing the exercises I need to do to stop my brain from overthinking about the past and future. All the while, friends outside school try to see me and I can’t as I’m too busy. I feel bad about a lot of things.
The University of Bucks recently tweeted about an article arguing Magic mushrooms could beat depression. Marc’s hilarious reply – ‘Why don’t you train mindfulness in your curriculum?’ was a pertinent suggestion. Health is really important. SCA has a really good approach to looking after yourself at school. I came in feeling ill on Monday, got to midday feeling terrible and saw a sign saying ‘health first, ads second.’ I needed to see that. I’m the kind of person that has a tendency to prioritize work over health and of course, you only do pretty bad work when you’re ill.
SCA’s promotion of mindfulness has been great. We’ve had sessions on the subject and I’ve tried Marc’s recommended app Muse and Headspace. These methods aren’t for me but there are alternatives. Just the fact that there’s a culture of caring for your mind at SCA is important. Ultimately I know how to stay in check, I need to be doing 30 mins of exercise every other day and have a few evenings to myself a week to escape with books or film.
We’re in term 1 week 5 and I’m slightly concerned I’m finding it hard to keep on top of things already. But I suppose managing time takes practice and health needs to come first.