Working. Socialising. Swiping. Late nights. Early mornings. Overthinking. Saying yes.

Juggle. Juggle. Juggle.

Mentally adding to my to-do list. Fretting over recent actions. Staring at an empty screen. Mindlessly scrolling.

Drop. Drop…………..DROP.

It all came to a head on Tuesday. I was looking down the barrel of burnout.

Enter – ‘The Grump’!

Instead of trying to fight the feeling, I allowed it to accompany me during the day. Well, it was by my invitation that it was there to greet me in the morning. Over the course of the past month I had continuously ignored the signs that it could stop by:

Tiredness. Stress. Overwhelm. Disrupted sleep. Emotional. Laziness. Procrastination!

Our bodies are amazing and when we don’t listen and look out for the signs, then act accordingly, they will find a way to get noticed.

It got noticed alright and all Tuesday it stayed! long after I had resigned from the day. There it was! Sharing my bloody bed!

In defence of the ‘mini-burnout’ it was there to protect me from something larger and unmanageable. Somewhere I was not in a rush to go back to. I had been piling on the pressure, cramming things into the nooks and crannies of my life and using my upcoming annual leave as a marker to when I was going to relax, unwind and……… nothing!

The amount of times I told people how excited I was for my annual leave of relaxation, yet I didn’t actually listen to myself and the words I was saying.

What I said: “I’m on annual leave for a week at the end of November. I can’t wait. I’m going to sleep. Relax. Chill out. Re-energise”

What I meant: “I’m tired, stressed, overwhelmed and emotional. I can’t sleep and I’m grumpy. Bring on the annual leave so I can sort myself out. Until then, I’m going to ignore these feelings and press on!

How the body answered: “Why wait for your annual leave? You need to look after yourself now. Let me introduce you to my friends…….


I woke up on Wednesday very cautiously. One eye open – glancing around to see if ‘The Grump’ was still there. Nothing. I sprang out of bed and I felt like a different woman to the one who angrily stood there in the shower a mere 24hrs before, annoyed with the world and everything (self included) in it.

What a difference a day can make. I wasn’t certain that ‘The Grump’ would have left me the next day but I was absolutely certain that running away from it would have prolonged it’s stay.

My head is now clearer than it has been in a while so spending time with ‘The Grump’ seems to have given me the much needed headspace. Yes, I still have a mounting workload, blogs to read, texts to reply to, people to see, places to go, a book to write……..

But now I feel like I’m the one back in charge.

Oh – about that book! I actually decide to quit NaNoWriMo as it didn’t fit into my current lifestyle. Am I going to write a book? Certainly. Will it be written in a month – nope! This is one of those times I actually did listen to the signs and knew it wasn’t the right time for me to participate.

Today the Postman delivered a letter from Kenya. The child I sponsor, with the Memusi Foundation, wrote to me and included some beautiful drawings on the back of the page. Queue heart melting, a dose of perspective and a reassuring hug from life. The timing couldn’t have been better.


My ‘Out Of Office’ will be put on at 5pm tomorrow (Friday 24th November) and for the first time since I booked my annual leave, I am not pining for it to arrive so I can ‘sort myself out’.

5 days exploring an island I’ve never been to – soaking up the winter sun (and rain – according to the weather app) – what’s not to look forward to?

Gran Canaria, I hope you’re ready for me. I’ll be travelling solo and leaving ‘The Grump’ at home.

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday 

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