Yesterday morning I moderated a panel for the first time, in front of what might have been up to 6000 people. (Thankfully I didn't have to see the people.) I had never moderated a panel before, and, of course, doing it remotely meant I was also going to be using a new system, one built for livestreams. Public speaking terrifies me, naturally, since it terrifies almost everyone and almost everything terrifies me. I spent days in advance being anxious about the panel, practicing my intro for it, etc. In the morning I had to medicate carefully - calibrating just enough Klonopin so I didn't have a panic attack live, but not so much that I couldn't like, moderate. Then the panel happened. It went fine.
Then I didn't do anything for the rest of the day. I did not expect myself to do anything. I mean, I did dumb stuff, unimportant stuff, or just nothing. I did not send useful emails or queue up insightful tweets on buffer or do an instagram photo shoot or organize anything. That's because I understand that after I've done something that is hard for me (whether or not other people think that thing is hard is irrelevant), I need to come down from it, and coming down from it often feels like I have the flu. Last week I picked my kid up from college so he could spend Rosh Hashana with us, and it was four hours of driving, which is 3 hours and 30 minutes more driving in one day than I usually do in a whole month. Coming off of that was basically me lying in bed crying a lot for the next couple of days. But I was expecting it to be a challenge, and that made it easier to get through the aftermath of the challenge.
So, the tip is to know what things are going to be challenges for you and to try your best to build in rest time after them. And, if you find you need rest after something you didn't expect to be challenging, well, try to remember that for next time.
Why you hate this tip:
a. so obvious and kind of trite, like did you grab that off some instagram affirmations account or what? of course people need to rest. b. what, you think I can just lie around all day just because I did a hard thing? What kind of world are you living in? Maybe you can, but I still have to get through my damn day. c. screw you, I'm not limited by my mental illness, I can do everything!!!!
That's okay, I hate this tip too. It's shitty to accept that some things I choose to do -- like pick up my kid from college or moderate a panel -- will likely cause me to not be able to do other things afterwards, but if I acknowledge what those things cost, then I'm in a better position to decide when I want to pay the price and when I don't. Which is maybe a whole other tip in itself, about counting the cost. Maybe next week.
Thanks for reading, please subscribe, share, reply with feedback, etc.
PS I totally lied: I did do one productive thing -- I wrote this newsletter. But it only took me 20 minutes, I swear.