The burnout is real. I have been working in a very stressful environment for the past 10 months. I’m lucky that with different side projects I’ve been able to find some peace of mind. Lately I’ve been physically and emotionally exhausted. I’ve tried different things; swimming, aerobics and rock climbing. These activities only help in the moment then I find myself feeling miserable.
The stress and exhaustion have led to a series of panic attacks. For me these are not new but in the past 5 weeks they have been uncontrollable to the point where I considered seeing a professional.
A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear. Your heart pounds and you can’t breathe. some of the symptoms include
- Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
- Heart palpitations or a racing heart
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Trembling or shaking
- Choking feeling
- Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Hot or cold flashes
Eventually I resulted to googling different breathing exercise which did help. Somehow they went away whether it was the breathing exercise or taking care of my stressor, your guess is as good as mine.
All I knew was that I needed to get away from it all; my office and the city life.Bermuda is only a 1.5 hour flight away from NYC, so my friend M. and I headed there for a long weekend.
We landed early Thursday morning and took a taxi to our bed and breakfast at Aunt Nea’s. Bermuda is divided into two municipalities: Hamilton and St George, both connect by a bridge. We stayed in St George which is much smaller and laid back than Hamilton.
Our driver quickly became our guide, suggesting places we mustn’t miss before leaving. M. and I had absolutely no plans so we took notes of all the suggestions.
Although I’m from the Caribbean, and have traveled to some Caribbean islands, Bermuda was a bit of a cultural shock, whether you’re walking down the street, getting on a bus or entering any establishment you are greeted with hellos or good evenings. No one seems to be in a bad mood. You can bet if you are not greeted by a stranger they are certainly a foreigner. Bermudans are a true reflection of their environment; Warm, colorful and relaxed.
The sun smiles caressing your skin, the ocean so blue makes you fall in love, the houses so colorful make your heart dance in circle. The day we arrived M. and I went out chasing colors. The yellow and green walls reminiscent of our longtime and flourishing friendship.
The food: There was nothing particularly special about the food. Most restaurants have an extensive menu with burgers and pasta. The best meal we had was purchased in a supermarket, the famous Sunday Bermudan meal; boiled potatoes, cod fish, bacon, onion, crushed tomatoes and avocado.
Bermuda is more or less accessible. The public buses weren’t but I did see a group of children with disabilities getting out of an accessible van, what I assumed was some sort of chaperoned trip. If you’re looking for accessible cars to rent I’m sure that’s an option.
The streets are hilly and the cobble stone streets although picturesque, make it hard to get around. As a crutch user I always make it a point to bring extra crutch tips (the bottom rubbers making it hard to slip)- In the midst of stressing out I didn’t even think to bring extras. Our second day, I realized that the cobble stone had ruined my rubber tips and what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation was quickly become worrisome. I managed to spend a day walking carefully so that I wouldn’t slip. The next day, I inquired about medical supply stores on the island and a quick phone call brought me to Medical House. This place was heaven, although the crutch tips were a bit pricey if you are in Bermuda looking for any medical device I can’t imagine this place not having it.
Using public buses (about $3.5/ride) we set out to explore 5 beached
We spent most of our days catching up, swimming, eating and sleeping on the beach. This was truly paradise. with meals close to $50, and a frozen yogurt almost $10, it’s was a pricey paradise but I needed the peace, I needed sun without humidity. We were on a quest to visit as many beaches as possible.
We visited Tobacco Bay, Elbow Beach, Horse Shoe Bay Beach,St. Catherine’s Beach & Achilles Beach. Each beach had something unique to offer but my favorites were probably, Achilles & Tobacco. These beaches were small enough, not crowded with tourists and even better had a restaurant nearby. One of the best evening was spent at Tobacco Bay Beach listening to a live Reggae Band.
Next time you need a relaxing weekend vacation, head to Bermuda and refuel. If you’re like me thinking you need to resolve all your problems before taking a break, remember that your problem will still be there when you come back except you will actually be clear headed and have the energy to tackle them. Take care of yourself because if YOU don’t, who else will.