As holidays for relaxation go, the New Year's one I just came back from would probably top them all.
Around late November 2009, I started complaining about a persistent headache. Now my headaches are usually of the hit-and-run nature; strike me down when I fail to take care of myself like not eat lunch or lack sleep. This this particular headache however stuck with me for about a week before I decided to do something about it.
Firstly, I crowdsourced some answers via Twitter/Facebook as to what medications people take in order to control their headaches. My first stop, a paracetamol-based product, didn't seem to be cutting it. Answers ranged from doubling the dosage to drinking margaritas. I tried the first couple of suggestions (doubling the dosage, using a codeine-based painkiller) before I went to the doctor to see what they would say about the headache.
Funnily enough, the doctor suggested everything my friends did, except margaritas, and also suggested I see an optometrist - since I wear glasses, although very rarely - to see if there's something eye-related that's been causing the pain.
There were no answers at the optometrists either, but some good news did come out of it: my eyesight doesn't suck as much as it used to, and I can get weaker-strength lenses... once I pick-out some new frames to go with them (have had the same frames for a long time, so it's time for an overhaul).
The headache has been trailing me all throughout December. While not a strong pain anymore, it nags at the back of my mind like the feeling you forgot something important to do.
So what has all this got to do with my New Year's holiday? Well, I didn't experience any headaches during it.
What did I do during that holiday that might have solved my headache woes? Well, I didn't really do much of anything: afternoon naps under the sun were the norm, I read the book I had borrowed from the library, I went for swims in the inlet/ocean, I played my guitar, I went for long walks through NZ bush, I threw a frisbee, I caught a native bird, I slept-in every day save the last, and I just had plain old fun.
Nowhere in my itinerary was there mention of a computer or screen to stare at, or a deadline to meet. Meaning that either my headache is computer or 'staring-at-a-screen'-related (which if it is would absolutely suck because it's what I do for my job and for much of my non-vacation downtime) or just work/stress-related.
Now I'm back home and staring at computer/TV screens again, I think I may have caused a relapse, but it just doesn't feel the same as I remember it. Tomorrow, I head back to work (albeit only 3 weekdays in this working week), and if the headache makes a comeback either this or next week, then I might have some serious work/life balance choices to consider.
Wish me luck.