A few weeks ago, late on a Sunday night, I found myself tossing and turning in bed for hours… heart racing, shallow breathing, and on the verge of what felt like an anxiety attack, or mental breakdown? Not totally sure! But I felt overwhelmed and exhausted from just the thought of starting another week… no fuel left in my tank, no motivation to do “all of the things” but fear about what would happen if I let go of doing “all of those things.” I started my week sleep deprived but kept going, going, and going, until I got sick and my body said STOP! I was exhausted… I was BURNED OUT!
So… I took a break, went on a 2 week vacation, spent lots of time with family and friends, and got a new perspective.
Why do I share this? Because If I went through this, there’s a good chance so many other people are going through it too, and I want to help! So today I am here to tell you to GIVE YOURSELF a BREAK EVERY DAY! Here is why:
- You have one life! And it’s a journey, not a destination. It’s easy to forget that the day-to-day grind is all part of our LIFE. We “dread it… hate Mondays… can’t wait for the weekend to finally get here, TGIF, can’t wait for that vacation”, blah, blah blah! And during that daily grind, we run around like crazy people in survival mode, not fully present, and taking for granted all of the blessings that are right in front of us! Or at least I found myself there, until I had to remind myself that the laundry, the dishes, and “all of those things” aren’t going anywhere… but my daughter will grow up, she will leave the house, all of the people I love are not going to be around forever. I WILL NOT BE HERE FOREVER. In the big scheme of things, will it matter if I cleaned my house? Or will it matter that I made the most of my time with the people I love, connecting, laughing, having great conversations, making memories, trying new things, and making a difference. There are no guarantees in life, you have just one, and it’s getting shorter… Make the most of it… give yourself a break everyday to STOP and SMELL the ROSES!
- There’s a a difference between being “busy” and being “accomplished.” Many of us jam pack every minute of our day with tasks that don’t really matter. At the end of the day, we may feel (falsely) “productive” but find ourselves empty and worn the f*** out! We may even be keeping “busy” as a way to procrastinate from starting more meaningful projects or even connecting with other people… things that are outside of our comfort zones, yet could bring us more happiness, energy, and sense of self-worth if we accomplished them.
- If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t do anything great! I’m guilty of a prior belief that rest and sleep were wastes of time….the mindset of “If I’m sleeping or relaxing, then I’m not being productive.” My sleep was always the first thing to go when life got hectic and “busy.” Even now, I still don’t consistently get adequate sleep. But I can tell that when I’m sleep deprived, I feel anxious, irritable, overwhelmed, and have difficulty focusing and making confident decisions. If I’m in that state, how much good can I really do in the world? Can you relate to this? If not a sleep issue, maybe you have let other self-cares go… maybe it’s healthy eating, exercising, journaling, meditation, etc. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be or give your best… and at some point, you will just burnout!
So GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! Only you can figure what that entails for you. Ask yourself these questions to figure what needs to change in your life. I highly encourage you write down your answers in a notebook or journal. Answering these questions will help your create your self-care plan and the life that you want! Even if you just take a few minutes a day to answer just 1 or 2 questions at a time…
- What does “self-care” mean to me?
- What am I doing when I feel my happiest?
- What things or actions give me the most energy?
- What can I do everyday to feel happy and energized?
- When in my day can I make time for this?
- What am I grateful for?
- What would my ideal day look like?
- What causes me to feel stressed? overwhelmed? or anxious?
- What “busy” tasks am I spending too much time on?
- Can I delegate any of them to other people, or possibly pay to have it done?
- How can I work smarter (not harder) with the other tasks?
- Are there any commitments that are not worthwhile that I can let go of?
- What more purposeful (or self-care) things do I want more of in my life, and how often?
- How can I be sure they get added/scheduled in? (i.e. weekly date night, monthly girls’ night out, vacation twice/year, monthly massage, etc.)
- What have I been wanting to do (or try) but haven’t? (i.e. such as bucket list items, or personal or professional goals)
- When I am feeling drained, what can I do to recharge myself?
- When I am feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, what can I do to alleviate these feelings?
- Who can support me and/or provide me with accountability?
**** Take Action Today! Get a journal or notebook, and answer all of these questions to figure out what you want and need to change in your life. Remember, even if it’s just a few minutes each day… this is you TAKING TIME FOR YOU! This is your BREAK!
Please share your insights!