How quickly would we burn out if we constantly had to push ourselves to the next destination without any fuel in our tanks?Not caring for ourselves can affect us in so many negative ways. It can affect us physically, emotionally, and mentally. For example, if we don’t value our bodies, we will be more likely to get too busy, skip meals, sacrifice sleep, or ignore signals that our bodies are not functioning at their peak level. When we do this, we send the message that we believe what we are doing is more important than our own health and well-being. Unfortunately, our subconscious is more than willing to comply with this message and just go along with the status quo. In other words, it agrees with the belief that you as a person are less valuable than what you are doing or who you are doing it for. We need to refocus our intellect as well as our unconscious. Otherwise, we risk falling into the Pit of Burnout.
Too often we allow ourselves to run our minds and bodies into the ground; taking on more than we are able to actually handle; pushing ourselves to the limit. With the 2015 just ahead of us here, this is the perfect time for us to resolve to take care of ourselves in order to be better in our personal lives, in parenting, and at work. Many of us fail to recognize the symptoms of burnout, particularly work burnout. We live in a culture that values money, career, and financial success more than our own well-beings. We are constantly competing with colleagues and peers to achieve more than the day before, but this is not a sustainable way of living.
We need to refuel. We need to take time to look after us. We can’t continue to progress or move forward if we don’t have any energy. Putting ourselves in the middle isn’t selfish; you are not lazy or a lesser employee for prioritizing yourself. It is the only way we can ensure we will be able to fulfill our responsibilities and properly care for those around us. So many times I have been asked about who looks after the family during ME Time:
How can you be properly caring for them if you leave them without you to look after them for a period of time?
Believe it or not, a little bit of time away from your family each week or each day will actually be good for them, too; your spouse has an opportunity to bond with the children. Not always having someone to be dependent on can foster independence in others. Your spouse may become a more attentive parent. Your children may start making fewer requests of you as they gain more confidence in their growing sense of independence. Maybe you need to hire a babysitter.
As the old saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. You will need to prioritize your responsibilities and plan how to use your time and resources accordingly. It’s quite possible you won’t be able to do everything you want to, but you certainly can do something and something is always better than nothing. As you get more accustomed to having your own self-care time, you will get more comfortable with arrangements and your time spent may grow. It is all up to you. Start the New Year off with a fresh perspective and consider making the arrangements necessary in order to prioritize your own health and well-being. Help yourself become a more productive employee, better parent, and present friend by ensuring you have the physical, emotional, and mental ability to do so.
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