I’m exhausted. Seriously, at the point where I feel my nose is bobbing above choppy waters. As I come up for a gasp of air in a brief relief of a moment, I think how did I get to this place? It all comes down to my inability to say no. It is my own fault that I get to this place where I’m frantically running from
one place to the next, skipping meals, not working out, drinking diet cokes and coffee to sustain me. It is not really living, but struggling to make it through the day.
And here is the thing. I know I need to say no, I know there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything and be everything to everyone. But the perfectionist inside continues to lie to me and convinces me that I can do it. So here I am waiting for a reprieve to get myself back to a place where I put my heath and myself first. I can’t take care of others or do other things well if I’m tired, sick, hungry, and irritable.
Our culture values busyness and puts individual’s worth in how busy they are, but it all comes to the detriment to running ourselves into the ground. We need to start placing value in being healthy, happy, whole, and fully present in all that we do. Here are some steps that I’m taking myself to get balanced again.
Break the Cycle – Whether having to clear your calendar by saying no, take action to break the momentum of extreme busyness. Otherwise, you get in so deep of busyness that it spirals out of control and you can’t get out. Breaking the cycle now, prevents the inevitable burnout.
Hibernate – In times where I’m exhausted to prevent burnout, I like to hibernate in my apartment. Sometimes the best way to energize yourself is to take a break from people, do the laundry you have been putting off or watching that show you have TiVo’d. Focus on you and relaxing.
Learn to Say No – To prevent this from continuing from occurring again, start exercising the ability to say no. When asked to commit to something, evaluate first do I have time to be fully present at this and can contribute effectively? Whether it is a meeting for work, coffee with a friend, or a volunteer commitment you want to make sure that when you say yes that you can fully commit your energy, time, and focus. If you can’t fully be present, it can cause more harm to the yourself and the person you are committing to do.
Make Time for Yourself – Calendar dates for yourself. If what you need is coffee and a good book or working out, schedule that time and make it a priority. Often the things that we need to take care of ourselves like sleeping, eating, working out are the first things that we cut from our lives to make room for the rest of our busy lives. We need to make our health a priority, so that in turn we can fully help others. I have been sick twice now with a cold in the past month that has knocked me on my butt for a week at a time. It is my body telling me to slow down and take care of itself. Take those cues seriously.