Life has a way of not only throwing us lemons but also chipping away at our foundation. So when you think about the changes in society and how they affect your life, it is no wonder that you begin to crumble.
Gas prices are rising, the grocery bill is nearly doubled, and insurance has skyrocketed. Then you worry about the health problems of loved ones, personal health issues, and an overloaded work schedule.
We are always looking for ways to lessen the burdens of life, and many times we forgo time for self-care. Yet, to accomplish all the tasks that we are committed to for others or the mundane chores of daily life, we forget to do the things that keep us emotionally and spiritually healthy. We also neglect our physical health by eating on the run or not eating at all. When we sit down for a meal, do we always make the healthiest choices?
How does this all relate to me? I’ll fill you in. I recently found myself on a neverending treadmill of duties and tasks that kept my mind spinning all night. I averaged around four to five hours of sleep each night because I couldn’t turn off my brain. I had three daily planners for different sets of agendas to keep everything organized. But, even that didn’t help me find rest.
Something had to drop off the list. So, I stepped down from a volunteer editing position with an eMagazine that I loved. I also decided not to stress over things I could not control. If I can’t commit to something I’m asked to do, I tactfully and respectfully decline. I’ve learned to say NO.
Sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping floors can also wait until the next day. Certain household chores can be postponed. Those chores don’t need to be completed immediately. I’ve never been one to feel obsessed with perfection in all things. My home needs to be clean, but it doesn’t have to be a sterilized museum. I do, however, obsess about perfection in my writing until I remember that perfection is subjective. What one person perceives as perfection another may see as less than optimal.
I’m a worrier, and I’m also a people pleaser. The “what ifs” invade my thoughts constantly. In fact, the “what ifs” hinder my ability to remain organized. I’ve started to change that. I realize that I can’t please everyone, and I can’t worry about it. I have things that I want to do and need to do for my emotional, spiritual, and physical health.
If I don’t have time to do something for someone else or be somewhere for others, so be it. I politely let them know. Hopefully, they will understand, but if they don’t, it is their issue, not mine.
There are only 24 hours in a day, seven days per week, and we all need at least seven hours of sound sleep per night. I recently started to wear a Fitbit watch that I use mostly to monitor my sleep habits and fitness level. I never dreamed that this little watch would open my eyes to how much time I spend on both. I’ve increased the time I spend on fitness, and the amount of sleep I receive has increased by about an hour to an hour and a half.
I’ve also started reading the bible more often. Doing this has helped me focus on what is vital for my spirituality. It has also helped me in my writing by allowing me to tap into areas of thought that I may have previously neglected.
Writing is my passion, and I express myself through my writing and find it refreshing to interact with other writers. The one conundrum I’ve come into contact with is that some writers’ circles are so cliquey that I am made to feel completely out of the loop or incredibly inadequate. Those are the writers that I avoid. Those types of writers are not good for my mental or emotional health.
As you see, I’ve managed to take a deep look into what my needs are. When I begin to crumble beneath the stress and worries of my life and the world around me, I take a step back – sometimes two steps. So, when you feel like you are about to fall apart, make a list of the things you can drop from your to-do list. Take time to heal. Spend time with yourself, and remember that self-care entails more than just showering and brushing your teeth.