Are you practicing self-care?

How many of us feel overworked, burnt out and flat-out exhausted? For many of us, this is our reality. On top of our careers that demand from us our focus and energy, we have the responsibilities of home life and often our families to take care of. Living in small communities, volunteer work is often demanding to ensure that much needed programs and organizations are efficiently ran.

So where does that leave room for … you?

Before having children, work was top priority. On top of my full-time job, I ran multiple businesses. I just felt that down time wasn’t an option. No one really talked about the importance of taking time for yourself. Being busy does not mean efficient, and it does not mean being successful. In fact, it usually is the opposite – am I right?

I simply lost touch with my interests and hobbies that I used to value, and being a twenty-something at the time, could easily escape sacrificing sleep to pull all-nighters with projects and deadlines, and eat on the run.

But believe me, living a life where there is no down time comes with zero reward. When you do not fill your own cup up with rest, nutritious food and time to reflect and prioritize, how can you possibly give your best to others? Stress and high blood pressure are just two common results of depleting your own reserves and burning yourself out. Adrenal fatigue, mental illness, hormonal imbalances and even cancer can all be affiliated with people that never stop to take care of themselves.

Look at your basket right now. What can you take out to lighten the load? What can you delegate? Detach from your ego and let someone else take the reins. If you feel there is nobody else, is it possible to apprentice someone under you? Always remember, that you are not responsible for everything. Consider your role right now. You may think that if something happened to you, the domino effect would happen and everything would fall apart. And it may for others around you temporarily but as all humans do, they will cope. You need to take care of you. Something I never considered for a long time was that you might also be taking the opportunity away from perfectly able spouses, children, colleagues or employees to help out or learn to carry certain responsibilities that even they might not know they had, opportunities to excel or grow in their own life. That perspective alone might be the baby step you need to start detaching from these tasks we take on because we fear the world won’t go on if we don’t do them. It will, as it always has.

Your life is incredibly short. Are you doing things that make you happy? Do your employer, spouse, family or friends support a self-care regimen? If not, you need to re-evaluate these situations and relationships, and get a clear picture of where you need to be spending your time and energy. Seek counselling if necessary to help you see this picture.

If you feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, you must be a pretty important person that others might see, but forget or don’t understand your burden. Start treating yourself like VIP. Make time for the people that love you, engage in low-cost activities that feed your soul and start saying no to additional tasks. As long as you say yes to everything, there will be people that will throw another task at you. End this cycle.

After all, you’re more than worth it!

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