Let’s talk self-care, the very thing I know the most about and yet have to remind myself to re-balance frequently. Self-care is not selfish. Self-care belongs at the very top of your list because if you are not caring for your SELF then you cannot care for anything or anyone else.
My self-care is reading, writing and running (3 R’s) . These are the things that clear my mind, calm me down and allow me to be my best SELF. When I start to see things in my life go topsy-turvy it is typically when I don’t have time for the 3-R’s aka self-care. Missing these then causes stress in itself because I am wrapped in guilt about my inability to commit. The spiral begins down into the darkness where I am now not only tired and burnt out from whatever is taking/getting my time but now I feel guilt. Oh the webs we weave!
I was talking to a friend yesterday and she was telling me that she has been suffering from some ailments that are a result of the stress she has been under. I reminded her that while she is solving for the side effects of her stress she needs to solve for the CAUSE of the stress as ultimately that is the needed remedy. By resolving the stress or handling it better, the side effects of the stress will resolve.
This is the true definition of “balance”. It is not about dividing work and personal; it’s about a balanced approach to allow for a place for everything and then everything will fall in its place. Balance also means you check in with yourself to figure out where the weight is so you can balance the load. In the last few weeks I have had to put a lot more hours in at work than “normal” which means to balance, other things have to give way. In this case it was my 3 R’s. While I found myself feeling guilty the reality is that by giving up some of those I was able to make room for the tasks at hand. This works as a temporary strategy however where you finding the room, you are likely sacrificing those things you consider as self-care (3 R’s). When this temporary imbalance becomes permanent we start to see the effects. This is when changes must be made.
Today I am writing again, I will start a book this weekend and will get a run in come rain or shine as work cannot be the “reason” to not take care. Balance it out, find your center and live the life you are meant to live not because it is derived from the “have to’s” but from the “want to’s”. Put you first which will allow everything else to find its place.
Living through the balancing-act as I navigate it – L.