Are you worn down, worn out, overwhelmed, and exhausted? Or maybe you’re not completely burnt out, but you feel like you could use a little extra energy or that extra boost to take better care of yourself?
The next 15 days, we’re going to be talking about how to take care of you as part of a 15 Days to a Healthier You series I’m running here on the blog. I hope you’ll join us!
Taking Care of You is Important
As busy moms, wives, and women, I know how easy it is for us to put ourselves and our health as a last priority. There’s always something that seems more important, more pressing, more necessary.
But the truth is, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we aren’t going to be able to serve others as effectively. Because if we’re just barely functioning ourselves, how are we going to have anything worthwhile to be able to pour into others?
A number of years ago, I read the book Leading on Empty and it had a profound impact on my life. While the book was written by a pastor specifically for leaders and church leaders, I found I related to a lot of what he shared.
One of my favorite pieces of advice from the book was when he talked about making a list of what energizes you and what depletes you. Even though it’s been quite a few years since I read the book, I still remember the little yellow lined notebook paper I wrote out my list on and I well remember how difficult it was for me to think of what actually energized me.
This exercise was extremely eye-opening to me. I realized I had a long, long list of things in my life that were draining me. But more important than that, I realized I struggled to even come up with one thing in my life that energized me.
That’s when I knew something had to change. I couldn’t just keep doing the same thing and expecting that somehow I was going to get different results and feel less exhausted and run down.
Taking Care of You is Not Selfish
Taking care of ourselves is actually a gift we give to others. It allows us to be more energetic, more vibrant, more excited about life, less irritable, more focused, and probably more fun to be around!
Contrary to how it might feel or what we might tell ourselves, putting ourselves last hurts other people in the long run.
When we are worn down, worn out, and wrung out, other people are going to have to come in and pick us up when we collapse and help carry our load or try to nurse us back to health. When we’ve gone for a really long time without taking care of ourselves, it’s likely going to take a long time to get our health back. We can prevent this on the front end by just making taking care of ourselves more of a priority!
I want you to think back over the last few weeks of your life and consider if you engaged in activities that were mostly depleting you, mostly energizing you, or if you had a healthy mix of both. A healthy life will have give and take; enough refueling stops to make up for all of the fuel expended.
“Taking Care of You” Looks Different for Different People
Here’s the important thing to remember: what energizes you will be very different than what energizes someone else.
I’m energized by quiet, reading an engaging book, watching a movie with my husband, a great one-on-one conversation with a close friend, writing a blog post, cleaning my house, adult coloring, hanging out and talking and laughing with people we know really well, exercise, listening to my favorite music, and tinkering in the kitchen.
I’m depleted by large crowds, phone calls, shopping, a go-go-go lifestyle, lots of noise, nonstop questions and needs from my kids or others, being “on” (such as on camera or on stage or at an event), any situation where there are a lot of people, or almost any situation that is new and unfamiliar.
You may have just read my lists and thought, “I am JUST like her!” or “I am NOT like her at all!” or “I’m like her in some ways and very different than her in other ways.”
That’s the beauty of how we’re all unique and different. None of us is a carbon copy of each other and we don’t need to be.
I want you to recharge your batteries in the way that works best for you, not in the way that works best for me.
Note: Want to talk more about this with me live? I’d love to have you join me on Periscope (around 8 to 8:15 a.m. CT) and Facebook live (around 8:30 a.m. CT) every morning where we’ll be discussing each day’s topics more in-depth and you can bring your questions, chat with others, and we can share together what we’re learning! (You can watch today’s Facebook Live video here.)
Day 1 Project
- What are your biggest hindrances keeping you from making your health and well-being a priority? Really think through these and tell us what you think they are in the comments.
- Make a list of things that refill your tank and things that deplete you. Share some of your list in the comments. I’m curious to hear if our lists are similar or very different!
Resources to Check Out:
- Need some further motivation to make you a priority? Read my article on why you should give yourself a time out.
- Pick up a copy of The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, and/or Breaking Busy.
- Want to stop sleep-walking through life? Be sure to grab a copy of my online course, Make Over Your Evenings.
- Read my article on 9 Ways Busy Moms Can Find Time for Quiet in Their Day.
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