So what can be done to find a better balance? How can your actions positively impact the world around you, but also help you feel uplifted and empowered? How can you feel useful to others and be valued for your contribution?
1) Practice self-discipline. Now, don't stop reading yet! This is all about 'Small Steps' right? Okay, so self-discipline can help us develop a sense of happiness and accomplishment which can help to drown out negative thoughts and feelings of helplessness.
- Self-discipline could include things like getting started on that weight loss goal by going to the gym, walking, or sweating to a video at least one time every week. If working out isn't your thing but weight loss is still the goal add one more fruit and veggie (fresh/frozen/canned) to your daily menu than you currently consume.
- Do you feel like you are constantly in motion? If you are all over the place at work with deadlines approaching and coworkers asking for more than you can realistically give...say no. Do not take on any new projects until you have finished what you have currently. Why? You should be known for getting quality work turned in on time rather than the employee who will do anything moderately well. KNOW YOUR SELF WORTH and others will see it, too! Saying no can also work wonders in your social life. You are not obligated to go to every family event, birthday party, or random get-together. Especially if you are exhausted. Haven you been feeling super tired, getting sick more, and sore all over? Stress does all of this (see January's blog).
2) Give yourself a break and do something you love or something new. Think of this as feeding your inner child, you know the one who tells you that that looks neat, but you remind that there is no time for neat stuff right now. Doing something for yourself is not being selfish it is necessary. If you are the person everyone relies on, what happens when you are down due to injury or sickness?
- What has your inner child seen lately that made their eyes light up? What have you denied yourself because it was silly? When my husband was in Iraq and I was super exhausted, stressed, and just a hair away from depression raising a 2 yr old and 4 yr old temporarily alone, my baby brother spent the night and we watch movies from our childhood and at junk food that we fondly remembered. I learned that some things were better left in the fond remembrances of childhood (bubble gum from a tube was not as good as I remembered it). I also discovered that laughter truly is the best medicine, you are never too old for slumber parties, and being with someone who has seen you at your worst and best and still stuck around can just naturally help you relax.
Take time this month to figure out what you can do for you and make a commitment to doing it at least once a week. No need to go overboard promising to workout 5 days a week when just one will do (you can always do more, but if you miss 1 or 2 days in you 5 day workout you will burn out fast).
How do you know when your candle is not only being burned at both ends but possible in the middle and has shrunk down to a nub?