Why I'm Being More Proactive About Self-Care

What does the word burn-out mean to you guys?  I'm not sure yet what it means to me, because if it has existed in my life, I've previously denied  it.  I tend to continue on with my half-empty cup still trying to conquer the world.  You know how it is, right?  When people ask you how you're doing and you answer, "I'm great," knowing full well you're at 5 miles to empty.  It isn't until times like now when I'm tired, sleep-deprived, and only want to sit alone in my room with my notebook and cup of tea that I realize that I may need some time to myself, for myself.  How many of you often feel this way?

The sad reality of the matter is a large percent of my stress is self-inflicted.  I have the tendencies of a people-pleaser and often have trouble saying "no" to folks.  So those two things lead to my taking on of tasks whether I have time for them or not and often sacrificing my own needs to accomplish them.  And it's no one's fault but my own.  Unfortunately, I'm not quick to admit that in the midst of my frustration with those who I keep saying "yes" to.  In short, I need a refill of me or I'm going to be "tapped out" instead of burned-out.

In an attempt to fill-up, I am attempting to implement more self-care into my lifestyle.  During my first year in the school of social work, my advisor gave her students the task of having weekly self-care check-ins.  At first, this seemed menial and pointless, but before long I grew accustomed to doing something small for myself and sharing the details in class meetings each week.  I realized the activity was much more needed than I originally thought.

Some examples of my weekly self-care check-ins would be things such as:
  • drinking more water
  • exercising daily
  • implementing daily prayer and meditation into my schedule
  • spending an hour alone with no interruptions to look inward
  • visiting the local spa
  • reading a good book
  • trying out a new restaurant in my own company
  • having uninterrupted girl talk with a friend
  • getting a pedicure
  • making something beautiful with my hands
This morning, I stole away to my lonesome and searched for peace.  I wrote and reflected.  Then I wrote and reflected some more.  Then, I examined old journals in hopes of finding some sort of clues about myself that I may have overlooked.  Before my short hour was up, I had an "Aha" moment of sorts and began rebuilding my puzzle, piece by piece.  

How do you practice self-care?  And if you don't practice it as much as you feel you should, how would you like to begin taking better care of yourself?

Ladies and gentlemen, please remember to take care of yourselves.
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