I certainly know how easy it is for me to exhaust myself caring for others.
Sick kids, a dog in need of a walk, a friend in distress, a family member in need of help.
I make sure I keep up with my job, the house and I'm the one who runs to the grocery store when we are out of almond milk.
A whole lot of energy going out. Not much coming back in.
We have all heard about the trendy topics of balance and wellness these days. But what’s tricky is that most of us have no idea of just how depleted we really are.
Here's how I give back to me
I sit down and write a list of everything I do in a day, from the errands, the cleaning, work, things I do for others and the dog walks.
Then I list what I have received, where energy has been taken in instead of expended. The times I sat down to rest (which doesn’t count if I am on the phone making appointments) linger over a cup of tea or nourishing food, or go for a walk where I am enjoying the scenery - not on a business call.
This usually shows me very quickly just how out of balance I have become and validates why I might be dropping with exhaustion at the end of the day.
So once we confirm we are in need of more balance, then what? It can feel overwhelming to try and schedule wellness into the stressful life you already lead.
I believe the answer is in keeping it simple, less is more, and simple is better. My favourite practice these days is all about that.
What I love to do is pause and notice I am breathing.
For a few seconds, I stop putting my energy out and receive my breath. I don’t make it bigger or try to change it. I don’t work at it. I just notice I am breathing.
I remind myself of how amazing it is that breathing causing my heart to beat, my lungs to expand and my blood to flow. How grateful I am for life.
And then it ends. My thoughts come back and I may get busy again. But just as small drops of water will eventually fill a bowl, the moments in a day I bring awareness to my breath restores my depleted energy. Offers me more resiliency, more ability to navigate life when things get crazy.
Helps me become more of me.
And I wish that for you too.